Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Table With a Twist on This Classic Cocktail

The Cranberry Margarita

It’s inevitable. Every Thanksgiving, my house is filled with just as much turkey and stuffing fumes as talk about “his tweets” and “her emails.” Whenever such a subject arises, I cheerfully jump up, look around, and ask if anyone would like a cocktail. Of course, it’s the one thing my crazy family can all agree on.

When it comes to a home bar, gathering ingredients for a holiday drink shouldn’t mean using a little bit of something then letting it rot until next year. Case in point: the $35 bottle of Leopold Brothers New England Cranberry Liqueur I picked up from Total Wine & More. Just like a turkey dinner, there can be beauty in the leftovers.

On Thanksgiving day, I’ll make Cranberry Margaritas, as there’s no better way to segue conversion about a wall between Mexico than to enjoy delicious 100 percent blue agave distillate shaken with fresh lime juice, cranberry, and orange liqueurs. Not only does the tart, agave-forward drink bring out the best of a well-crafted holiday meal, the festive rosy-colored cocktail can cuts through the heaviest of heavy gravy carb loads, resetting your palate between each plate.

Cranberry Margarita Recipe: 2ounces 100 percent blue agave silver tequila, 1 ounce lime juice, 1¾ ounces cranberry liqueur, ½ ounce orange liqueur. Combine everything in a shaker, add ice, then shake for 20 seconds, and serve how you prefer (on the rocks, no rocks, salted rim, etc). Garnish with a few cranberries and lime wheel. Too tart? Add a ½-1 ounce simple syrup to the mix.

After some black Friday shopping, I like to crack into the leftovers with a turkey hoagie and a little inspiration from the Irish band The Cranberries and make a stiff Cranberry Zombie, which pretty much subs out the grenadine and pineapple juice for cranberry juice and liqueur. If that’s too ingredient-heavy, I’d suggest checking out the Leopold Brothers website for some inspiration, where The Pilgrim seems worthy of a try.

The Pilgrim Recipe: 1.5oz. ounces dry Gin, ¾ ounce cranberry liqueur, ½ ounce. fresh lemon juice, ¼ ounce orange bitters or orange juice. Combine everything in a shaker, add ice, shake for 20 seconds, then serve on the rocks with a lemon garnish.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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