Thanksgiving Cocktails

Nothing wrong with wine and beer for Thanksgiving but why not jazz things up a bit.  It’s a holiday, get some more holiday cheer flowing.  Heaven knows you sometimes need all the help you can get when dealing with family (not mine, they’re all saints, at least when viewed through the bottom of a cocktail glass they all have halos).  Two favorite cocktails of mine are the Old Fashioned and Manhattan, and I think they fit in well with the holiday.  One is made with rye and the other with bourbon.  Both have a touch of sweetness to them but not too much, and rye is a little spicier and has more grain and earthy flavor than bourbon.  With the heavy, salty, food you’re bound to nosh on you need a drink that will cut through it all.  What could be better on the All-American holiday than some potent potables made with good old American bourbon or rye whiskey?  Ok maybe not better but they’ll definitely help pass the time as the turkey cooks.

Old Fashioned

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 pieces of lemon peel
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • ice
  • orange slice and maraschino cherry (optional)

Muddle the sugar, bitters, and one piece of lemon peel in the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass/tumbler.  You can add a little water to help dissolve the sugar.  When the sugar has dissolved add the bourbon and ice.  Stir.  Garnish with the other lemon peel (and orange/cherry if desired).  What I really like about this cocktail is it mellows as the ices melts.  There’s a point where it reaches the perfect balance of sugar, bourbon, and melted ice, and you say to yourself “that turned out pretty good, think I’ll have another.”

Manhattan Cocktail (up or on the rocks)

  • 2 oz of rye whiskey
  • 1 oz of sweet vermouth
  • Dash or two of Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry

Put a few ice cubes into a cocktail shaker and add the vermouth, whiskey, and the bitters. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (or over ice).  Garnish with a cherry and serve.  So simple, so tasty.  That turkey done yet?  No?  Oh well, where’s that shaker gone off to…


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