Martha Just Taught Us How to Make an Apple Cider Bourbon Sour—Her Favorite Thanksgiving Cocktail

Although our founder doesn't currently have any Thanksgiving plans, we're sure this festive cocktail will make its way into her turkey day celebrations.

Composite image from Martha Stewart x Marley Spoon Friendsgiving event on Nov. 1st, 2022
Photo: Courtesy of Madie Buiano & Nashia Baker

When it comes to planning a perfectly elevated Thanksgiving menu, people have been turning to Martha for years. From spatchcocking a turkey to making the fluffiest bowl of mashed potatoes, our founder can do it all. But if there's one thing the multi-hyphenate knows no holiday feast would be complete without, it's a good cocktail. This year, Martha's go-to Thanksgiving cocktail is one we all need on our dinner table—the Apple Cider Bourbon Sour.

At an event for Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon (a meal kit delivery service that provides the ingredients to make our founder's recipes), Martha shared how to make the festive cocktail. "I thought I would make something that's very tasty and a very seasonal drink, and that's the Apple Cider Bourbon Sour," Martha says.

Cocktail served at Martha Stewart x Marley Spoon Friendsgiving event on Nov. 1st, 2022
Courtesy of Nashia Baker

She starts by filling a pitcher with 8 ounces of bourbon—Martha likes to use Michter's Kentucky Straight Bourbon—and then adds in 16 ounces of apple cider. Note: For those interested in a mocktail, Martha says to swap the bourbon for orange juice. "It's nice, it's just like the virgin sour," she says.

Next, our founder uses a citrus juicer to squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Martha's tip for getting the most juice out of your fruit? After juicing one half of the lemon, place the second half on top and squeeze them both at the same time.

Once the bourbon, cider, and lemon juice are combined, stir (or shake if you made it in a cocktail tin rather than a pitcher) to thoroughly mix. "The shaking doesn't do anything unless you just want to make it cold instantaneously," Martha says. If you do go the shaking route, our founder recommends taking out the ice before serving so it doesn't melt and water down your beverage.

Martha making a drink recipe for the crowd at the Martha Stewart x Marley Spoon Friendsgiving event on Nov. 1st, 2022
Courtesy of Madie Buiano

Presentation is everything when it comes to serving holiday drinks. To make the glass look extra festive, Martha says to dip the rim in lemon juice and then coat it in brown sugar. "If you're having a party, you should do this on all the glasses, even an hour before the guests come because it makes it crystal and stays on the rim," she says.

To keep the drink cold, Martha uses a frozen ball of apple cider in place of ice, so the drink doesn't get watered down as the ice melts. Place the ball inside your glass and fill it with one serving of the apple cider cocktail. Garnish with slices of Lady Apples, which should be kept in lemon juice so they don't turn brown while you're making the drink.

As for how many of these cocktails you should enjoy during your Thanksgiving celebration? Our founder says to max out at two. "You can drink a couple of these—I would not go more than two— incase you have to give a speech tonight, or meet up with a business partner, or find your way home," she jokes.

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