What is it about the holidays that makes people want to drink? Is it because they are usually with family? Or is it because it’s freezing out and you want to bundle up, all drunk like. Or is it because you have no inhibitions about your diet and just say, “F*ck it. I’ll drink that.”? Either way, I get it. For the last four years, I’ve worked out right away on Thanksgiving morning, which is usually a miserably, soul crushing workout, then I’ve sipped on multiple mimosas at the gym, on an empty stomach and had a wonderful day afterwards because of it. Mimosas make things better. They make showering and putting on makeup much more difficult, but they still make things better. This drink today is suppose to make your holidays more enjoyable. It’s a cross between a mimosa and an apple martini. Meaning you drink it and it makes everything better.

Enjoy responsibly. Don’t be dumb.

What is it about people not being able to do their own job? Tell me. What’s that about? I recently got a parking violation notification in the mail…for a car I do not own. So I call in and they tell me that I have to send in some letter telling the court that it’s not my car. I refuse to do that because, well, that’s bulls*t. So I sit on it a couple days then decide to call back in to help them understand how dumb that is. Turns out, they were wrong, they had it settled and I didn’t need to pay that ticket. So why didn’t they call me and let me know? Were they just hoping I’d sending them $60 for someone else’s ticket? Do your job, people.

I then had a schedule appointment with a company in town that comes out and measures your windows and helps you order blinds. And what did he do? He didn’t show up. Didn’t call. Nothing. Again, I refuse to call him and let him know his mistake since I checked on the appointment two times beforehand. Instead, I will let him miss out on me literally handing him money so our neighbors can’t look in on me doing lord knows what.

The conclusion to my story is: If you have a job, do it. That’s why you have one. And that’s why I’m bringing you a delicious cocktail to celebrate (hopefully) not working on Thanksgiving. Because that’s my job. And I love and appreciate you enough to do my job as I said I would. Now do your job today and go get tipsy on Thanksgiving. Unless that isn’t your thing. If that’s the thing, get paleo food wasted. I full support that as well.


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Thanksgiving Vanilla Bean Caramel Apple Cider Sparkling Cocktail

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  • Yield: 4-5 mini martinis or 2-3 normal size 1x



Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

For the cocktail

  • 2 cups apple cider (be sure to check the label that it’s only apples and spices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 ounces gluten free vodka (potato or grape such as Ciroc)
  • 1/3 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup champagne or prosseco, chilled

For the garnishes

  • batch of apple cider caramel (optional)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup diced apple, for skewers


  1. *If you are going to make the caramel for this recipe, do this now then set aside. But know that it is great without it!
  2. First, make the simple syrup. Place water and maple sugar in a saucepan then cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife. Place the seeds and the vanilla bean in the simple syrup, whisk together then let cook on low for about 5 minutes until maple sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Dip the rim of each martini glass into caramel then into maple sugar mixed with cinnamon until rims are completely covered.
  4. Place apple cider, lemon juice, vodka, ice and 1/4 cup of simple syrup (or more if you prefer sweeter) in a shaker bottle and shake to combine. Then add in champagne and stir with a spoon to keep from bubbling over.
  5. Strain mixture (to keep ice out) directly into sugar rimmed martini glasses.
  6. Garnish with maple sugar coated diced apple skewers on top!
  7. Store simple syrup in an airtight jar or container for drinks in the future. Or your coffee!

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PaleOMG Thanksgiving Vanilla Bean Caramel Apple Cider Sparkling Cocktail

This is what I used to make these little cocktails (click picture for link):


More Cocktails to Get You Through the Holidays:


 Frozen Mango Margaritas (use apple cider and ice instead of frozen mango for holiday flavor)


 Strawberry Vanilla Bean Sparkling Lemonade (use cranberry and vodka for a spiked holiday cocktail)


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  1. Robin says:

    Ha! Thanksgiving morning without football and mimosas just wouldn’t be the same!

  2. Holly says:

    Those are gorgeous!

    Side note – it is amazing how customer service is lacking in this day and age. It always blows my mind – like call isn’t that hard, but no, let’s just not show up.


  3. Leah says:

    YES. One of the worst peeves I have is when someone doesn’t show up for something either on time or at all. I work at a bank and it would amaze you how many people do not have the courtesy to show up for appointments or even call to let you know they will be late or not coming. Doesn’t make me think very highly of the person.

    1. juli says:

      ughhhh i haaaaate when people are late. i make sure those late people know how i feel about them wandering in late to one of my CF classes lol! i can’t believe people don’t even call for a bank appt, so weird. and lazy.

      1. Anne says:

        Do you have a good way for preventing people from being late to your classes???? I HATE that! I know some gyms have burpee penalties, but others think that’s terrible to do to clients. Any ideas? I totally think there should be some consequence since it completely inconveniences me as a coach!

        1. juli says:

          i usually yell and embarrass them. and make them do some burpees, not as a consequence but more so to help them get warm since they missed the run or row. i think it just depends if it’s late because of traffic or late because they just suck at life. if it’s the latter, then i make sure they know how annoyed i am with them for their tardiness.

          1. Anne says:

            Thanks for the response! I do have to fight my desire to punish them! 😉

  4. Laura B says:

    Recently had someone not show up for a job interview (or even call that day) but wanted to reschedule!

    1. Kelly @ Eat the Gains says:

      HAHA, that is hilarious. Why would they think that would be okay lol.

  5. Gina B says:

    I am making these tonight but don’t have a vanilla bean. Is that ok?

    1. juli says:

      totally fine!

  6. Kayla says:

    These look divine! I will have to try them this year. I hope they taste as yummy as they look!

  7. Karen C says:

    To make the frozen apple cider margaritas – would you use 1c cider and 1c ice? Or 1/2c each?

    1. juli says:

      i would use 1 cup!

  8. Jill says:

    Where do you find maple sugar??!?!

    1. juli says:

      i get mine at whole foods, but you can get it on amazon OR you can always use coconut sugar. coconut sugar just gives it a dark color but still tastes delicious!

  9. Kathy says:

    I feel like a lush asking the question – but 16 oz of apple cider to a total of 6 of alcohol seems a little light – what is everyone else’s experience?

    1. juli says:

      i don’t drink much alcohol so i make my drinks so they don’t taste like alcohol, but you’re more than welcome to add more!

  10. Kati Duncan says:

    How much of a vanilla bean are you using? The whole thing? Only asking b/c they are incredibly expensive and normally a little goes a long way…Thanks for your help!

    1. juli says:

      yes, the whole thing! you can just remove the vanilla bean if you want!