Thanksgiving is a time about reflecting on those meaningful things in life—and sometimes the most important things to give thanks to are the fall cocktails that come in appreciation of the holiday. Festive flavors, such as pumpkin and cranberry can spark nostalgic thoughts on patrons’ palates. This is a perfect time to initiate the holiday season by creating one-of-a-kind cocktails that will stay with your patrons for years to come.
Courtesy of Cascal Natural Soft Drink.
1½ oz. Grand Marnier
2½ oz. Cascal Ripe Rouge Natural Soft Drink
Fresh cranberries, for garnish
Fill a Highball glass with ice, pour in Grand Marnier, then Cascal. Stir gently. Garnish with fresh cranberries.
*An option is to macerate the cranberries in dark rum the night before. In doing this you can muddle the cranberries into the bottom of the glass. Also, cranberries steeped in dark rum make for a great side garnish and most appropriate for the holidays.
On the menu at Blackbird Bar in San Francisco.
1½ oz. Bols Genever
¼ oz. Amaro Nocino
½ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. maple syrup
½ oz. egg white
¼ oz. pumpkin butter
Dust of nutmeg and cinnamon, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except pumpkin butter dry shake until mixture becomes frothy. Add pumpkin butter, ice and shake again for about 10 seconds. Fine strain and garnish.
The Kentucky Pilgram
Courtesy of H. Joseph Ehrmann, owner of Elixir.
1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey Thanksgiving Infusion*
1 oz. lemon juice
½ oz. Maraschino liqueur
½ oz. demerara syrup
Garnish with a lemon twist
*In a wide-mouthed glass infusion jar place 1 liter of Wild Turkey 101 and 2 barspoons of cardamom seeds. Close and leave in a dark cool place for 1 day. Strain out cardamom and add 1 ½ cups dried unsweetened cranberries and three sticks of cinnamon. Close and leave for another two days, agitating once per day. Strain solids and store in the original Wild Turkey bottle with proper labeling (commercially, store in an unlabeled bottle)
In a mixing glass, add all ingredients, fill with ice and shake well for 10 seconds. Hawthorne strain into a wine glass and garnish with a long lemon twist.
Pumpkin Spice Martini
On the menu at Clutch Bar in Chicago.
1½ oz. Stoli vanilla vodka
1½ oz. Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur
1 oz. Creme de Cacao
Graham crackers, crushed
Pumpkin pie spice
Sprinkle ground cinnamon over crushed graham crackers. Rim the glass with vodka, then dip glass in graham cracker crumbs. In a shaker filled with ice combine the vodka, pumpkin liqueur and creme de cacao. Shake well. Strain into glass and garnish with cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Sandeman Harvest Sour
Courtesy of Sandeman
¾ parts raspberry syrup*
¾ parts fresh lemon juice
1½ parts Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto
½ part apple brandy
Top with 2-3 parts dry apple cider
Pour all ingredients in a shaker, except cider. Shake quickly and strain into a Collins glass. Top with cider, garnish with raspberries and dust with nutmeg.
*In a medium saucepan combine four cups sugar and one quart water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. In another saucepan, muddle a small container of raspberries (about 6 ounces) and combine the syrup and raspberries. Let rest for a day, then strain. It keeps for about a month.
Ultimat Vodka’s Apple Cider Martini
Courtesy of Ultimat Vodka
1¾ oz. Ultimat Vodka
1½ oz. apple cider
¼ oz. ginger liqueur
Splash of Velvet Falernum
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake well and pour into a cocktail glass.
Cinnamon Apple Martini
Courtesy of Blue Ice Vodka
4 oz. Blue Ice American Vodka
1 oz. apple liqueur
Splash cinnamon schnapps
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a Martini glass and garnish with an apple slice, red cherry and a cinnamon stick.
Caramel Ginger Crisp
Created by Mary Breclaw, mixologist at Morton’s in Chicago
2 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
¼ tsp. fresh ginger
Splash of cream optional
Chocolate covered pretzels (for Martini glass)
Shake the Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka and ginger and put it in a Martini glass rimmed with chocolate covered pretzels. (To rim the glass, use simple syrup on the edge. Take a handful of chocolate-covered pretzels and put them in a plastic baggie, smash it with a hammer, then dipped the glass in it.)