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.