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11.14.10 by  

5 Thanksgiving-Spiced Cocktails

We hit up our favorite bar blogs to find out what to sip over the holidays. Here’s what the Cyber-slingers are crafting to create the perfect brain fog for family time.

Spending the holidays at home is one of our favorite times of the year: Cooking in the kitchen with mom, avoiding your aunt’s loser-boyfriend, reminiscing on that one time grandpa deep-fried the turkey (did someone mention the fire?) … and sharing cocktail recipes you’ve gathered since last year’s festivities. Our top picks for cocktails made with pumpkin, ginger, apples, cranberries and maple embrace the season.

1. Pumpkin
Skip the typical pumpkin vodka martini for a lighter twist on the usually too-heavy autumn drink. American Spoon makes a refreshing version by topping the pumpkin base with sparkling wine.

Sparkling Pumpkin Pie Cocktail

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1 ounce American Spoon Pumpkin Butter
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce gin
  • Dry champagne or sparkling wine
  • Blend of sugar and cinnamon for rim
  1. Make a simple syrup by combining equal amounts of sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Cool completely before continuing. Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  2. Run a slice of lemon around the rim of a champagne flute. Dip in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat rim of glass.
  3. In a blender, combine pumpkin butter, 1 oz. simple syrup, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
  4. Transfer to a mixing glass or an empty jar. Add ice and gin and shake well. Strain into champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.

A cinnamon-sugar rim adds just the right touch of sweetness and spice to this sparkling pumpkin cocktail. Test-drive it on other recipes.


2. Ginger
You might find ginger around the holiday table in pies, pickled as a garnish or microplaned into your teacup. So why not in the cocktail glass? Scott Beattie of HMS Cocktails double doses us in his John Chapman Cocktail: a martini of St. George whiskey, lemon juice, ginger simple syrup, local apple juice, and St. George Pear au de Vie, topped with Thai coconut-apple-ginger foam and dehydrated apple chips, a sprinkle of cinnamon and pretty flower petals.

Your “in-laws” might finally accept your long term live-in relationship status if you present them with a cocktail as beautiful as this one. Photo:

3. Apples
Give your classic 2-1-1 sour cocktail recipe an apple-forward flare by pouring Calvados as the main spirit. Not Without Salt’s Ashley follows the Applejack Rabbit cocktail recipe from Gourmet December 1965.

Applejack Rabbit

  • 2 ounces apple brandy (calvados)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  1. Half fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and pour in apple brandy, lemon and maple syrup.
  2. Shake the mixture vigorously and strain it into a chilled cocktail glass.

Float a thinly sliced apple wedge and a dash of cinnamon on top of your Applejack Rabbit. Photo

4. Cranberries
We’re all about the international melting pot around our holiday table, everything from the guests to the drinks. This year, we’re adding an island vibe with Dale DeGroff’s Island Breeze. A sweet rum punch with a hint of cranberry.

Island Breeze

  • 1 1/2 ounces light rum
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  1. Build over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

5. Maple
Breakfast-inspired drinks are the only way you’re going to make it outta bed on the morning after. The Secret Sherry Society shares Erick Castro’s recipe for his signature french toast flip cocktail. Don’t worry, your diet doesn’t start till January.

French Toast Flip

San Francisco’s Erick Castro gives us a reason to wake our families up with booze.

  • 1 ounce Sweet Old Oloroso sherry
  • 1/2 ounce apple brandy
  • 1/2 ounce malt whisky
  • 1/4 ounce allspice dram
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1/2 ounce maple syurp, grade B
  • 1 egg
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and shake vigorously with no ice for approximately 10 to 15 seconds. Next add ice and shake vigorously until the drink takes on a voluptuous creamy texture. Double strain into a flare-lipped claret glass. Garnish liberally with freshly grated cinnamon.

Allspice dram gives this cocktail a hint pumpkin pie flavor, perfect for the holidays. When finished, shoot up your dessert with a few ounces. Photo