Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes
"Here's to the cook!"
It's a lot harder for the family grump—if there is one—to be crabby with a bright, sparkling cocktail in hand. These drinks range from almost soda-pop light to a cognac-tinged glass of pure golden elegance.
Sherry-Cava Citrus Fizz
Simplify the liquor shopping list: Skip setting up a full bar and instead offer a signature cocktail featuring just one or two types of spirits or wine. Make this punch up to 4 hours ahead, but wait to add the cava until just before serving.
This hot toddy comes together in a flash thanks to the microwave. A touch of salt, though it may seem counterintuitive, actually heightens the sweetness of the drink, though the beverage is far from cloying. Pear vodka, such as Absolut, can be found at most liquor stores. We love the floral fruit flavor of pear, which is perfect for late fall. Cognac adds a little oak-cask richness and complexity to the mix. We add the liquor to the hot sugar mixture, which yields a very warm drink that can be sipped right away. Moreover, it avoids safety concerns with heating flammable alcohol. A little fresh lemon juice adds a bright top note and balances the sweet pear flavor with light tang.
Sweet and sunshiny, this sophisticated twist on a standard mimosa is ideal for a holiday brunch.
Dark and Limey
This is a twist on a Dark and Stormy, the classic dark rum and ginger beer combo. Turmeric gives this zesty cocktail its pumpkin-colored hue. If you don't have fresh turmeric, substitute 1 teaspoon ground turmeric. Lime boosts the tartness of turmeric to make a delightfully refreshing beverage. Myer's Rum is easy to find, but there are many small-batch dark rums now on the market; you may want to experiment with their subtle nuances.
Honey Cider-Beer Cocktails
The cider-honey base of this fall beverage makes enough for both adult and kid twists: one with pale ale, the other with sparkling cider. Beer and cider are refreshing and lower in sugar and alcohol than stronger potions, which tend to go down a bit too easily. The cider syrup needs time to cool; let it rest while you traverse the neighborhood; then mix up the drinks when you return. Cut the apple slices for the kids' drinks into spooky shapes before adding to the pitcher.
Campari and Orange Sparkling Cocktail
A little rosé pairs wonderfully with Campari, an Italian aperitif which gives the drink a bitter edge and beautiful rosy color.
Wilga Hill Boomerang II
We streamlined and lightened the original recipe but kept true to the gin, apple, and vermouth at its heart. Premix big batches (except the ice) in a pitcher up to a day ahead. Shake servings for 1 or 2 at a time with ice.
Fresh Pear Cocktail
We adore this drink, with fresh pear juice (easy to make!) lending its unmistakable sweet flavor and fragrance. It still makes us swoon exactly as we first published it.
Cognac Sparkling Wine Cocktail
A classic combo—sparkling wine, cognac, sugar, and a dash of bitters—makes for an elegant drink worthy of a special celebration.
Warm Spiced (and Spiked) Cabernet
Garnish this punch with a cinnamon stick or orange slices.
Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail
This is a timely concoction for a party: Simply prepare the gingered sugar syrup, and refrigerate it until you're ready to shake and serve the cocktails.
If the recession has been thumbing its nose at you, dip into Spanish cava or Italian prosecco for bubbles: Some cost less than $10 per bottle and are delicious in this lime-tangy crowd-pleaser.
Rhubarb-Basil Shrub Cocktails
Vinegar extracts and retains flavor from fresh fruits and herbs while dissolving sugar to create a sweet-tart vinegar simply syrup. A mixture of frozen rhubarb, fresh basil, and sugar need to refrigerate for 24 hours, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Champagne Limoncello Cocktails
A sugared rim is a pretty touch—rub a cut lemon wedge on the rim of the glass, and roll in sugar. You needn't purchase expensive Champagne; just be sure to use brut, the driest Champagne, or a dry cava or prosecco.
Sparkling Pear Cocktail
Pear liqueur and a dry sparkling wine make for a heady combo in this beautifully aromatic sipper.
Amaretto Cherry Fizz
This is a simple twist on a classic. The amaretto sour cocktail balances the nutty sweetness of amaretto liqueur with the tartness of lemon and the cloudlike frothiness of shaken egg white. In this variation, the amaretto is infused with cherries and enlivened by a splash of prosecco (sparkling Italian wine).
Whiskey Sour Punch
Look for fresh orange juice in the refrigerated part of the produce department.
Make-ahead tip: Combine all ingredients except club soda up to two days ahead; gently stir in club soda shortly before serving.
Is there anything better than beer and bourbon? In this fizzy concoction, we combine the two for a refreshing, citrusy treat.
Brown Sugar Bourbon Sparkler
This festive drink is the perfect choice, whether your letting the good times roll on Bourbon Street or celebrating this lively holiday in your own neighborhood.
The perfect mix of sweet maple, tart lemon, and the warmth of bourbon makes this cocktail a keeper.