Thirsty Thursday: Mulled Cider Cocktail

By: Kelsey Vala

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year's feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we're bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

The countdown has begun: Thanksgiving is now only 2 weeks away, and by my calendar that means it’s time to plan the menu for this cheerfully anticipated holiday meal. While the traditional staples are a necessity (after all, what would Thanksgiving be without a turkey?), oftentimes we miss the opportunity to make autumn-inspired cocktails to begin the feasting right.

This Mulled Cider Cocktail is the perfect pairing for Thanksgiving appetizers. Apple cider is infused with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and is mixed with fresh apple pieces. This mulled cider then gets topped with Cava, a dry sparkling wine, for a cocktail that is sophisticated, yet also celebratory.

Impress your guests by greeting them with this bubbly beverage right as they walk through the door with cranberry sauce and dinner rolls. Then while you’re whipping the potatoes, carving the turkey and adding the finishing touches to your Thanksgiving feast, guests will remain in good spirits.

Bottoms up, folks.

Ingredients:
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Knob of "bruised" fresh ginger
  • 3 whole cloves Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 firm red apple, such as Rome, Braeburn, Fuji or Royal Gala, washed, cored, skin-on and cut into small cubes
  • 1 firm green apple, such as Granny Smith, washed, cored, skin-on and cut into small cubes
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 bottle dry Cava or other dry sparkling wine

Directions:

In a medium pot, over medium heat, add the cider, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Stir to blend. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Reduce by half and taste for seasoning. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl add the apples, lemon juice and sugar. Toss to coat and add to the cider. Refrigerate. When ready to serve the cocktails, pour the cider and apple pieces into champagne flutes (about halfway) and top with the Cava. Stir and serve.

Still thirsty? Check out Thanksgiving cocktails on Cooking Channel.

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