Thanksgiving is on the way, and we all know what that means: it’s time to fend off overbearing relatives. This year, aside from the token, “When are you getting married?” and “Is working on the Internet really a job, dear?” questions, Thanksgiving is probably going to involve getting into full-blown arguments about the 45th President of the United States. To keep your cool (and keep from getting into a fistfight with your NRA-card-carrying cousins), why not try out some of these tasty fall cocktails? There might be at least one that everyone can agree on.
Recently added to the menu of JIMMY at The James in New York by mixologist Johnny Swet, this dark-hued drink actually contains quite a bit of bright flavor. Blackwell rum and activated charcoal form the earthy base, which is the perfect foil for lime, pineapple, and mint.
2 oz Blackwell Rum
¼ teaspoon Activated Charcoal
2 oz Pineapple Juice
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Agave
grilled pineapple chunks and mint
Muddle a bar spoon of grilled pineapple chunks and mint in a tall glass. Combine the rum and activated charcoal, and shake and strain into the glass. Add crushed ice and swizzle, and garnish with pineapple and mint.
2. Star of Autumn
The Star of Autumn is a warming cocktail that pairs really well with Thanksgiving desserts like pumpkin pie. It features Facundo Neo rum, which offers a balanced blend of medium-to heavy-bodied rums aged up to eight years and filtered over activated carbon to remove any color. Combined with Applejack and maple syrup, this cocktail is a delicious salute to fall flavors.
1 ½ parts Facundo Neo rum
1 part Laird’s Applejack
¼ part Maple Syrup
¼ part lemon juice
Granny Smith apple, for garnish
Shake all of the ingredients with plenty of ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a thin apple wedge or curled apple peel, and serve.
3. Chicken Soup Hot Toddy
We’ve never met a more intriguing drink than this chicken soup hot toddy. Swet’s creation, a blend of hot chicken stock, celery bitters, and gin, is the warming cold-weather drink we’ve been waiting all our lives for — and it might keep Grandma occupied long enough to keep her from saying racist things in front of your new boyfriend.
1 oz Nolet’s Gin
1 dash celery bitters
.25 lemon juice
4 oz hot chicken stock
1 carrot stick
1 celery stick
Parsley, to garnish
Pour into snifter. Garnish with carrot, celery stick, and parsley.
4. Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate
This is the perfect drink to serve as a nightcap or after dinner drink. It’s warm and cozy, making everyone think of happier times, with white Christmases and a White House that didn’t seem so apocalyptically terrifying.
5 oz hot chocolate (homemade or from a mix)
1 oz Reposado El Tesoro Tequila
1 oz Ancho Reyes Chili Liquor
pinch of cinnamon
Add the tequila and chili liquor to a mug. Add the hot chocolate and stir. Garnish with a marshmallow dusted with cinnamon.
5. Seoul Man
This drink was inspired by Swet’s love of salty Korean food, but it also makes a great pre-dinner cocktail. It’s just spicy enough, and the combo of soju and vodka might get you drunk enough to be able to ignore your great uncle talking about ways to Make America Great Again.
1.5 oz soju
1.5 oz cucumber vodka
.5 sweet mirin
.25 oz lemon juice
2 bar spoons of gouchujang
chili salted cucumber, for garnish
Muddle the ginger in a glass. Shake the soju, cucumber vodka, mirin, and lemon juice with the gouchujang and ice. Strain into the glass and garnish with chili salted cucumber.
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