A New Twist on Thanksgiving Dinner

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Tue, Nov 15 - 9:20 am EDT | 6 years ago by
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Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the same old, same old when it comes to what’s on the menu. Acclaimed chef and TV personality Amanda Freitag recommends this delicious bourbon-infused sweet potato side dish and Chef Elizabeth Karmel of New York City’s Hill Country Barbecue has whipped up a pecan pie recipe that will have everyone asking for a second slice. Pair these with an Apple Manhattan or Pomegranate Smash cocktail made with Maker’s Mark and you’ve got yourself one heck of a Thanksgiving meal.

Sweet PotatoesSmashed Sweet Potatoes with Maker’s Mark, Chestnuts and Sage

Recipe by Amanda Freitag, Executive Chef and TV Personality

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

Serves 6-8


  • 4-5 large sweet potatoes, peeled & large dice
  • 1/4 cup Maker’s Mark®
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup celery, small dice
  • 1-1/2 cups whole peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chiffonade
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste


  1. Place diced sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add salt to the sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer the potatoes for approximately 25 minutes or until just tender, not too soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes until dry and place them back into the pot. Stir in the 1/2 cup of butter and the Maker’s Mark® while the potatoes are still hot. As you stir the potatoes they will naturally mash and still hold some of their shape. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a ceramic serving dish and hold.
  3. Prepare the chestnuts by first melting the 2 tablespoons of butter into a sauté pan and sauté the celery on a medium heat. After 2 minutes add the chopped chestnuts and the maple syrup to the celery and cook together until incorporated. Finish the chestnuts with the sage and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the chestnut mixture over the sweet potatoes and serve.

Pecan PieMaker’s Mark Double-Nut Pecan Pie

Recipe by Elizabeth Karmel, Executive Chef, Hill Country Barbecue Market

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Level: Easy

Serves 8-10


  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Maker’s Mark®
  • 1 pre-baked 9-inch pie shell*


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put chopped nuts into the bottom of the prebaked pie shell and set aside.
  2. Combine melted butter, granulated sugar, the dark and light corn syrups, eggs, vanilla extract and bourbon.
  3. Pour this mixture on top of chopped nuts. Place a decorative row of whole pecans on the top. Bake about 50-60 minutes on the center rack of the oven or until cooked through. The pie will spring back on top but still giggle a little until it cools. If the top is getting too dark before the center is done, tent with aluminum foil.
  4. Cool for a minimum of three hours. The pie is best made the day before.

*Note: Pre-bake the pie shell according to package directions at least two hours beforehand to allow time to cool.

Note from Chef Karmel: “The classic pecan pie made better with the addition of both chopped and whole pecans and a splash of both vanilla and Bourbon. Serve with Maker’s Mark® spiked whipped cream for a double treat!”

Apple ManhattanApple Manhattan


  • 2 parts Maker’s Mark®
  • 1 part Berentzen® Apple Liqueur


Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a granny smith apple wheel.

Pomegranate SmashPomegranate Smash


  • 2 parts Maker’s 46™
  • 1 part POM Wonderful® Pomegranate Juice
  • 1/2 part honey
  • 1/2 part fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds


Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Pour over ice into a rocks glass.

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