We love the holidays around my house, especially the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas! I’ve tried the last couple of years to simplify things and prepare as much as possible, allowing me more time to enjoy company and not feel like I’m stuck in the kitchen. We divvy up the recipes for sides and desserts – shouldn’t everyone get in on the fun? Last year we had an impromptu competition
because my son-in-law was sure his pretzel salad (why it’s called a salad really stumped us all) was the best thing ever.
We like to have a late afternoon lunch, so I like to have simple, seasonal snacks and cocktails ready to serve yourself. I’ve decided this year I wanted to have a festive cocktail that not only looked beautiful, but also tasted like fall. My favorite cocktail this year has been gin and tonic – it’s so light and refreshing. After researching a few recipes, I combined my favorite parts of each and came up with what I think is the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving. What makes it even better is that it can be prepared as a “batch” cocktail and guests can serve themselves.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas wishes from my home to yours! Cheers to a wonderful holiday season. I hope you will find many moments of joy with your family and friends!
Autumn Apple Cider Cocktail
• 2 cups Gin
• 2 cups Apple Cider (fresh or good quality)
• Juice from ½ lime (use more if you like)
• 2 tablespoons of honey simple syrup (recipe below)
1. Pour over ice, garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and matchstick apples.
2. Glasses can be rimmed with sugar if you want. I don’t because I don’t like things super sweet.
Honey Simple Syrup
Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of local honey in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir until the honey dissolves. Allow syrup to cool. It will last in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
Notes: I needed Gin for this recipe, so I ran in the Bison Chip in Buffalo Gap and the sweetest little ladies introduced me to Ha’penny Rhubarb Gin – oh my! Game changer! It is a beautiful pink color and is the perfect botanical combination of geranium, dandelion, lavender, and blackberry. I tried the recipe with plain Gin as well-this was my fav!
By Nancy Roberts
Photos by Shayli Anne Photography