Cocktail 101: Cocktails For Thanksgiving

Cocktail 101

All the basics of the bar.

[Photographs: Michael Dietsch]

While planning your Thanksgiving repast, don't forget the cocktails! This week, we're offering up three delicious apple-based drinks—lovely accompaniments to a Turkey Day feast.

Pan American Clipper

First up, a cocktail that evokes the glamor of the Golden Age of air travel. Perfect for a weekend in which many people endure the hassles of the modern Rust Age of air travel. The Pan American Clipper takes apple in the form of Calvados or other apple brandy and fuses it with pomegranate, lime, and (strangely, though it works) absinthe. Apple and pomegranate are classic autumnal flavors, of course, but what propels the drink into the skies are lime's peppery citrus and absinthe's herbal complexity. Serve some up and conveniently forget to mention the absinthe. See if anyone figures it out.

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Apple Toddy

This time around, you'll be working not just with apple brandy, but with an actual apple. Fun! Yum! Start by baking a few apples; you can do this in advance. Each mug of toddy will need half an apple, so figure out how many you're making and divide by two. Crush the apple into the mug, add sugar and brandy, and then top with hot water.

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Apple Sage Old Fashioned

For our final Thanksgiving special, we'll be making an Old Fashioned, but with a twist. I was inspired to create this drink by the apple-sage stuffing that serves as turkey's sidekick. The sage is incorporated via the medium of simple syrup, so there's no need to muddle leaves or pick green flecks from your teeth. I used Calvados for this, but if you prefer 100-proof applejack, I won't argue with you.

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