Punching up your Thanksgiving dinner 

We reached out to Bloomington-based distillery Cardinal Spirits to give us some ideas on how to make the most of your batch cocktails using local ingredients. Bartenders agree: booze for a group should be something you can make in batches. Forget the cocktails and enjoy the party.


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By Logan Hunter of Cardinal Spirits

2⅓ cups Cardinal Spirits Vodka (about ¾ bottle)
1 gallon pure cranberry juice
15 cloves
2 oranges, sliced
1 cup sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise, or 1 ounce vanilla extract
Poultry blend herbs (1 sprig each of sage, rosemary, thyme)

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and stir to dissolve sugar. Refrigerate and let chill overnight so that flavors meld. Strain if desired before serving.


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By Chris Resnick of Cardinal Spirits

1 bottle Cardinal Spirits Tiki Rum
1 bottle Italian Volcano blood orange juice (or 22 ounces fresh squeezed blood orange juice)
8.5 ounces lemon juice
8.5 ounces vanilla syrup (recipe follows)
20 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon and blood orange wheels, for garnish
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl with a large block of ice. Garnish with lemon wheels, blood orange wheels and freshly grated nutmeg.

For the vanilla syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup turbinado syrup, ½ cup water and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Simmer until sugar has dissolved. Cool before using. Store in refrigerator.


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Sarah Murrell

Sarah Murrell

Sarah Murrell covers all things food, beverages and sometimes gives decent sex and relationship advice. You can stream her consciousness on Twitter, if that's where life has brought you.

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