fall cocktail

When I host Thanksgiving, I like to have everyone arrive about an hour before dinner is going to be served for cocktails and a very small cheese board. The Thanksgiving appetizer cheese board is heavy on fruit, unlike my usual cheese boards where it’s an afterthought. Along with this, I like to serve a signature cocktail.

Offering one or two well-thought-out drinks is a lot less time consuming than trying to set up a full bar as you prep for a holiday meal. Here are some signature cocktails I’ve served in the past:

Mulled Wine – this is a classic Ina Garten recipe, but word to the wise, don’t serve this in a glass (or God forbid crystal) punchbowl. Its heat may have caused a punchbowl to explode in my hands on Thanksgiving 2019. I had extra ingredients, and we soldiered on. Even my suede loafers recovered.

Apple Cider & Pumpkin Punch – I made this for my October book club meeting, and it was a big hit! Keep a whisk handy as the pumpkin needs to be dissolved back into the liquid periodically. I neglected to buy orange juice because I didn’t read the recipe carefully enough – I squeezed two blood oranges into the punch instead. You probably want to go that route yourself.

Cranberry Bellinis – These are extremely easy. Just mix equal parts sparkling wine or champagne with sweetened cranberry juice.

Pumpkin Spice Old FashionedThis recipe is a bit of work to make the brown sugar simple syrup. It doesn’t actually contain pumpkin, but somehow tastes like it.

Apple Butter Old Fashioned – People will call anything an Old Fashioned these days (I say in my disgruntled grandmother voice), but we really like this recipe from the Scully & Scully blog. (I can’t link directly to the recipe, but you’ll enjoy scrolling the post. We’ve made all of the recipes listed and loved them!)

Carnal Apple – My iOS autocorrect feature named this cocktail as I tried to type ‘caramel apple’ after having enjoyed one of these. It’s another easy make – just add Captain Morgan to apple cider on the rocks. How much is up to your individual drink strength preferences. The end result really does taste like a caramel apple. Give it a PG name in front of your in-laws and kids.

Image by Bernadette Wurzinger from Pixabay

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