Between mashing the potatoes, simmering the cranberries and roasting the turkey to golden, crisp-skinned perfection, there’s no time to shake up cocktails for guests on Thanksgiving. So don’t. Instead, let someone else do all the hard work for you: the slow cooker. Your trusty Crock-Pot is good for more than just stews; it is an excellent tool for creating warming, intensely flavorful hot cocktails with next to no effort on your part. From spiked cinnamon hot chocolate to new takes on classic mulled wine, these four slow cooker cocktails are the perfect recipes to set and forget while you focus on not burning the bird—again.
4 Crock-Pot Cocktails to Make While Your Thanksgiving Dinner Cooks
A nod to Highland Park whisky’s Norse roots, this modern take on mulled red wine (which is spiked with the brand’s Orkney Islands scotch) is named after the Norse goddesses of love, Frigga and Freya. Red wine, apple cider and honey simmer in a Crock-Pot with Highland Park Magnus—a light, sherry cask-aged single malt scotch. Sliced figs and honeycrisp apples soften as the drink heats, while cinnamon sticks and cloves infuse everything with warm spice.
Turn your hot chocolate up a notch with this tequila-spiked rendition from Houston Eaves of the Downstairs at Esquire in San Antonio, Texas. Herbal Chartreuse combines with añejo tequila and cinnamon-flecked Taza Chocolate Mexicano discs in a Crock-Pot where the big batch drink warms and mellows until you’re ready to drink it. “It just makes for a great drink to share with family and friends during the holiday season,” says Eaves. “It’s easy to prepare, so you have plenty of time (and booze) for conversation, board games and arguments.”
White wine can be every bit as comforting in the cooler months as red, and this spiced cocktail proves it. Created by Jane Danger of Mother of Pearl and Cienfuegos in New York City, this mulled white wine mixes oaky Chardonnay with funky pisco, along with orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, vanilla syrup, cinnamon sticks and fig bitters. Warmed in a slow cooker, the result is at once vibrantly bright and insanely cozy.
This fruity cocktail from Brian McKenzie of Finger Lakes Distilling blends the distillery’s rye whiskey and cassis liqueur with the state’s famous fresh apple cider. Cranberry bitters, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks turn the hot cocktail into an autumnal masterpiece. And if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, never fear: “This hot drink will warm your throat, like a soft, warm scarf,” McKenzie says.