Well, the time is drawing near. And this year, I will be spending my second consecutive Thanksgiving in France, attempting to teach these uninitiated citizens the logic and payoff behind taking a full 12 hours to cook one piece of poultry (as well as making ample pumpkin pie, stuffing, and all that is good about T-Givs — except for sweet potato casserole, as that is for communists and pedophiles). But be that as it may, I still believe that my spirit, my heart, and all that matters will be in the States on this tryptophan-soaked Thursday. And it is in that spirit that I bestow upon the Thought Catalog community at large my time-honored drink that has long been a staple of every pre-Thanksgiving gathering amongst friends. We use it as a much-needed excuse to get drunk while wearing fancy clothes (a must for any holiday occasion) and so should you. It is time to kick back and enjoy time with those closest to us, and this drink embodies everything that is good and righteous about this holiday season.
It should also be said that it is as low-maintenance as any recipe could be, because who has time to be dealing with alcohol-related shenanigans when there is a turkey to baste for the 37th time?
YOU WILL NEED
- A big-ass pot. (Should you have only a medium-ass or even small-ass pot, you’ll simply have to make smaller batches, but I’d shoot for a pot of at least 6 liters here.)
- 1 handle Kentucky Gentleman bourbon (only the finest here).
- 1 handle rum (whatever brand you prefer, but let’s not go crazy here).
- 1 gallon apple cider
- 1 2-liter bottle ginger ale (or beer, I personally prefer ginger beer if possible).
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons shaker ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 sack cranberries
- 2 oranges, separated into slices
- 2 red apples, sliced (The nice, crispy, teacher kind. None of that mushy, grainy apple nonsense.)
Place your big-ass pot on the stove on low heat, adding your fruit. Sprinkle your sugar and spices atop your fruits, allowing them to cook a bit until they become slightly soft and well-imbued with the spice mixture. Pour over half of your bottle of ginger ale and half of your bottom of cider, bringing to a simmer and letting it chill for around 15 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally, so as to properly distribute the delicious spices.
At this juncture I should say that some people prefer their ciders a little more on the sweet side, and if this is your case, feel free to add more sugar to taste. I prefer the tartness of less sugar (and the nice ginger flavor from the ale/beer), but you can make it as sweet as you like.
Once your mixture has properly simmered in its own sweet fruits, add half your handle of rum and half your handle of bourbon. Allow the drink to come up to a nice toasty temperature, but be careful not to boil off the alcohol. (Wouldn’t want to waste that, tee hee!)
Ladle into cups, and feel free to include a decorative cinnamon stick if you’re feeling saucy. (And you should probably keep reserves of the ingredients to keep making throughout the night, as this stuff tends to go quickly.) Enjoy!