It’s àpropos that we should start with a cocktail. After all, the mere thought of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, let alone preparing it with all your family in town, may have one raiding the liquor cabinet before the oven is preheated.
This time of year there is nothing better than bourbon, but I struggle with drinking it straight. The apple cider syrup in this cocktail recipe alleviates this problem. It doesn’t mask the bourbon, but complements it with hints of citrus, holiday spices, and just enough sweetness to make a smooth cocktail.
That smoothness leads to this cocktail’s only fault: its drinkability. This is a stiff drink that goes down easy; you’ve been warned.
Make the apple cider syrup before Thanksgiving as it saves well in the refrigerator and you’ll want to have it at the ready. When reducing the spiced cider, watch it carefully and maintain a strong simmer. Don’t let it boil as the syrup can burn and develop an off flavor.
This recipe is part of the menu for Minced Thanksgiving 2015. For even more turkey day preparation, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest; I’ll be using the hashtag #mincedthanksgiving and hope you’ll use it as well to share any Minced blog creations, your favorite dishes, and your best holiday memories with me.
Bourbon with Apple Cider Syrup – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces bourbon (I prefer Bulleit Bourbon with this cocktail)
¼ cup apple cider syrup (see recipe below)
Apple slice for garnish
Place a handful of ice cubes in an old fashioned glass. Pour the bourbon over the ice and add the apple cider syrup. Stir. Garnish with an apple slice and serve immediately.
Apple Cider Syrup
Makes about 2 cups
2 quarts of apple cider
Peel from 1 lemon
Peel from 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
12 whole allspice
10 whole cloves
8 whole black peppercorns
Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven and bring to a strong simmer. Reduce the cider to 2 cups; this will take about 45 minutes. Don’t try to speed up the process by cranking up the heat as the cider will burn and develop an off taste. Strain the cider to remove the spices and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.