Thanksgiving brings family together, which is great and all except, let's be honest, that often means spending time with one or two relatives that you are less than thankful to hang out with over turkey dinner. If that scenario sounds familiar to you, fear not, here's one solution: Try one of these six festive cocktails, which might help bring out the best in them and the humor in you. Cheers!
1. The Fillibuster from The Slanted Door in San Francisco
2 oz rye whiskey
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Grade B maple syrup
1/2 oz egg white
8-10 drops angostura bitters
Add the whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, and egg white—in that order—to a mixing tin. Shake for six seconds without ice to emulsify the egg white. Add ice cubes to the tin, making sure to leave room for them to move around, and shake hard for 10 seconds. Then, double strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Using an eyedropper, place the Angostura bitters on top of the cocktail. For a creative touch, drag a toothpick through the bitters to make a design.
2. Mai Chai from Park Avenue Autumn in New York City
2 oz Chai tea infused rum
¾ oz Toasted pepita orgeat or regular almond-based Orgeat
¾ oz Lime Juice
1 tsp Pumpkin butter
Shake with ice and strain into a hollowed out Delicata squash, or a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a tiny umbrella.
3. The Brownstone from Hill Country in Brooklyn, NY
1 raw sugar cube
Homemade cranberry orange bitters (or your favorite brand)
A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
A pinch of ground clove
3 oz 77 Rye Whiskey
A large piece of fresh orange rind
Place the sugar cube in a rocks glass and add several dashes of bitters—just enough to soak the cube. Add grated nutmeg and cloves. Then add rye whiskey and stir. Fill glass with ice to taste and garnish with the orange rind.
4. The Harvest Moon from Ward III in New York City
2 oz. Scotch
¼ oz Allspice Dram
¾ oz Lemon
¾ oz Pumpkin Cordial
¾ oz Demerara Syrup
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, shake and strain into a cordial glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Note: To make the pumpkin cordial, combine 2 cups pumpkin purée, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup allspice and 1 tablespoon ginger juice; yields one quart.
5. Apple Bourbon from Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York City
2 oz. Jefferson's small batch bourbon
1 oz Daron Calvados
1 oz. Apple/ginger/black peppercorn syrup (recipe below)
¼ oz Lemon juice
A dash of Angostura bitters
Serve it stirred, strained and in a bourbon glass, over large cubes of ice. The garnish is the sliced apples that are used to cook the syrup folded around a brandied cherry. Top with a small crack of fresh black pepper.
For syrup: Mix 3 chopped honey crisps, 1 qt water, 1 pt sugar. Then boil, strain, and cool.
6. Common Sense from Employees Only in New York City
1 ¾ oz Monkey Shoulder
1 oz Bianco Vermouth
¾ oz Amaro
A dash of chocolate bitters
Add ingredients to a mixing glass. Then add some ice, stir and strain in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon zest.