3 Thanksgiving Whiskey Recipes for a Stress-Free Holiday

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November 13, 2017

Posted in Drinks

Thanksgiving 5-Spice Bourbon Punch by Elana Lepkowski for Serious Eats

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and everybody will need a good drink to either entertain guests with, cap off a wonderful evening, or relax after a particularly stressful one. Here are three of our favorite Thanksgiving-appropriate recipes* that taste marvelous with Easy Rider Bourbon Whiskey.

Hot Caramel-Popcorn Bourbon Apple Cider

Thanksgiving Hot Caramel-Popcorn Bourbon Apple Cider by Vicky Wasik for Serious Eats
Image by Vicky Wasik for Serious Eats

The perfect drink for when you want to butter-up (I’m so sorry) those hard-to-handle relatives. Also perfect for a tasty sipper before bed.


  • Caramel Popcorn-Infused Bourbon
    • 1 cup caramel popcorn
    • 1 cup Easy Rider Bourbon Whiskey
  • The Drink Itself
    • ⅓ cup hot apple cider
    • ¼ cup Caramel Popcorn-Infused Bourbon
    • 1 small pat butter

How to Make the Caramel Popcorn-Infused Bourbon

Gently heat the bourbon and caramel popcorn in a small saucepan over very low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Through a mesh strainer, strain the bourbon and popcorn. Toss the popcorn and store the infused bourbon (the bourbon will keep in your fridge for up to seven days)

How to Make the Drink Itself

In a small saucepan, warm the cider for five to ten minutes over low heat. Add the hot cider and the warmed bourbon into a preheated mug, then top with a pat of butter and serve!

5-Spice Bourbon Punch

Thanksgiving 5-Spice Bourbon Punch by Elana Lepkowski for Serious Eats
Image by Elana Lepkowski for Serious Eats

The essential bourbon drink for those of us who will be escaping the wet and dreary Pacific Northwest for the Thanksgiving season. It’s a little involved but overall deliciously rewarding.


  • 5-Spice Syrup (makes 3 batches)
    • 1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
    • 1 whole star anise pod
    • 1 6-inch cinnamon stick (or 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks)
    • 5 whole cloves
    • 1 tsp whole fennel seed
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • For the Cocktail Itself (makes 4)
    • ¾ cup Easy Rider Bourbon Whiskey
    • ⅜ cup 5-Spice Syrup
    • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
    • 1 cup club soda
    • Lime wedges for garnish

How to Make the 5-Spice Syrup

In a dry, medium-sized skillet over medium heat, toast the Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, and fennel, tossing and stirring regularly until fragrant (which is roughly 1 minute). Add the cinnamon stick(s), sugar, and water and turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir regularly until the mix begins to boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let the mix sit for 2 hours, then strain into an airtight container (the syrup will then keep in your fridge for up to two weeks, but why wait?)

How to Make the Cocktail Itself

Mix the Easy Rider Bourbon Whiskey, 5-Spice Syrup (⅜ cup, not the whole lot), and lime juice in a pitcher and stir well. Add club soda and stir gently to not upset the carbonation. Fill four rocks glasses with ice and pour the cocktails evenly so nobody at the table becomes jealous, then top with lime wedges and serve!

Sparkling Bourbon Pear Cocktail

Thanksgiving Sparkling Bourbon Pear Cocktail Recipe by Autumn Giles for Serious Eats
Image by Autumn Giles for Serious Eats

Sometimes, you just have to make something in bulk. Whether you’re having a big party or you just have a big family, this cocktail is perfect for everyone – including you.


  • For the Roasted Pear Puree
    • 2 bartlett pears, cored and cut into eighths
    • 3½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • For the Bourbon Pear Mixer (makes enough for 12 cocktails)
    • 1 cup roasted pear puree
    • 2 cups Easy Rider Bourbon Whiskey
    • ½ cup maple syrup
  • For each cocktail
    • ¼ cup Bourbon Pear Mixer
    • 3 tbsp chilled sparkling wine
    • Ice
    • Ground cloves for garnish

How to Make the Roasted Pear Puree

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the 16 pear slices on it. Roast the pear slices for roughly 20 (until the bottom side of each slice starts to caramelize), then remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Add the pears, lemon juice, and ground cloves into a blender and purée until smooth.

How to Make the Bourbon Pear Mixer

Stir together the pear puree, bourbon, and maple syrup into a pitcher. Chill the mix in your refrigerator for up to four hours until you’re ready to make the cocktails.

How to Make Each Cocktail

Fill 12 glasses with ice. Stir the Bourbon Pear Mixer and pour evenly into each glass, then add the sparkling wine. Stir (just once!) and then garnish lightly with ground cloves, and serve!

*Modified from recipes by Serious Eats