The best part of the holidays is the family coming together to create a fantastic meal. Several members of the immediate family came to town to celebrate Thanksgiving and it is awesome when everybody does their part to contribute to the holiday dinner. The combination of prepared dishes made from different hands is enjoyment for all and whether one’s contribution is from setting the table, prepping the meat for grilling, chopping veggies for sauteing, baking desserts or washing dishes, there is something for everyone to do. My contribution this year was the preparation of an autumn cocktail to serve before and during dinner. The two cocktails were as follows:
Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas
The Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas were definitely a hit. It was the perfect seasonal cocktail. I didn’t use the mezcal tequila but rather silver tequila (patron) that I already had on hand. Unfortunately, Von’s only had a $45 bottle of mezcal and I didn’t want to spend the money on it since the recipe said that you could still make a fantastic drink without it. That said, we missed out on some “smokiness” but that didn’t ruin the drink at all. Everyone asked for “seconds” so I obliged and provided a round 2 to the crew. I’ve been asked to make this for Christmas as well so I sure will.
This one took a bit of prep time to cut up all the fruit and infuse the cranberry juice with chai tea. I also made the mistake of packing too much fruit into my pitcher so it made it difficult to mix the drink. I was able to improvise a bit and prepared a “shaken not stirred” cocktail. Although this one required more prep time and labor, it came in 2nd place to the apple cider margaritas. I think the crowd was a bit full by the time this drink was served.
The secret with these cocktails is the ice cubes. Using larger ice cubes vs. the standard freezer cubes helps prevent water dilution and maintains the integrity of the cocktail.
What a great holiday dinner it was and I look forward to many more with family and continuing to “do my part”. Cheers.