What would Thanksgiving be without a little festive beverage?! I don’t want to know. It doesn’t have to be alcoholic, just something that fills you with joy and warms your soul. This year for our Friendsgiving, I will be making a couple of cocktails to share with the people in my life that I am grateful for.
I wanted to go with beverages that celebrated the season and felt fancy without all of the fancy ingredients or techniques. I’m a fan of bourbon so the first two drinks on my list are made with that but feel free to swap the bourbon or any other alcohol in these recipes for something else such as vodka, gin or rum, or go mocktail (non-alcoholic) with sparkling water, sparkling cider or cranberry juice!
Spiced Pear and Pecan Cocktail
For this spiced beverage, I am using fresh pears to make the syrup. I’m also going to infuse pecans into my bourbon a few days in advance in lieu of using the pecan bourbon that is suggested in the recipe, feel free to do it either way you’d like. If you aren’t using alcohol, you can still “infuse” toasted pecans into the pear syrup, just toast your pecans ahead of time and then add them to your syrup while cooking.
Vanilla Chai Old Fashioned
I love chai! It’s my go-to fall/winter beverage of choice. I also love Old Fashions so the two together I am very excited about! I’m starting out by making a chai simple syrup using my favorite chai blend. You can find chai in a variety of tea blends including black tea, green tea, decaf and rooibos (which is my personal fav!). You can also get fancy and make your own blend from scratch! After this step, it’s just a matter of assembling the cocktail. If you’re making a mocktail, try using apple cider instead of the bourbon and just omit the bitters.
Sparkling Apple Pie Mocktail… or Cocktail
This recipe is actually a mocktail but if you’d like to spike it, there is a link to the original cocktail version that uses sparkling wine, or I would suggest adding vodka, rum (spiced rum would also be good) or bourbon. As-is, this recipe is great for family gatherings or for large groups due to its cost-effective, non-alcoholic nature. Along with this delicious recipe you’ll also find a couple other mocktails in the same link. Explore and enjoy!
If you have people to impress or you’d like to get extra fancy this year, may I suggest visiting Breckenridge Distillery for 6 Thanksgiving cocktail and dish pairings. Pairing a cocktail for every dish is a little too much work for my taste but I applaud anyone with that much ambition. Either way, there are some pretty great cocktails on this list that I’m sure would taste spectacular with anything they are served with.
Whichever route you may explore, have fun and celebrate responsibly. Happy Thanksgiving!