2 ratings

Thanksgiving Kickoff Cocktail

Bourbon and cider frozen to a slush
(E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Joan Moravek/food styling)

This cold bourbon and cider cocktail is the perfect way to kick off your Thanksgiving feast.

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

Ready in
1 h and 5 m
5 m
(prepare time)
1 h
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


Options for garnish: small sprigs of thyme, tiny apples, orange wedges, apple slices, cranberries, cinnamon sticks — feel free to get creative.


  • 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.