Thanksgiving: If only there were a year where the mere word didn’t incite panic in the hearts of everyone who loves bringing people together. If only there were a golden solution for easing guests into that annual holiday of bounty. Well, a simple, honeyed rum cocktail for a crowd and some smartly spiced snack mix are sure-fire ways to feed your guests quick-like and get them loosened up for an afternoon—or evening—of camaraderie and big-time eating. Thanksgiving should be about effortlessness. Now it is.
.5 oz Honey syrup (two parts honey, one-and-a-half parts water)
2 oz Gold rum
.5 oz Fresh lime juice
Glass: Coupe Garnish: Lime peel
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime peel.
Curried Snack Mix
Serves 8 (Makes 16 cups)
4 cups Rice Chex Cereal
2 cups Wheat Chex Cereal
2 cups Fritos
2 cups Bugles
2 cups Pretzel sticks
2 cups Raw, unsalted cashews
1 cup Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) Unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Curry powder
1 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Onion powder
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Bay leaf
Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a large roasting pan, combine both cereals, Fritos, Bugels, pretzel sticks, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the Worcestershire, salt, curry powder, cumin, onion powder, cayenne (if using) and bay leaf until combined. Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to coat. Place in the oven and bake, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until the mix is crisp, about 50 minutes to one hour.
Remove the mix from the oven and transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheets to cool. Remove the bay leaf and serve.
Rebekah Peppler is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, food stylist and recipe developer. Her clients include The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Real Simple, Food Network and Cooking Channel. Her new book Honey was released in April 2014.