In honor of Thanksgiving, I got together with Savvy Housekeeping for a turkey-day-appropriate cocktail: the Cranberry Margarita! Aside from the gorgeous, deep red color, this drink has a refreshing tartness that is just the thing for a holiday built around heavy savory foods.
We used 100% cranberry juice for that true cranberry pucker. However, if you like things a little sweeter you can either add a little simple syrup (or agave) or you can use sweetened cranberry juice cocktail. Hey, this could even be a job for cran-apple, cran-raspberry, or another cran-juice.
1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
1 oz tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
Shake ingredients over ice, then strain into a cocktail glass. Spear fresh cranberries for garnish.
Grapefruit Thyme Soda from Reclaiming Provincial
As much as I love cocktails, Thanksgiving (and Christmas!) also call for exciting non-alcoholic drinks. They’ll be a festive option for kids or people who don’t drink, as well as a fun choice for those looking to keep their alcohol consumption on the lower side. It’s a special day, so do something more exciting and attractive than just water or cans of soda. Here are some fun ideas:
Fennel Apple Spritzer ~ Fennel is one of my favorite accent flavors, and it pairs well with the sweetness of apples. This one is a sophisticated drink that won’t make adults feel like they’re drinking like the kiddie table.
Asian Pear Sparkler ~ I love Asian Pears! But the spice of ginger and herbal notes of rosemary make this more than just a fruity drink.
Grapefruit & Thyme Soda ~ These two flavors are a refreshing match that’s outside of the ordinary. If you want to booze it up, add some gin. Garnish with a sprig of thyme to make it look even more festive.
Puritan’s Pride ~ It wouldn’t be the holidays without cranberries. Apple and ginger, elevate the cranberry in this drink above its usual role as a relish on top of the turkey.
Tarragon-Spiked Lady Grey Iced Tea ~ For a less-fruity option, this iced tea uses Lady Grey (a variation on the more famous Earl Grey tea) along with tarragon and lime.
Pumpkin and Apple Cider Cocktail from Serious Eats
My one-woman mission to turn Thanksgiving into a drinking holiday continues! If cranberry cocktails don’t float your figurative boat, how about a collection of pumpkin drinks to be thankful for?
Ignis Fatuus ~ White wine, Cognac, apple cider and pumpkin puree … this (very very tasty) Halloween-inspired cocktail by Jamie Boudreau is just right for Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Buttered Rum ~ Hot buttered rum gets the pumpkin treatment from the folks at the Kitchn. I think I need one now.
Pumpkin Butter Ginger Cocktail ~I (obviously) can’t resist a good Cognac cocktail. Dean & Deluca devised another ingenious use for pumpkin butter that sounds irresistible.
Pumpkin and Apple Cider Cocktail ~ Vanilla vodka, apple cider, pumpkin and spicy ginger ale, an intriguing combination from Serious Eats.
Cranberry Cobbler from Bon Appetit
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Normally, I don’t have cocktails at all on Thanksgiving. (Shocking, right?) But there’s no reason it can’t be a cocktail holiday! In fact, depending on what your family is like, things may go a little better if everyone has a drink or three.
I’m currently experimenting with cranberry cocktails, but before I share my own, here are some I found that sound just perfect:
Cranberry Cobbler ~ Bon Appetit takes fresh cranberries and gin, then fancies it up with a little sherry … very sophisticated.
Cranberry Margarita ~ It’s always the right time for margaritas, and Muy Bueno shows that Thanksgiving is no exception with this recipe using cranberry puree.
Ginger Cosmopolitan ~ The Food Channel shares an easy twist on a classic. You can use bottled cranberry juice or make your own.
Cranberry, Tangerine and Pomegranate Champagne Punch ~ You know you can trust Martha Stewart when it comes to entertaining.