If you’re in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner this year, chances are you don’t have time to also scramble together all the ingredients for a proper drink menu. So here are some recipes for cocktails you can make with the stuff that’s already in your spread—and if the turkey hangover hits super hard the next day, they’re great to take the edge off. Happy Thanksgiving!
Maple syrup: This is an easy one. You’ll probably have a jug of this stuff after using it to flavor sweet potatoes and butternut squash sides. But simply add it to an Old Fashioned or an American Trilogy for instant wintry classics. Or make Michael Lay’s (BS Taqueria) Cascabel cocktail which is a whiskey sour spiced up with Ancho chili liqueur and sweetened with maple syrup.
by Michael Lay, BS Taqueria
1.5 oz Rye
0.5 oz Ancho Reyes chili liqueur
1 oz lemon juice
0.75 oz maple syrup
0.5 oz egg white
Dash of Peychaud’s bitters
Dry shake all ingredients. Add ice and shake well. Fine strain into a coupe.
Cranberry sauce: Got some leftover cranberry sauce at the end of the meal? Belcampo Meat Co. Santa Monica’s Josh Goldman suggests making famed bartender Sasha Petraske’s Cosmonaut cocktail but switch out the preserves with cranberry sauce. “I’ve done it before with duck fat washed gin and it’s worth giving thanks for,” Goldman promises. The Corner Door’s Beau du Bois has the same idea for holiday-ing up Cocktail Maestro Salvatore Calabrese‘s Breakfast Martini: switch out the marmalade for cranberry sauce.
Adapted from Sasha Petraske’s recipe
2 oz gin
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 very healthy barspoon of cranberry sauce
Shake long and hard, double strain into coupe
Pumpkin puree: If you bought too many cans of pumpkin puree, instead of making yet another pie do this pumpkin colada cocktail by Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch of annual cocktail event, Art Beyond the Glass. It will always be my cold-weather favorite even with all the ice.
by Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch, Art Beyond the Glass
Makes 4 cocktails
4 oz Knob Creek Rye
4 oz Lemonhart 151 (or Plantation overproof)
4 oz Trader Joe’s organic pumpkin puree
4 oz Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter
4 oz Coco Lopez coconut cream
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Fill blender with crushed/cracked ice. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Apple cider: It’s autumn/winter, of course you have some apple cider handy. You can serve it hot with mulled spices or simply spike it with bourbon. For something a bit more crafty, however, there’s Gabriella Mlynarczyk of Birch’s scotch and apple cider cocktail.
Cider With Rosie
by Gabriella Mylnarczyk, Birch
1 1/2 oz scotch
2 oz apple cider
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Drambuie (I usually make my own with cloves, honey and scotch)
couple of drops of vanilla extract
Fevertree ginger beer
Add everything to your shaker except for the ginger beer and shake with 5 ice cubes for 5 seconds, strain into an ice filled highball glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with an apple slice and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.
Sweet potatoes: Apparently the sweet potato and marshmallow casserole has been on Thanksgiving tables since 1917, invented by the marshmallow marketers. Try it with something new this year: as a milk punch to serve after the meal.
Sweet Potato Milk Punch
by Karen Grill, Sassafras Saloon
1.5 oz Sweet Potato & Vanilla Rum*
0.5 oz Cynar
0.25 oz Small Hand Foods pineapple gomme (from Bar Keeper or K&L Wine)
1 lime zest
Stirred, served over ice, garnished with lime peel
*Sweet potato and vanilla rum: 2 cups pureed roasted sweet potatoes, 0.5 cup vanilla-infused simple syrup. (1 cup cane sugar and 1 cup water simmered with 2 scored vanilla beans), mix 1 bottle Mount Gay Black Barrel with sweet potato/vanilla simple syrup mixture and let sit over night. Use a coffee filter to strain it out after.