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New Drinks to Serve for Thanksgiving

November 14, 2017 – Hosting Thanksgiving is an enormous amount of effort and it seems to create more stress around what liquid to serve than any other holiday.  So why not embrace the challenge by serving drinks that offer a new twist on popular brands such as Smirnoff and Cinzano as well as classics like Drambuie and Benedictine.

Grab the guest with bartending talent and put him or her to work.  Get them on board by sharing this list and discussing what will work best.  One chore to strike off the ”to do” list!

If bartending talent is in short supply, a good solution is an easy to make punch that serves a crowd or a small group.  Cranberry Pineapple Punch and Kissed Caramel Apple Punch both are a cinch to create and they won’t take up precious fridge space.  From Winter, With Love serves six and will keep the beer crowd happy with the addition of Samuel Adams Winter Lager. Again, no fridge space required.

Most of the recipes that follow are simple with limited ingredients.  A few require syrups or infusions that can be made ahead of time such as the ginger tea in From Winter, With Love or the Cinnamon Pumpkin Maple Puree in #PSM (Pumpkin Spiced Mule). (The cocktail was a big hit at a recent New York Taste event.  We should all be so lucky to have a bar set up like the one in the photo!) Likewise the Chai-Infused Cinzano 1757 and the Ginger Syrup in Crimson Royale can be made well in advance. 

Want bubbles?  Try the Crimson Royale topped with prosecco.  No one will be able to figure out the special flavors in the Chai-Infused Cinzano 1757.  After it’s all over and it is time to relax, the elegant Eximo Arista is the perfect nightcap.  Arista in Greek means “the best” and in Latin it means “harvest”.  What an appropriate cocktail to end a Thanksgiving Day!


Cranberry Pineapple Punch 

Courtesy of Karly Gomez from A Simple Pantry

1 gallon 100% cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail)
1 46 oz can pineapple juice
3 cups lemon-lime soda
3 cups Smirnoff No. 21 vodka
Sliced oranges, oranges, lemon (optional)
Fresh cranberries (optional)

Method: In a large drink container add the cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lemon-lime soda, and Smirnoff No. 21 vodka, stirring gently to combine. Toss in the optional fruits and serve chilled, or room temperature over ice.


Kissed Caramel Apple Punch

Courtesy of Karly Gomez from A Simple Pantry

1 ½ gallons spiced apple cider
1 12..2 oz bottle caramel syrup
3 cups Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka
Sliced apples (optional)
Cinnamon sticks (optional)

Method: Pour the apple cider into a large drink container then stir in the caramel syrup. Add the Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka and stir gently to combine. Add the sliced apples and cinnamon sticks if using, and serve either chilled or room temperature over ice. 


From Winter, With Love

Serves 6

2 12oz bottles Samuel Adams Winter Lager
32 oz ginger tea
2 cinnamon sticks
12 cloves
9 oz Moscatel Sherry (Lustau Emilín)
9 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

Method: Heat ginger tea, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn off heat and let steep. After a few minutes strain into a punch bowl with a fine mesh strainer to remove solids. Add Vermouth, Sherry, and Samuel Adams Winter Lager. Mix. Ladle into glassware and garnish with a cinnamon stick.


#PSM (Pumpkin Spiced Mule)

Serves 2

3oz Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
1.5 oz Cinnamon Pumpkin Maple Puree (recipe below)
1 oz lemon juice
4 oz ginger beer

Method: To make the cinnamon pumpkin maple puree, toast 4-6 cinnamon sticks in a 2 qt. sauce pan until aromatic. Add 1 qt. simple syrup, heat until boiling then remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Blend on high for about 20 seconds then filter through a fine sieve. Add 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and 2 tbsp maple syrup. Whisk until smooth. Take 1.5oz of this cinnamon pumpkin maple puree (save the rest for another recipe) and mix with Smirnoff and lemon juice. Stir to combine then pour into copper Moscow Mule mugs filled with ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lemon wheel and grated cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.


Noggy Root

Can be an individual cocktail or served as punch

.50 part Drambuie
1 part Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Cask
1 part Chameleon Caramel Cold Brew Concentrate
2 parts eggnog
.50 root beer

Method:  Gently stir together the ingredients in serving vessel, either a glass or punch bowl. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


Crimson Royale

Created by Josh Campbell, Bartender at Leyenda (NYC)

1 oz Campari
1 1/4  oz Chai-Infused Cinzano 1757 (recipe below)*
1 tsp Ginger Syrup(recipe below)**
1/2  tsp Pomegranate Molasses
Cinzano Prosecco 

Method: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir, then strain into a champagne flute and top with Prosecco. Express and discard an orange peel. Garnish with a flamed cinnamon stick.

*Chai-Infused Cinzano 1757: Infuse one bottle of Cinzano 1757 with one tablespoon each of Black tea, cinnamon, clove and cardamom

** Ginger Syrup: Bring 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar to a boil, then add in 8 oz. sliced ginger. Let steep for 30 minutes then fine strain and discard ginger. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.


Eximo Arista

2 parts Facundo Eximo Rum
½ part Benedictine
¾ part fresh lime juice
¼ part simple syrup

Method:  Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a Coupe glass. Garnish with a dehydrated Lime wheel.



Hudson Norway Spruce

2 parts Hudson Manhattan Rye
3/4 part sweet vermouth
1/2 part Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
2 dashes aromatic bitters
Orange peel, cocktail cherry

Method:  Stir liquid ingredients over ice until well-chilled, and strain into-pre-chilled cocktail coupe. Using vegetable peeler, cut swatch of orange zest and squeeze peel-side over drink to express oils on surface, and discard zest. Garnish with cocktail cherry—check gourmet grocers or specialty shops for quality cherries that are not filled with artificial colors and flavors.


Pumpkin Spice Lebowski

2 parts Reyka Vodka
1 part coffee liqueur
1 part heavy cream
½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Method: Combine heavy cream and pumpkin pie spice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Add Reyka Vodka and coffee liqueur and shake with ice.  Serve on the rocks and garnish with cocoa puffs.



Royal Cosmographer

by Seb Derbomez

1 ½ parts Monkey Shoulder whisky
¾ part Suze
½ part Maple Syrup Grade A
2 dashes of orange bitters

Method:  Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Once dilution is reached strain into glass and twist orange peel over glass.