Thanksgiving Series: Fall Cocktail

What holiday is complete without a signature, themed cocktail?  Probably most, but I created an autumn-spiced cocktail for Thanksgiving regardless.  I’ve actually become quite the bartender, experimenting with different drinks and liquors so that dinner now often includes a new, tasty drink to test.  Of all my creations thus far though, my Thanksgiving “Cinn Cider” has been the most well-received.

Cocktail 2

I started experimenting with bourbon drinks this summer after hearing about a bourbon, vanilla milkshake that sounded amazing.  I’ve since tried a few bourbon and whiskey cocktails from the local restaurants in Charlottesville, and I found favorites in the “Bourbon Sidecar” and “Blood and Sand” from Citizen Burger Bar.  I knew I wanted to use bourbon in my Thanksgiving cocktail, and I combined two recipes that I found online; one called for bourbon, lemon, and Cointreau, and the other combined bourbon and apple cider.  I also made my own fall-spiced simple syrup to add to the mix, which is were the “cinn” or cinnamon in “Cinn Cider” comes in.

Preparation: I started by heating 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water, and once all the sugar dissolved, I added a cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice berries, cardamom pods, thyme sprigs, and sections of orange peel.  I heated the simple syrup together for a few minutes, and then I turned off the heat to let all of the spices steep for around a half hour.  Then I strained the syrup and stored it in the fridge.


  • 2 parts good apple cider (not the super sweet stuff)
  • 1 part bourbon (I use Buffalo trace or Elijah Craig)
  • 1/2 part Cointreau
  • 1/2 part fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I think it makes a difference, but store bought works alright too)
  • 1/2 part spiced simple syrup

Simply combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve.  I garnished mine with a cranberry and a thyme sprig for a Thanksgiving garnish.

Cocktail 1

One Response to “Thanksgiving Series: Fall Cocktail”
  1. Nana and Pop-Pop says:

    We can attest to how great this cocktail is. One of my favorites! AND,not just for Thanksgiving!

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