5 Thanksgiving Cocktails You Can Make at Home

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Whether you’re far from home or travelling to meet family and friends, there’s nothing like a seasonal libation to get the holiday started, and these dead-simple Thanksgiving cocktails will guarantee a buzz the pilgrims would have been proud of.

It’s Thanksgiving and no matter where you find yourself, you should be enjoying the company of people you love. Whether you’re at home celebrating with the family or abroad celebrating with friends, a good host knows that a couple of cocktails is a great way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit.

Seasonal cocktails don’t need to be overly complicated – in fact, in most instances, they’re simply creative tweaks on timeless libations that have had young gents like yourself surviving – and even enjoying – Thanksgiving for generations. When it’s time to make seasonal cocktails for the holidays, be sure to check out the kitchen – cranberries, pumpkin, apple, spices all appear in classic Thanksgiving fare, and also make great additions to classic cocktails. Even better, many festive cocktails can be made in batches, which means less time spent behind the bar and more time spent with your guests.

Apple Toddy

The Apple Toddy

A delicious take on the classic hot libation, this cocktail combines the sweetness of apple with the soul-warming effects of bourbon. The apple rendition is nothing new – it’s been keeping gents warm since the 1800s and what’s even better is it’s batch friendly, making the Apple Toddy an entertainer’s best friend.

Ingredients (prepares 6 glasses)

6 cups apple cider

2 tbs packed light brown sugar

1 tbs grated nutmeg 

4 tbs vanilla essence (or vanilla seeds if you want to be fancy)

One 2-inch piece orange zest 

3/4 cup best-quality bourbon, optional 

Whipped cream, for serving 

Method

Combine the apple cider, brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, and orange zest into a medium-sized pan and warm to a simmer over 10 minutes. Feel free to be a little creative here by adding a touch of cinnamon, apple puree or maple syrup but just slow so you don’t over sweeten the drink. Once warm, add a decent swig of bourbon to each of 6 mugs and top with the cider. For a nice touch, layer with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick or caramelised apple wedge.

 Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Another easy libation for when you’re entertaining, this cranberry-spiked champagne cocktail can be knocked up in seconds. Don’t blow your budget with real champagne; a nice dry Spanish cava is a great alternative and will ensure the drink isn’t too sweet. Also, feel free to add a drop of cassis or any other berry liqueur to beef up both the flavour and colour.

Ingredients (prepares 6 glasses)

1 bt Sparkling wine

2 limes

1 lt unsweetened cranberry juice

Cranberries (frozen)

Method

Simply drop a few frozen cranberries in the bottom of 6 champagne glasses. Fill halfway with cranberry juice, add a squirt of lime juice, and then top with sparkling wine. The great thing is you can actually pre-pour these and top up with chilled wine when guests arrive.

Pirate Hot Chocolate

Pirate’s Hot Chocolate

There’s nothing better than good spiced rum, except perhaps good hot chocolate. This Thanksgiving, you can combine both to create a cocktail that will warm both body and soul.

Ingredients (prepares 1 glass)

45ml Spiced Rum (try the likes of Sailor Jerry or Kraken)

45ml Butterscotch liqueur

90ml hot chocolate (if you’re feeling lazy that’s one packet)

Dash orange bitters

Method

Make the chocolate in a saucepan if you’re making a batch, otherwise just add hot water to a packet of instant cocoa, top with rum and liqueur and bitters. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if you’re looking to impress.

Thanksgiving Old Fashioned

Thanksgiving Old Fashioned

A Thanksgiving take on one of the world’s most popular cocktails, the Thanksgiving Old Fashioned ups the spicy notes to add a touch of warmth during this cold month celebration. For a really resounding effect, take the time to infuse your bourbon first – simply add one split vanilla pod, two cinnamon sticks, one star anise, and 12 cloves to two cups of bourbon (or the whole bottle, we don’t come here to judge) 24 hours before (shaking occasionally) you plan to make the Old Fashioneds.

Ingredients (prepares 1 glass)

2 tbs maple syrup

60ml infused bourbon (perhaps Wild Turkey?)

1 tbs water

4 dashes Angostura bitters

Ice

Orange peel

Method

In a rocks glass combine the maple syrup, water, and bitters. Add ice and bourbon and stir for 30 seconds. Garnish with an orange peel, which you should use to rim the glass.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

There’s nothing that symbolises Thanksgiving quite like snow, drunken relatives, airport strikes and, oh, pumpkin. We don’t get most of those in Asia but that doesn’t mean we can’t whip up a batch of pumpkin-spiked martinis for the festive season. Creamy and filling, these are the perfect after-dinner concoctions.

Ingredients (prepares 1 glass)

60ml vodka (a few companies even make pumpkin spiced versions)

30ml dark rum

15ml pouring cream

2 tbs pumpkin puree

30ml maple syrup

¼ tsp Vanilla extract

Cinnamon stick

Nutmeg

Ice

Method

Combine ice, cream, alcohol, maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass. For a touch of class, rim the glass with a combination of brown sugar and nutmeg and garnish with a cinnamon stick or a touch of whipped cream.  

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Alpha Men Asia is the region's ultimate destination for today's modern gentlemen, covering everything from travel and style, to grooming, fashion, dating, wines and spirits, and the movers and shakers defining our scene.

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