Thanksgiving Spirits

15 Nov

One of my favorite things to make on holidays are the drinks! Thanksgiving brings so many wonderful flavors…Cinnamon, spice, pumpkin, apple, ginger…the list goes on and on. mmmmm….Make sure to try using herbs in your cocktails- it’s such a nice twist and gives it an earthy flavor.

Here are my suggestions for some really yummy cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for you to try out this Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Pear and Rosemary


6 to 10 Seckel pears

4 cups (32 ounces) vodka

1 cup sugar

12 sprigs fresh rosemary plus more for garnish

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) pear nectar

4 cups (32 ounces) sparkling water


Put enough pears into a 48-ounce glass jar to fill. Add vodka. Seal jar, and let stand at room temperature 2 weeks (up to 2 months).

Heat sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add rosemary; remove from heat. Let stand 30 minutes. Discard rosemary. Let cool completely. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month.

Fill 12-ounce glasses halfway with ice. Add 4 tablespoons vodka, 2 tablespoons syrup, and 3 tablespoons pear nectar to each. Top with 1/2 cup sparkling water. Serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.


Mulled White Wine Sangria (MY FAVORITE!! and it’s pretty, too)


1 cup water

1/2 cup honey, preferably orange-blossom

Zest of 2 lemons, cut into long strips

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

4 whole star anise

4 cinnamon sticks

12 whole cloves

2 bottles dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

1 cup orange Muscat, such as Essencia

1 Golden Delicious apple, cored, halved, and thinly sliced

1 Bartlett pear, cored, halved, and thinly sliced

2 lemons, preferably Meyer, thinly sliced crosswise

12 kumquats, thinly sliced crosswise


  1. Bring water, honey, lemon zest and juice, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. To serve cold: Mix spice mixture, wines, and fruit in a large pitcher. Cover, and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to a large punch bowl, and serve with ice. To serve hot: Heat spice mixture and wines in a large pot over low heat until heated through. Add fruit, and divide among mugs.


Apple Pie Cider


1 1/4 quarts apple cider

3 tablespoons firmly packed light-brown sugar

7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Ground cloves

Freshly grated nutmeg


1/2 cup Calvados, or other brandy (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cider, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat; pour in brandy, if desired. Strain into a pitcher; discard solids. Serve in mugs, garnished with cinnamon sticks.


Apple Ginger Sparklers


1/4 cup Ginger Syrup

4 1/2 cups sparkling apple cider

6 cinnamon sticks

6 pieces crystallized ginger


1. Place 2 tablespoons ginger syrup in each of six glasses. Fill glasses with ice cubes, pour in cider, and stir to combine. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger, and serve. (Add Rum for some fun).


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