While this Thanksgiving will surely be shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic, a holiday’s a holiday. Everyone’s nerves are shot from 2020, but fall weather brings the opportunity to cuddle up and enjoy some warming flavors. So whether you’re eager to sip on bourbon, rye, or Cognac — or are into the smoky aromas of mezcal — there’s a cocktail recipe for everyone.
Thanksgiving can mean a lengthy to-do list, so below you’ll find simple cocktails built for ease and elegance. Mix one up and throw a log on the fire, or slice some extra garnishes to snack on during a Zoom celebration.
Thanksgiving often requires a long day of cooking — and consuming. Pave the way with this riff on the Espresso Martini that combines coffee-infused bourbon, amaro liqueur, crème de peche, and a dash of maple syrup. Stir it up with ice, strain, and serve neat for a chic start to your holiday.
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Nothing conjures fall like the comforting smell of cinnamon. Combine that aroma in the perfect “Scotchtail,” and you’ll never miss summer again. Developed by NYCbartender Pete Canny, this recipe relies on cinnamon-infused agave and Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Scotch. Stir it up with ice and Angostura bitters, then serve with an orange peel for a sinful match made in heaven.
Whether you’re nostalgic for the city or just craving brunch, this Manhattan is the perfect treat. Mix it up while you’re waiting for the main course, and sneak some extra bacon before the turkey hits the table. For the best result, try to find Anderson’s Maple Syrup, which will bring notes of caramel corn and burnt sugar to this rye-based cocktail. Next, add ice, vermouth, and bitters. Stir, strain, and serve in a rocks glass with an orange peel and, yep, bacon.
Who says you can’t drink mezcal on Thanksgiving? This rich blend of coffee-infused mezcal, crème de cacao, amaro, and port is sure to amaze even the pickiest sophisticate. Created by Heartwood Provisions beverage director Amanda Reed, the recipe was inspired by a trip to Oaxaca where Reed saw coffee and agave planted side by side. Reed recommends combining all the ingredients in a glass with ice, mixing, straining, and garnishing with exactly three coffee beans.
While camping on Thanksgiving may be a romantic, socially distanced option for some, for others, even glamping seems like a stretch. Instead, get cozy with this homage to the classic Old Fashioned that combines the best parts of Scotch with the best part of camping: fire-roasted marshmallows. Homemade toasted marshmallow syrup elevates this classic cocktail beyond all-too-simple syrup, and is balanced by a few dashes of bitters. Stir it up with ice, strain, and serve in a rocks glass with a big ice cube and even bigger roasted marshmallow.
Whether you’re busy roasting turkey or tofurky, this recipe guarantees Thanksgiving peace of mind. Developed for even the most inexperienced — or extremely stressed — mixologist, this cocktail is an easy mix of orange juice, vodka, and clove simple syrup. Make the syrup ahead of time, so all that’s left is stirring the ingredients with ice, garnishing with an orange, and knocking one back.
If you’re dedicated to Thanksgiving flavors but still want to drive the boat, look no further than the Hennessy Hot Toddy. All you’ll need is a little hot water to steep your tea in, some maple syrup, a squeeze of lemon, and some Cognac (Hennessy or otherwise). Stir to combine in a warm mug, and garnish with a cinnamon stick for the perfect end to a Thanksgiving holiday like no other.