How to Celebrate Your Best Jacksgiving Ever

As we settle into the long, cold winter, it’s more important than ever to gather with friends and family to create lightness and warmth. Luckily, the next few months are packed with holidays and parties to help get us off the couch, into the kitchen and maybe even dig out a necktie from the back of the closet. It all starts with Thanksgiving, arguably the biggest feast of the year. Whether you’re hosting or attending another dinner, why not invite Jack’s Hard Cider along for the ride?

We think our hand-crafted ciders are delicious any time of the year, but they’re especially wonderful in autumn, when the crisp apples match the seasonal vibes of brisk winds and crunchy fallen leaves. A six-pack or growler of Jack’s would make a thoughtful hostess gift, and if you’re the host, then stock the fridge with our colorful cans to please every guest (especially gluten-free folks!). Hard cider pairs great with food (and in an easy, unfussy way—so different from wine pairings), and it also makes a delicious ingredient!

Here are some ways to incorporate Jack’s Hard Cider into your Thanksgiving feast this year:

  • Start the day with easy-drinking cider cocktails. Polly Patrono Carlson of Jack’s shared this recipe for a crowd-pleasing drink to kick off your Thanksgiving hang:
    • Pear Bellini:
      • Break up 3–5 cinnamon sticks and add to a saucepan.
      • Add 2 bottles pear nectar, 2 teaspoons ground cardamom and 1/3 cup sugar (more or less, depending on your sweet tooth).
      • Cook until boiling, and then turn off heat and cover.
      • Let steep for a hour or two. The longer it steeps, the more cinnamon flavor it will develop.
      • Strain the cinnamon and put the rest in the fridge to cool.
      • Pour chilled Jack’s Original or Conewago Orchard into champagne flutes and add a splash of the cinnamon-infused pear juice.
  • Cider-brine the bird: A saltwater brine is a common method that home cooks use to add tenderness to the turkey and help promote that coveted crisp and golden skin. Adding hard cider to the brine lends another layer of complexity and sweetness, both of which are welcome on a protein that’s not always known for big flavor. This recipe from Epicurious uses regular apple cider, along with salt and some spices, but you can easily sub in Jack’s Original or Helen’s Blend.
  • Soup up the sides: Nearly all traditional Thanksgiving side dishes can be enhanced with a splash of hard cider. Try this cider-braised radicchio salad for a nice bitter counterpoint to all of the rich, buttery dishes, or these cider-glazed carrots from Genius Kitchen as a simple, kid-friendly side. Cider, sour cream and nonfat yogurt make these mashed sweet potatoes from The New York Times extra silky and delicious, and The Kitchn’s cider-glazed brussels sprouts with bacon will fly off the table in seconds!
  • Just desserts: Sure, every Thanksgiving table is going to have a pumpkin pie, and that’s all well and good. But why not think outside the box? This pumpkin bundt cake with apple cider glaze from Just A Pinch looks very impressive (plus it takes way less work than making a pie!), and the leftovers will be a nice treat with breakfast coffee on the weekend after the holiday. If you simply must bake a pie, try this apple cider pie from Crazy for Crust—it’s a cool, modern twist on an American favorite.

However you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we hope it’s a wonderful day filled with family, laughter and tasty things to eat and drink!

Jack’s Hard Cider — Produced from Pennsylvania Apples. Pressed On-Site. Never from Concentrate.

Emily Kovach

Photos, top to bottom: Pexels; Jack’s Hard Cider; Bigstock; Pexels