Life is complicated enough! Simplify your holiday party or family gathering with a simple bourbon batch cocktail that’s spirit forward with warm spice and seasonal fresh fruit for added goodness.
You want your party to be a smash – well, not literally but you know what I mean. As host/hostess you want everyone, including yourself to have a memorable time noshing on fabulous food and imbibing in a special libation while catching up with family and friends. That means making it easy on yourself by planning ahead and not spending all day in the kitchen or playing bartender during the party, unless you enjoy practicing your mixology skills over mingling with guests.
I’m a no-fuss and frills kinda girl when it comes to entertaining at my house, and this year I decided to go urban rustic with a batch cocktail based on seasonal flavors: apple cider, vanilla and warm spice, citrus and pears; yet spirit forward enough for the wranglers in the room. Super easy to make and perfect as a hostess gift when poured into a Ball jar and gussied up with some raffia and a pretty label.
You can serve this fancy in a punch bowl with those cute little teacups or in a shimmering glass pitcher with simple canning jars with raffia bows like I did. Add a Christmas touch with holly berries, sprigs of evergreen, plaid ribbon or whatever suits your taste.
Make sure you use a good quality bourbon, I always have Four Roses, Bourbon Trace and Woodford Reserve on hand and recommend any of these fine brands. For the apple cider, I chose Litehouse Honey Crisp Apple Cider because it is not made from concentrate, but rather 100% juice from Honey Crisp apples grown in our Northwestern states. Who doesn’t love Honey Crisp apples? They are the most popular apple variety because of their crispness and unique tart-sweet flavor. Add texture and flavor to your punch with fresh seasonal fruit like pears – Asian or Korean pears – crunchy, sweet and fragrant and they don’t turn brown (!!) or mushy; and citrus such as orange or Satsuma tangerines – my fave, they are super sweet, aromatic and not as acidic as mandarins or oranges.
- 1 cup quality Bourbon or Whiskey I used Four Roses
- 1 cup Vanilla Vodka
- 2 cups Litehouse Honey Crisp Apple Cider
- Diced apples or Asian or Korean pears
- Sliced oranges or Satsuma tangerines
- Star Anise
Add all the ingredients to a pitcher and refrigerate for a minimum of 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
So easy! Enjoy, fruit and all!
Recipe is easily doubled or tripled for larger batches and bigger parties!