When it comes to Autumn and Winter one of my favorite beverages is Hot Spiced Cider, usually with a shot of bourbon in it.  But, I'm not always in the mood for a hot drink and so I created this cocktail, that has become quite popular at my family gatherings.  I can't think of a more American cocktail than this, combining bourbon with sweet cider and maple syrup.

This cocktail would make a great addition to your Thanksgiving Day menu, whether as a pre dinner drink, an option, beyond wine or Champagne at dinner, or later that evening as you are winding down and enjoying the company of friends or family.

Gingered Cider Bourbon Cocktail
1 oz. Bourbon
3 oz. Cider
1 tsp. Maple Syrup (the real stuff, not the artificial pancake syrup)
squeeze of fresh Lemon juice
1 tsp.  Fresh ginger, finely grated

2 drops Orange Bitters (optional)

In a shaker, filled with ice, combine all the ingredients, except bitters, if using. Shake for, at least, 30 seconds to give the ginger enough time to impart a bit of its flavor to the cocktail. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass, using a fine strainer, filled with ice. Top with bitters and serve as is, or garnish with an orange twist.
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