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Spiced Brown Sugar Cocktail

Need a cocktail that's easy, inexpensive, and bursts with holiday spirit? Look no further! We have the perfect cocktail for you!

If you know us, you know we are the queens of taking leftover ingredients and dishes and making them into entirely new creations. This is something our grandmother did often, but you would never know! We stayed true to this calling when it came time to use the leftover wine, oranges, herbs, cranberries, and spices from our Thanksgiving Day sauces.

Our Thanksgiving Day sauces include a creamy White Wine Gravy that you can find the recipe for in our Fall Cookbook (page 11) and our Red Wine Cranberry Sauce which is a free recipe on our website. We featured these sauces along with our Spiced Brown Sugar Cocktail during our live Cooksgiving cooking class.

This cocktail is full of flavor and festive to look at. It will definitely have you in the holiday spirit. The star of this cocktail is the Spiced Brown Sugar Simple Syrup that is infused with oranges, spices, and fresh thyme. It is so delicious! In fact, we think there are a few different ways to use this simple syrup besides in this cocktail. Like…

  • Over cheeses, such as a log of Goat Cheese, Brie, Whipped Feta, or Camembert

  • Glazed over your baked ham or pork roast

  • With your waffles or pancakes, P.S.. we have the best pancake and waffle recipe in our Spring and Summer Cookbook (page 14)

  • Drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream

  • Stirred into your favorite tea

  • Brushed on top of white or vanilla cake

  • Spooned over a pound cake, we have a recipe for that too (spring and summer cookbook page 39)!

Not only does the syrup taste like the holidays in a bottle, and incorporate leftover Thanksgiving ingredients, it will last up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. You can whip out this syrup between holidays to delight your guests or yourself! And if you need to make a new batch before the holiday season is over, just like it’s name, this syrup (and cocktail) is super simple!

Spiced Brown Sugar Cocktail

Prep time: 10 minutes


For Spiced Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup water

Juice of 1 orange

Zest of one orange

2 sprigs of thyme

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp allspice

For cocktail:

2 TBS of Spiced Brown Sugar Simple Syrup (or to taste)

6 oz dry white wine

6 oz ginger beer (more or less to taste)

Garnish with:

Oranges slices

Fresh thyme sprigs

Frozen Cranberries or Cranberry ice cubes


Pre- Prep: Wash your oranges, herbs, and fresh cranberries. Measure ingredients. Chill ingredients.

For the simple syrup:

Combine all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so syrup does not burn. Let boil for one minute to dissolve sugar and then remove from heat. Let syrup cool completely then transfer to an air proof container and refrigerate.

For the Spiced Brown Sugar Cocktail:

If desired, first coat the rim of your cocktail glasses with the syrup and place the rim into sugar sprinkles, raw sugar, or your favorite coarse ground sugar.

Into your glasses, combine first white wine and spiced brown sugar simple syrup. Then pour in the ginger beer and give your drink a slight stir. Garnish with ice cubes, frozen cranberries, orange slices and thyme.

  • Ginger beer is considered non-alcoholic.

  • If you prefer, you can use ginger ale in place of ginger beer. Your cocktail will have more fizz and a more subtle flavor. Ginger beer has more flavor.

  • Once the ginger beer is added, keep stirring to a minimum to preserve the carbonation or fermentation depending on what type of ginger beer you purchase.

  • Cranberries float, so if you are making cranberry ice cubes fill your ice cube tray with cranberries then half of the amount of water. Let it freeze then top with the additional amount of water.

  • Use boiled, filtered water for clear ice cubes.

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