Cocktails for Thanksgiving? Absolutely yes, as the holiday may come late this year (on Thursday, November 28) and the normal wine selection usually goes to the new harvest, Beaujolais nouveau.
This lighter red wine is made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is traditionally fermented for just a few weeks before being released to market worldwide on the third Thursday of November and is a frequent pick to serve with a heavier turkey meal.
But if you are having a crowd and serve an appetizer course, a great signature holiday-centric cocktail may be more fun. Especially for those who aren’t keen on wine.
Monsters and Critics sampled two unlikely, excellent spirited additions used in new recipes you can try this year:
From Scotland, a single malt scotch, Ardbeg, and from the island of Islay where the distinct flavor profiles of these single malts have an iodine tinge to the peat and smoke, thanks to the sea mist.
Ardbeg 10 is the perfect addition to a mulled cider to bring the sweetness in check and play upon the aromatics used to flavor the fruit.
The other is a new Spanish gin, Gin Mare, a Mediterranean-inspired gin with four unique principal botanical aromatics: Arbequina olive from Spain, rosemary from Greece, thyme from Turkey, and Italian sweet basil.
This unexpected blend sets it apart from the more juniper and star anise-tinged gins we are more familiar with for the classic hot weather drinks like negronis and classic G&T’s.
Gin Mare makes for a surprisingly singular savory gin that is ideal for this time of year, especially when serving a cheese and charcuterie platter.
Try these two amazing recipes made for the fall and holiday gatherings, they’re absolute winners:
Ardbeg’s Spirited Ardbeg Cider
View this post on Instagram
- 4 ounces Mulled Fresh Cider
- Lemon peel, orange peel, freshly grated nutmeg, and cinnamon and 1/4 of fresh lemon
- Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil on the stovetop then remove heat.
- Let cool to warm, add 1.5 ounces of Ardbeg 10
You can serve this hot or cold, depending on taste. If cold, allow it to chill completely, then pour over ice.
It is a wonderful warm-up served heated and we recommend it this way.
Garnish with a stick of cinnamon or lemon peel curl.
Gin Mare’s Pumpkin Flip
- 2 ounces (60 ml) Gin Mare
- 1 whole egg
- 1 ounce (30 ml) buttermilk
- .75 ounce (20 ml) pumpkin beer syrup*
Add ingredients into a shaker tin without ice. Dry shake hard for 10 seconds. Then add ice and shake hard for approximately 20 seconds. Double strain into a chilled glass and dust with nutmeg.
* To make the pumpkin beer syrup: Find a seasonal pumpkin beer — one with spices added is best. Pour beer into a saucepan and stir vigorously to remove CO2. Add equal parts sugar. Heat/stir until dissolved, then let cool.
Serve in a rocks glass or Gibraltar glass and garnish with a dehydrated strip of pumpkin or one cinnamon stick and star anise.