Easy Peasy Drinks to Make for Thanksgiving and All Your Other Holiday Parties

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It’s that time of year again. Not only is it Thanksgiving, it’s Thanksgiving during a election year, meaning that you’re probably feeling salty towards at least some of your friends and relatives or perhaps they’re feeling salty towards you! What will ease the anguish you’re experiencing as you mentally prepare yourself to share a meal with your loved ones?

A drink that’s what!

Ok, so now you realize you have to make drinks for a whole bunch of people, AND you’re feeling salty. What to do?

Keep it easy man! Today, I’m gonna give us a few large-format cocktails that will work for all the upcoming holiday parties and give you a lil peace of mind. Ready? Let’s go.

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Firstly, you could set up an Old Fashioned Station for your guests to help themselves. This is a great idea cause build-your-own-drinks tend to be a hit at parties! You could get a couple different kinds of spirits (Bourbon, Rye, Aged Rum, Apple Brandy, Añejo Tequila, Mezcal, Brandy, etc), different types of sweeteners or a mixer like the excellent Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer, an assortment of Bitters, garnishes and let the people do what they want!

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A sparkling wine cocktail: This one is easy cause you can batch your modifiers (like Apple Brandy + Cinnamon Syrup, Angostura Bitters) ahead of time, pour them into the glass and top with prosecco. Donezo!

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Bottled Negroni: This one is almost a no-brainer. Make a bottle sized Negroni, let it hang out in the bottle for a few days and serve as an aperitivo. Super duper easy and the Negroni is a perfect drink to cut through all those heavy foods you’re about to consume.

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4. Punch. Duh. This is by far my fave format for large parties cause Punch is the most communal cocktail of them all. I’ve created many Punch recipes but my two favorites are…

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Winfred Bumbry Punch: This Punch uses Irish Whiskey, two kinds of Rum, Ruby Port, Lemon Sherbet, and Nutmeg. It’s fabulously tasty and was a home run at last year’s Friendsgiving.

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DD’s Cider Punch: this Punch features mulled apple cider, two kinds of Rum, Allspice Dram, Benedictine, and Lemon Sherbet. (If you haven’t noticed, Sherbet is essential in a proper punch.)

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See, that was so easy! Cheers and hope y’all have loads of fun during the holidays!

 

Punch for Two with infused spirits from Ethan + Ashe & Alkemista

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Alright y’all, today I’m pretty pumped to be talking about a Kickstarter project from Ethan + Ashe!

“WHUT GURL? Kickstarter? You’re talking to us about something that doesn’t exist yet?” Yeah y’all, I’m talking about Alkemista, an infusion kit for all of us home bartenders and it’s a pretty brilliant idea!

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So what is Alkemista? It’s a bottle with an ultra fine filter built into it, you just add the booze, spices/herbs/citrus peels/etc and steep until it’s ready. Easy pea-sheezy.

Ethan & Ashe sent me a box with the following infusions:

All three bottles were pretty damn tasty, so I was like “Alright, I’m diggin this Alkemista idea. I shall put it into a Punch recipe!”

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I decided to make some Spiced Apple Cider Punch and tried a couple of versions with the Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon and the Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum. Turns out both spirits worked awesomely, so I’ll give you the recipe.

To Make the Cider:

  • 48 oz Apple Cider
  • 5 tbsp mulling spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 1 long orange peel, star anise, peppercorn, 1 split vanilla bean
  1. Put everything in a pot and let it heat on lowwwwww for around 2 hrs. Don’t let it boil, only simmer.
  2. Strain through a cheesecloth, bottle, and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

 

Spiced Apple Cider Punch (for two)

  • 6 oz Spiced Cider
  • 1 oz Water
  • 1 oz Ruby Port
  • 1 oz Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon or Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum
  • 1/4 tsp (2 Barspoons) Lemon Sherbet
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine Cider, Water, Ruby Port, and Lemon Sherbet in a pot and heat over lowwwwww heat. You don’t want it to get anywhere near boiling, just warm it up. When the punch is hot, add the Spirits and stir.

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Yummmmmmm. Feels like fall man.

Thanks to Ethan & Ashe for letting me be part of this awesome Alkemista Kickstarter campaign!

DD’s Cider Punch

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It’s that spoooooky time of year! The time for sizzling dishes, ghoulish wishes, and festive gatherings. Seriously, if you’re throwing any kind of Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos/Harvest/I Love Autumn party, you can’t go wrong with Hot Apple Cider Punch!

I created this Punch last Friday for a party my illustrious girlfriend was attending that night. Being deep into Apple season, we decided go to with Apple Cider as the base and Rum as the main spirit. Let’s jump into the recipe.

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You’ll need spices. I recommend getting Mulling Spices that contain Allspice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Star Anise, Cloves, Black Peppercorn, and Orange peel.

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You’ll need spiced liqueurs. I wanted to pump up the Allspice, so I included some St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. Then I wanted to add the luxurious sensuality of Bénédictine D.O.M. which has notes of honey, citrus, saffron, cardamom, ginger, and is super silky.

Lemon Sherbet

You’ll need Lemon Sherbet. You’re so shocked right? Unheard of that I would use Lemon Sherbet in a recipe.

Why Lemon Sherbet in Apple Cider? 1. It’s my fave ingredient right now. 2. Lemon gives the Punch some brightness and bite.

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You’ll need a big pot, ceramic dutch oven, or Crockpot. Simmer baby, simmmmmer.

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Everyone got their stuff ready? Awesome. (Note, the Lemon Sherbet isn’t in the photo cause I used it all!)

DD’s Cider Punch (serves 12*)

  • 70 oz Apple Cider**
  • 2 oz Lemon Sherbet
  • Mulling spices
  • 16 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 4 oz Hamilton 151 Demerara Rum
  • 6 oz Allspice Dram
  • 6 oz Bénédictine D.O.M.
  • Garnish: Clove studded Apple slices
  • Glassware: Mugs
  1. Combine Cider, Mulling spices and Sherbet in pot and heat until liquid begins to simmer, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to looooooow and simmer for around 40 mins, or until the Mulling Spices have done their thing. “Nice spice, man.”
  2. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting. Add Liqueurs, Spirits and heat until the Punch is hot enough to drink but nowhere near simmering/boiling. You don’t want to cook the Alcohol out of the Punch, just warm the Punch back up.
  3. Serve in Mugs with Clove studded Apple slices.

*This recipe will yeilds ~104 oz Punch (evaporation could occur), which means 12 of your friends can have ~8 oz of Punch each, that is unless they’re big drinkers…

**I started with 64 oz Cider, and thought the Punch was awesome. My girlfriend thought it might be too strong for her friends and asked that I dilute a bit. I added 6 more oz of Apple Cider for a total of 70 oz of Cider. Then it was perfect. Remember, always ask your customers what they like most.

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Oh and y’all, these two Rums together, WOOOOOOOOO-eeeeeee. Killer combo! Both Plantation Barbados 5 and Hamilton Demerara 151 are in what I would call the “Smooth” category yet both have real depth of flavour without being too overpowering. If you’re using different Rums, I recommend staying in this category.

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Cheers to you and all your holiday Party Punches!