Thanksgiving!! + RECIPE: Aronia Berry Bourbon Smash

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Raise your hand if you’re ready for Thanksgiving! Yeah, me neither. But we’re getting there.

We know where we’re going (surprise! — we have finally found a way to attend both families’ celebrations this year) and I think I even know what I’m making (my favorite butternut squash salad and a variation on this green bean casserole with crispy fried shallots for Leek Thanksgiving and the most unhealthy mashed potatoes, Kung Pao Brussels sprouts, cranberry pear apple sauce and maybe some biscuits for Carrot Thanksgiving). So I guess that’s a pretty good start.

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What I don’t have is most of the ingredients and a start on the cooking. I also have a full suitcase from Mexico City, an unfortunate bout of bed bugs, and lots of work to catch up on before I even think about Thanksgiving. But we’ll get there. I just know it.

And luckily, I have the perfect cocktail to sip on while I get ready for the big holiday. This cocktail features two of my absolute favorite alcohols: bourbon (High West Campfire whiskey if you can find it!) and a locally made aronia berry & cherry liqueur. The sweet bourbon and tart liqueur pair perfectly with lemon and maple syrup.

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I’ll be sipping it by the glass as I prep all my Thanksgiving goodies, but also think that bringing a pitcher of this tasty drink to my family celebration will certainly make the holiday all the brighter. This cocktail is great all on its own over ice (though quite strong). You can also serve over ice with some seltzer for a lighter beverage.

I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy the preparations just as much as the meal.

Lots of love,
Leek

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P.S. This post was sponsored by Roberta Barham, creator of the tasty aronia berry & cherry liqueur I’m growing totally obsessed with and used for this recipe. She’ll be handing out samples and selling bottles at the Yahara Bay Distillers Holiday Bazaar this Friday and Saturday!

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ARONIA BERRY BOURBON SMASH
I love love love this aronia berry & cherry liqueur made locally by one of my farming friends in Southern Wisconsin, but totally appreciate that it may be hard to find in your neighborhood. Creme de Cassis or Chamboard will both make nice substitutions. 

Serves 1
Takes 5 minutes

2 ounces favorite bourbon
2 ounces aronia berry & cherry liqueur
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce maple syrup
Lemon slices, for garnish

  1. Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass. Swirl to combine.
  2. Add two large ice cubes or several smaller ones. Swirl once more to chill. Serve with a lemon slice.

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