Thanksgiving with a Twist


Thanksgiving is around the corner and I have ideas to kick up some of your side dishes. By just adding one ingredient, you can turn traditional Thanksgiving sides into something incredible.

Start with an easy, fun and festive Thanksgiving cocktail, Jack’s Maple Nut Martini.

Everyone loves stuffing, here’s a great idea that will have your guests guessing what you did to make the taste so incredible. Simply substitute apple cider for the stock or liquid in your recipe. The cider adds a whole new dimension and brings big flavor to the dish.

It’s not Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce. I know there are still a lot of people that buy the caned version because they don’t know how easy it is to make. In a sauce pan, simply add cranberries, water, sugar, orange zest and the secret ingredient, a little Chambord black raspberry liqueur.


Mashed sweet potatoes are another favorite side for Thanksgiving dinner. Many recipes include pecans and maple syrup. At the end, I add just a dash of Chinese Five Spice to enhance all the flavors of fall and some Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7. Chinese five spice is a mixture of clove, star of anise, cinnamon, pepper and fennel seeds.

Decorating idea with cranberries: Put a candle in a hurricane glass then fill the sides with cranberries for a festive look.

Jack’s Maple Nut Martini
In a shaker with ice, add:
1½ ounces Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
½ ounce Maple Syrup
¼ ounce nut liqueur
Shake and strain into a martini glass rimmed with caramel and chopped pecans for a fun treat.

Cranberry Sauce
½ cup sugar
½ cup Chambord Liqueur
½ cup water
1 12-ounce bag cranberries
1 orange, zested

In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar, Chambord and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cranberries and orange zest and return to a boil. Turn the heat down and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries pop and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serves 8 – 10


Jack’s Sweet Potatoes

Jack Sweet Potatoes
3 29-ounce cans sweet potatoes 
1 cup brown sugar 
1/3 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey 
1/2 cup unsalted butter 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the sweet potatoes in a large sauce pan, over medium heat. Drain off some of liquid and mash the potatoes. Add brown sugar, Jack Daniel’s, butter and vanilla. Pour into a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until pecans are golden.

Serves 8 – 10