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Thanksgiving Tradition: 5 Holiday Drinks

Sharing a cocktail or festive drink while cooking or entertaining is a favorite holiday tradition at the Meier house.

Thanksgiving Tradition: 5 Holiday Drinks

Each year, while we cook, the Meier girls like to mix a holiday drink to enjoy. Thanksgiving is no different. Here are the five drinks we're considering this Thanksgiving. All recipes come from the book Peterson's Holiday Helper, which can be found at Fragments in Highland.

1. Mayflower Mulled Cider (serves 10)

  • 1 large, or 2 small, oranges
  • 1 large lemon
  • 10-15 cloves
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 gallon of apple cider
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 dried apple rings for garnish.

With a potato peeler, peel the oranges and lemon in 3/4-inch-wide stripes from navel to the opposite nib. Set the actual fruit aside. Stick a clove in each strip of peel. Put the honey, cider, peels and cinnamon sticks into a 4-quart or larger saucepan (do not use aluminum or copper pans). Warm the mix over medium-low heat until just simmering (20 minutes), then turn the heat to low. Serve the hot cider in mugs, adding a piece of peel and a dried apple ring to each mug. If you want to make this an adult beverage, add 1-ounce of apple brandy into a mug, then fill it with the warm cider.

2. Floating Pink Elephant (serves 1)

  • 1 1/2 oz. cranberry vodka
  • 1 tsp. 100 percent cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. limoncello
  • 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • curl of lemon peel for garnish

Pour the vodka, juice, limoncello and lemon juice into an ice-filled shaker. Shake well (until condensation forms on the shaker). Strain the mix into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the lemon peel.

3. R-Rated Eggnog (serves 6)

  • 12 oz. (1 1/2 c.) egg substitute
  • 3 Tbsp. superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. (1 1/2 c.) whole milk
  • 6 oz. (3/4 c.) half-and-half
  • 1 cup of dark rum
  • freshly grated nutmeg

In a blender, mix the egg substitute, sugar, vanilla and salt on high until frothy. Add the milk, half-and-half and rum. Blend on low until thoroughly mixed. Serve in punch cups sprinkled with the nutmeg. To make this G-rated (kid-friendly), just omit the rum.

4. Wassail Ale (serves 12)

  • 4 apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 c. apple cider
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 two-inch slice of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped into 8 pieces
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 8 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 12-oz. bottles of brown ale (like Newcastle)

Place the apples, cider, ginger cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a large nonreactive stockpot (don't use aluminum or copper pans). Bring the mix to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover and simmer until the apples become soft (20 minutes). Add the ale and heat through, but do not boil. Serve in mugs, giving each person a few pieces of apple.

5. The Snubbed Reindeer (serves 1)

  • 1 1/2 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz. dark creme de cacao
  • 1 red maraschino cherry

Pour the coffee liqueur and creme de cacao into a sherry glass or other small stemmed glass. Float the maraschino cherry "nose" atop the liqueur.

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