Thanksgiving is right around the corner and if you’re anything like me, at some point, you’re going to need a drink. Not that every festive gathering of friends and family needs the most beloved of social lubricants, mind you. Just the best ones…(wink). We’ve just days until the official Holiday Season kick-off and it’s time for every little host and hostess to get serious. Where to start, you ask? Got’cha covered. I’ve put together a short list of five of my favorite, most festive bevvies in hopes that you’ll give ‘em a chance to step up your…drinking game (see what I did there?).
Moscow Mule: I know, I know, everyone’s doing these, but let me tell you, this ain’t no bandwagon. Cute little mugs, or no, these are the shizz and you know it. Squeeze lime juice into a collins glass. Add the rind. Next, ice. Then, slosh in vodka and ginger beer (ginger ale is also a popular choice) to taste, give it a quick stir and serve.
Cherry Brandy Alexander: A dessert drink that packs a wallop. Sure, some of your more rigid brandy lovers are going to be skeptical, but once you knock their argyle socks off with this playful variation, they’ll thank you. Bonus points if you’ve made your own cherry brandy (#smuglife, amiright?!). Brandy. Dark crème de cacao. Heavy cream. Shaker with ice. Strain into cocktail glass. Pinch of nutmeg. Bada bing, bada boom.
Sidecar: Historically made with brandy, I recently had one made with a certain blended Canadian whiskey and I did not throw it in the trash. It’s simple, fun and those sullen hipsters you hang out with (myself included) might be slightly impressed by your knowledge of classic cocktails. Cognac. Lemon juice. Cointreau. Equal parts. Into a shaker filled with ice. Shake, shake, shake. Rim glass in lemon juice and dip in sugar. Strain.
Bourbon Hot Chocolate: What’s better than bourbon? Hot bourbon. Find the best hot chocolate recipe you can. No. packaged. mixes. Whip up a batch. Mug it. Drop in some bourbon. Fancy it up with marshmallows, meringues, or whipped cream.
Sparkling Cranberry Punch: Let's face it-Punch is classy as hell. This one lends itself easily to either pitcher or punch bowl. Cranberry juice. Sparkling apple juice. Champagne. A dash of lime juice. Freeze some whole cranberries and have them on hand for garnishing and to help drinks stay chilled, but not watered down. Note: This is also a great recipe for conversion into an alcohol-free, kid-friendly mocktail. Instead of champy, just substitute clear soda or a flavored sparkling water.
I hope one of these (or all of them...no judgement) will spice up your Thanksgiving gathering. Now, get out there, beat the rush, and stock those bars! Your guests (and your sanity) will thank you. Oh, before I forget: if the cocktails I've listed just don't light your fire, a quick Google search or a trip to your favorite recipe website will open up a treasure trove of information (You'll also be able to find recipes for the drink listed with amounts...for those of you without a sense of adventure...wink!)