Thanksgiving is fast approaching and for those hosting a family dinner there can be a lot of pressure when it comes to preparing the perfect meal.
Luckily there is alcohol.
Drinks will also be served alongside turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Why not spice up an ounce or two with some fancy cocktails?
And you don’t have to be a professional mixologist to pair the right spirits, because we asked three top Southern California bartenders to create cocktails to enjoy over Thanksgiving dinner.
The first is a pre-dinner potion just strong enough to get the party started. The second is a reliable main course drink that pairs well with a large dinner without being too flashy. Finish off with the perfect cocktail for dessert: just sweet enough to complement a pumpkin or apple pie while leaving you level-headed enough for fireside conversation.
Here are the cocktail recipes measured for a single serving.
The mixologist: Ariel Israeli
The drink: Jalisco Sunset
1 1/2 ounces Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 ounce grapefruit liqueur
1/2 ounce Aperol
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce agave
Pour into a cocktail shaker, shake and strain over fresh ice and top off with cranberry soda.
details: Ariel Israeli is the bartender at Fuego, the contemporary Latin American restaurant at Hotel Maya in Long Beach, and the creator of this uplifting vacation cocktail. The tequila is the fuel that powers this drink, but it’s not overwhelming. The Aperol, an Italian bitter, is sweet and pairs well with the other citrus flavors in the drink. “It kind of has a tropical vibe, a bit of warmth too,” Israeli said. And it’s topped with cranberry soda, making it perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. He also recommends garnishing it with cranberries.
The Fuego at Hotel Maya is located at 700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach. www.hotelmayalongbeach.com.
The main course
The mixologist: Gabrielle Dion
The drink: Anjou Dandy
1 ounce gin
1 ounce St. George Spice Pear Liqueur
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces of cold Prosecco wine
Combine gin, spiced liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice and give it a quick, hard but short shake. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top up with cold Prosecco. Garnish with a slice of pear and a sprig of rosemary.
Pro Tip: No need to buy plain syrup: Combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar in a mason jar and shake until dissolved. That’s it.
details: Dion is the well-known Orange County mixologist behind Mixing Glass and Market, a store specializing in selling cocktail bar supplies and hosting cocktail classes. It is also a fresh market, opening in a new location at the end of November. Her cocktail has a little spice, just an ounce of gin, and the right amount of acidity, which she said goes with everything, whether it’s red meat, turkey and gravy, or stuffing. “It will break through that and make your meal more enjoyable,” she said. “Because there’s Prosecco, it also gives it a sparkle and it also gives it a lightness.”
Mixing Glass and Market opens at 1500 Adams Ave., Costa Mesa. the-mixing-glass.shoplightspeed.com.
And for dessert
The mixologist: Taylor Jones
The drink: The relapse
1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce Calvados (apple brandy)
1/4 ounce Caramel Apple Cordial (see recipe below)
2 dashes cardamom bitters
1 pinch Angostura bitters
Any bourbon is suitable for this drink. Jones prefers wild turkey. She recommends adding all the ingredients to a mixing glass and stirring it all up with ice, then straining, serving over a large cube and garnishing with a cinnamon stick.
The caramel apple syrup requires a little more effort, but this is key to the drink’s dessert flavor. In a small saucepan, add 1 cup sugar and stir until caramelized. Then reduce the heat and add 1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider to deglaze. Add a cinnamon stick and a star anise to the pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool before combining with the other ingredients.
details: Taylor Jones is a bartender at the Grain Whiskey Bar in Playa Provisions, a Playa del Rey location that includes four different restaurants owned by Season 14 Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts. Jones said this drink is basically an old-fashioned apple schnapps and she created it with dessert in mind. “After you’ve eaten, you sit by the fire, eat your pumpkin pie and your old-fashioned apple cider,” she said. “It’s going strong…it’s sweet, there’s fall spices, and the bourbon warms you up inside.”
Playa Provisions is located at 119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey. playaprovisions.com.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/10/3-thanksgiving-cocktails-to-make-at-home-for-the-holidays/ 3 Thanksgiving cocktails to take home for the holidays – Orange County Register