Last year, for Thanksgiving, I made a GORGEOUS and delicious (modest much?) cocktail for Thanksgiving. I’m completely enamored with the amazing bartenders at Chow Daddy’s in Hilton Head and Bluffton, South Carolina who have introduced me not only to the Moscow Mule, but also to some really amazing infused liquors and boutique liqueurs, particularly Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. And they were they ones who inspired me on my quest for a Thanksgiving themed mule last year.Based on a recipe for a Holiday Mule, I combined spicy ginger beer with a bit of vodka, cranberry juice and a sprig of rosemary. It was so yummy and beautiful with the rosemary and the sugared cranberries that I used for a garnish.
This year, however, I was inspired by a recipe for a grown up Bourbon and Ginger (Hugh Acheson, I love you). It sounded so yummy and made me think of my autumn days back in college. So I set out to find a cocktail recipe that encompassed all that I love about fall. What evokes thoughts of fall more than a lovely apple cider? And, of course, what tailgate would be complete without bourbon? I believe this recipe would be great with Domaine de Canton and seltzer but I couldn’t bring myself to bite that bullet at the liquor store since I was already buying good bourbon. So I’m using a spicy ginger beer here to give it a little kick.
Apple Bourbon Fizzies (adapted from Chow Down Beantown)
- 1 oz apple-spice-infused bourbon (recipe below)
- 2 oz fresh apple cider
- 1-2 oz ginger beer or ginger ale if ginger beer is not available (I used Fever Tree ginger beer which is super spicy)
- Garnishes: apple slices, cinnamon sticks, fresh cranberries
Mix together bourbon and cider. Pour into highball glass over ice. Top with ginger beer, add garnishes and serve.
If I’d thought of it earlier, I’d have frozen cranberries in the middle of blocky ice cubes but, alas, I have used boring old ice here and simply tossed some cranberries in the glass. Still festive but you have time to make it so much cooler than I did!
Apple Spice Infused Bourbon (adapted from Food 52)
- 2-3 granny smith apples, cut into large chunks
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 or 3 cardamom pods, lightly smashed
- 750 ml good quality bourbon
Combine all ingredients in a large jar and store in refrigerator. After 2 days, strain and fish out the spices as those flavors can become really intense really quickly. Return apples and bourbon to container and let them continue to hang out. After a week, remove the apple pieces and discard. Keep bourbon in the refrigerator. It should keep for several weeks.