Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mint and Mules--Cheers to Thanksgiving!

We know to be thankful for our family and friends of course on this holiday but after a constant few months of work with no days off, we can be thankful for cocktails too! Don't worry, the focal point will always be the turkey but shake up the adult beverages this year by taking a step back from beer and wine and going with a variety of cocktails. That's what we're going to do! In preparation, we've sifted through our favorite Pinterest boards and have found six cocktails for the perfect Thanksgiving celebration. Concoctions with hints of cinnamon spice to tart cranberry garnishes and pre-dinner delights to dessert-like sips; your meal will only taste better after one or two or three of these!

Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail

Cranberry Ginger Fizz

¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 lemon, cut into wedges
½ orange, cut into slices
1½ cups dry gin - Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater or Tangueray suggested
1 cup chilled Ginger Ale (or Ginger Beer for a more pronounced ginger flavor)
4 mint springs

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; pour off all but one cup of syrup, reserving any extra for another use.
Heat the syrup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they just begin to burst. Remove from heat and let cool in syrup.
Place 2 Tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 Tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher; add the lemon wedges and orange slices.
Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit.
Stir in gin and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
Strain into a medium pitcher.
Fill 4 glasses with crushed ice and ¼ cup ginger ale.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then pour half the cranberry mixture into the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds, strain liquid into two glasses. Repeat.
Mound additional ice on top of each glass and garnish with 3 candied cranberries and a mint sprig.

Get the full recipe here.

Holiday Mule


1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
2 oz chilled ginger beer
1 rosemary sprig
orange slice, for garnish
sugared cranberries, for garnish

Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin.
Pour over ice and top with ginger beer.
Serve garnished with rosemary, orange wedge and sugared cranberries, if desired.

Find out more here.

Candied Kumquat Bubbles


1 bottle of sparking white wine
1 little basket of kumquats
6-10 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup of sugar

Cut kumquats into thin rounds, put the rounds and any left over juice into a small bowl.
Pour half of your sugar over the cut kumquats, cover, and set aside in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Pour left over sugar onto a small plate.
Wet just the rims of your champagne glasses and dip them rim side down onto the sugar plate, set sugar rimmed glasses aside.
Uncork chilled sparkling wine and pour it into a glass vessel.
Place sugar soaked kumquat rounds and their juice into the vessel of wine, stir thoroughly.
Pour sparking wine mixture into your sugar rimmed glasses ¾ of the way full.
Put about 4-6 candied kumquat rounds into each glass.
Add washed rosemary sprig into glass.

Get the big picture behind using kumquats here.

The Frozen Turkey


1 pint container Häagen-Dazs butter pecan ice cream
1 oz Wild Turkey 101
1 oz Amaretto

caramel sauce:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cream
pinch of salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Make the caramel sauce by mixing the sugar, cream, butter and salt in a saucepan and heating to a simmer.
Cook for 5 minutes, then pour into a jar and let cool.
If the sauce thickens too much after cooling, microwave it for a few seconds.
For the cocktail, blend the ice cream, the Wild Turkey and the Amaretto in a blender until smooth. Serve in fancy glasses garnished with a drizzle of the sauce.
If you'd like to make this ahead, put the whole blender back in the freezer after blending and then give it a quick re-blend right before serving.

Quite the cocktail name. Learn more here.

Apple Mint Sangria


1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 pink lady apples, cored and sliced thinly
1 large Asian pear, cored and sliced thinly
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed and roughly torn
3 bottles of light fruity red wine (such as a gamay, beaujolais, or pinot noir)

First, make the brown sugar syrup by combining a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar with 1/2 a cup of water in a small pot.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cook until the sugar has melted (about 5 minutes), and remove the pot from the heat.
Let it cool to room temperature.
Combine the apples, Asian pear, mint, and wine in two pitchers.
Add the sugar syrup a little at a time until it’s at the desired sweetness.
Pop the pitchers in the fridge for 2 hours (up to 2 days) to let the flavors mingle.
Fill the pitchers with ice and serve.

Enjoy putting this together with help from this recipe.

Sugar and Spice White Russian


1 oz Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Twist
.5 oz Kahlua or any coffee flavored liqueur
.5 oz half and half
Cinnamon sticks or cinnamon spice to garnish

Add vodka, Kahlua, and half and half in ice filled shaker.
Shake well.
Pour over ice, garnish with cinnamon, and enjoy.
Shake it up with more information here.

There are so many different cocktails out there, we wish we could share them all with you! We recommend testing a few out before serving to your guests. You'll want them to pair well with your meal but also to taste good. Devour the details of your Thanksgiving with these six cocktails for the perfect celebration with family and friends!

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