Thanksgiving Vanilla Bean Caramel Apple Cider Sparkling Cocktail

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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!