(E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Joan Moravek/food styling)

Recipe of the Day: Thanksgiving Kickoff Cocktail

This will be your go to turkey day cocktail
(E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Joan Moravek/food styling)

There's no denying the fact that this year has been stressful, and with the holidays quickly approaching you're probably feeling that stress amplify. In between curating your ideal Thanksgiving menu, don't forget to give some thought to the cocktail list. You need a stiff one, and this bourbon cider beverage is the perfect way to kick things off. 

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Sure, pouring yourself a glass of wine or cracking open a beer is the easier option, but sometimes nothing hits the spot quite like a good, homemade cocktail. The blend of fresh apple cider and bourbon whiskey tastes like an elevated version of a cup of cider from your favorite apple orchard.

Patience is key with this Thanksgiving kickoff cocktail. Start by pouring the cider, bourbon and orange liqueur into a freezer safe Ziploc bag. Add in the thyme sprig and seal. Store the mixture int the freezer for an hour or more.

To serve, discard the thyme sprig and scrape the slushie into a few glasses. Squeeze a little lemon over each drink. This cocktail is a great way to start off turkey day, but if you're not a fan of frozen drinks, try out more of our incredible cocktails perfect for the holidays season

Thanksgiving Kickoff Cocktail


6 cups fresh apple cider (best made with nonprocessed cider)
2 1/4 cups bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1 hefty sprig of thyme
Lemon wedges


Pour 4 ½ cups cider, the bourbon and orange liqueur into a freezer zip-close bag.

Toss in thyme sprig.

Seal and stash in freezer for an hour or more.

Discard thyme sprig.

Scrape slush into a dozen 10-ounce glasses.

Squeeze a little lemon over each.

If you like your drink less slushy (or less strong), splash with a little more cider.

Garnish as you like.


This recipe by Leah Eskin was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.