With the emphasis on food, family and many days of, uh, togetherness, it’s no surprise that libation plays a central role in Thanksgiving celebrations. The holiday kicks off a season of (not always relaxing) festivities, and what better way to ring it in than with some shiny new cocktails to add to your repertoire? Sure, wine may pair better with the Thanksgiving menu, but some boozier drinks before—and after—the meal will ensure an enjoyable time is had by all (especially when your aunt re-tells the same story…again). Here, three fall-forward beverages ideal for Turkey day:
1. Sparkling Apple Sherry Cocktail
For a super-autumnal cocktail that’s both refreshing and complex, try this effervescent drink from Stir and Strain. Apple, the quintessential fall fruit, is used three ways in this recipe: It's muddled in the glass, thinly sliced as a garnish, and used as a flavoring in the brandy. Although the recipe calls for Mandarine Napoléon liqueur, you can swap it out for readily available Grand Marnier or orange curacao.
1/4 apple, cored and diced
1 1/2 ounces apple brandy, such as Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 ounce Mandarine Napoléon liqueur
1/2 ounce oloroso sherry, such as Williams & Humbert
4 ounces prosecco sparkling wine
Orange twist, for garnish
Thinly sliced apple, for garnish
1. Add diced apple to the bottom of a mixing glass and muddle until apples are broken down and have released their juice. Fill the mixing glass 2/3 full with ice and then pour in apple brandy, Mandarine Napoléon liqueur and oloroso sherry. Stir to chill until mixing glass is very cold, about 20 seconds, then strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with prosecco.
2. Twist orange peel over top of drink to release oils, then discard peels. Garnish with a thinly cut round of apple.
2. Lion's Tail
When it's cold outside, nothing warms you up quite like brown liquor. Tuxedo No. 2’s Lion’s Tail combines sultry bourbon, lime juice and holiday-scented allspice dram in a decadent, spicy drink that’ll be especially tasty with your Thanksgiving pie spread. If you don’t have a bar spoon, fear not; it holds the same amount of liquid as a regular teaspoon.
2 ounces bourbon
½ ounce allspice dram
½ ounce lime juice
1 bar spoon simple syrup
1 dash angostura bitters
1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
2. Strain into a chilled coupe to serve.
3. Pomegranate Tequila Punch
Pomegranate, orange and tequila make for a punch that’s equal parts tart, sweet and boozy. Adding cinnamon syrup (simple syrup steeped with cinnamon sticks) and orange liqueur brings a wintry holiday note to this cocktail from The Drink Blog. Since each “part” in the recipe can correspond to any amount (as long as it’s used consistently), this punch is an easy one to make in bulk.
1 part pomegranate juice
1 part orange juice
1 part reposado tequila
½ part orange liqueur
½ part cinnamon syrup
¼ part lemon juice
1. Mix all liquids together and stir, and put into a punch bowl or vessel of choice (no ice; save that for the glasses).
2. Serve in individual glasses filled with ice, and garnish with pomegranate seeds, orange slices and a cinnamon stick.
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