Non-traditional/new traditional Thanksgiving drinks.
I love the idea of a blazing fire- friends and family gathered together to share a meal. A celebratory evening is started nicely with cheery glass of cava and to it, the addition of a fruit puree. I’ve taken organic strawberries, charred them in a cast iron pan, run them through the food processor *adjusting the sweetness to taste* then added a dollop or two of the puree into each glass. The tangy-sweet quality of the strawberries when added to a chalky tasting Cava just says celebration in a glass. You don’t need very much of this drink to say welcome to our table.
Another easy and exotic drink is a take off on the classic Rob Roy. In this case Blended Scotch Whiskey, instead of expensive Single Malt- is added to a short rocks glass with a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and topped with cool, rustic apple cider. A small splash of sweet vermouth finishes the drink. The cider melts into the deeper tastes of whiskey, the sweetness of the cider and the herbaceous tinge of sweet Vermouth.
It is a very sophisticated drink.
Of course I recommend instead of a usual bottle of wine, a perfectly lovely, tangy punch to go along with dinner.
Hard apple cider is marvelous when combined with sparkling cherry juice and some lemon/lime juice for spark. The flavors of hard cider with the citrus juices are marvelous with turkey and the all your fixings! You can drive up the alcohol level with some dark rum.
Dessert calls for the classic and deeply warming- Hot Toddy.
I’m especially fond of a hot buttered rum to go with a pumpkin or apple pie. It’s a classic and the extra warmth it gives to the body (and spirit) is the perfect send-off to your friends!
The Chai Tea Toddy is an exotic approach to the classic water based Toddy with a bit of sweet butter. You may also use freshly whipped sweetened cream on top instead of butter- your choice.
I like to use dark spiced rum or a spiced whiskey for this hot drink.
- 1 quart hot Chai tea or black tea. If you want to make the drink sweeter, use some ginger/cardamom simple syrup
- 4-5 shots Spiced Rum or good blended Whiskey that you have spiced a few weeks in advance. (save that expensive single malt for another day)
- 1 pat sweet butter- per drink
If you use whipped cream, eliminate the butter.
How do I spice whiskey? Add apple pie spices with a vanilla bean (split) to a cheesecloth bag. Submerge into a bottle of whiskey for a couple of weeks before using. Use the spiced whiskey for all your Whiskey based cocktails.