Your Thanksgiving-Appropriate Cocktail Menu


When it comes to keeping cocktails seasonal, most people think of summer as the season of greatest bounty. Fruit hitting the peak of ripeness, daiquiris clinking in coupe glasses and the refreshing sweet & tangy punch from a proper whisky sour.

Me? I like Fall. The chill in the air and the aggressive herbs & flavors that start to sneak back into our sense memories are always inspiring. New York City gets a little busier, and admittedly a tad grayer, as the holidays approach. And as the mercury drops and visions of picnics and day trips to the beach fade away, people still want refreshing cocktails. But they may be willing to get a little deeper and darker than a well-made margarita.
I was inspired to make the following cocktails from the memories of a family Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. Some of the flavor combinations may seem familiar (maple syrup and walnuts) while others may seem downright strange (rosemary and...pineapple?) but they're all delicious and serve to highlight the spirit leading the cocktail.
Also, they taste really, really good.
Aphrodite's Honeymoon
2 oz Sailor Jerry rum
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz rosemary simple syrup*
Shake all ingredients together and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a spanked rosemary sprig.
*for the rosemary simple syrup, make a standard simple syrup with a 1:1 ratio and as it's coming to a boil add a handful of rosemary sprigs. Let boil for 30 seconds, then lower the heat, simmer & steep for 1 additional minute, then strain & cool.
Persimmon Julius
1.5 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz persimmon purée*
Egg white
Separate egg white into shaker and discard yolk. Add all other ingredients and shake very hard and very long over ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, being sure to allow the meringue from the whipped egg white to settle on top of the glass.
*chop persimmons into bite sized pieces and simmer in simple syrup for 10-15 minutes. Purée in a blender or food processor, let cool and then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Gimme That
2 oz Evan Williams Black bourbon
1/2 oz maple cocktail syrup (equal parts maple syrup and water in solution)
1/2 oz Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur
1 bar spoon pear brandy
Rinse a chilled coupe glass with the pear brandy. In a mixing glass, add the other 3 ingredients and stir over ice. Strain into coupe glass and garnish with a thin pear slice.
Photo credit: Alison Kilmer
Matt Friedlander is a bartender living and working in New York City. When he isn't behind the bar creating cocktails off the top of his head, he's hunting down the best burger in town, listening to Oasis & Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and longing for leather jacket weather.

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  • Snooth User: MarDEE
    896146 21

    Sorry, not one has turned me on......find them yucky - to say the least. Pour me a goblet ot Merlot please.

    Nov 06, 2014 at 5:30 PM

  • Cocktails aren't for everybody. Cheers!

    Nov 06, 2014 at 5:57 PM

  • Snooth User: deirdgeg1
    1530134 2

    I'm having a small event and would like a cocktail suitable for a punch bowl. Can you come up with something like that?

    Nov 06, 2014 at 7:17 PM

  • A warm riff on apple cider, fresh lemon juice, baking spices and either aged rum or bourbon sounds good...

    Nov 07, 2014 at 5:33 PM

  • Snooth User: deirdgeg1
    1530134 2

    Thanks for the advice, Matt! I've decided on the New England Express, with (on your suggestion) apple cider, rum, lime (not lemon) juice, thyme, soda, bitters.

    Nov 07, 2014 at 9:05 PM

  • Sounds delicious!

    Nov 08, 2014 at 4:57 AM

  • Snooth User: michcrash
    1519482 1

    MAPLE SIMPLE SYRUP simply brilliant!

    Nov 08, 2014 at 2:41 PM

  • Love your recipes. Any other Fall/Winter recipes for bourbon drinkers?

    Nov 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM

  • Check back in December!!

    Nov 18, 2014 at 12:26 AM

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