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Get Through Thanksgiving With Our Favorite Autumn Drink Recipes

Need a glass of something to make it through that one loud uncle’s political opinions after Thanksgiving dinner? We’ve got you covered.

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The Save Room cocktail from Drink.Well in Austin includes cognac, coffee liqueur and a whole egg.
Photograph by The Voorhes

Somehow, we’ve almost managed to survive 2017 and the holidays are finally upon us. All that’s standing between you and the last month of the year are a couple servings of turkey and one long night of conversations with extended family. No worries—we’ve got some ideas for alcoholic beverages that pair nicely with stuffing and long-winded family anecdotes. Fix yourself a glass and let the Thanksgiving feast commence.

Save Room

This cocktail is brought to us by bartender John Enriquez from Drink.Well, and it’s very appropriately called Save Room. Sure, get your feasting on, but also save some space to savor a glass of this at the end of your meal.

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 1/2 ounces Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat
  • 1/2 ounce St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Ancho Reyes chile liqueur

Dry-shake ingredients (without ice). Add ice and shake vigorously to emulsify. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a snifter. Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon and chile powder.

Stalks of Rye

If you’re in the mood for a simpler drink for this year’s festivities, go with a highball. The Stalks of Rye recipe is a collaboration between Proof + Pantry owner-operator Michael Martensen and bar manager Josh McEachern to add a little twist to the staple drink.

  • 3 ounces Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • lemon wedge, for garnish

Fill a highball glass with ice and add the soda, rye, and bitters. Serve with a straw and garnish with the lemon. 

The Infinite Loop

Nothing says autumn like the crisp taste of apples. The Infinite Loop, an apple-based cocktail is concocted by Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, the co-creators of the Midnight Rambler. This drink calls for some sophisticated apple flavors, like Laird’s Jersey Lightning 100-Proof Apple Brandy and enhanced McIntosh apple juice.

  • 1 1/2 ounces Laird’s Jersey Lightning 100-Proof Apple Brandy
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce Crazy Water No. 4 syrup
  • 1/2 ounce enhanced McIntosh apple juice
  • 1/2 ounce Elijah Craig twelve-year bourbon
  • 3 drops mineral saline
  • 1 egg white

Dry-shake ingredients (without ice) to begin emulsification. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a mist of chamomile-hay essence.

Chic-Choc Old-Fashioned

If you feel like winding down the evening’s festivities with a tried-and-true cocktail, look no further than an old-fashioned. This recipe for a Chic-Choc Old-Fashioned comes from Minnie’s Tavern and Rye House, which is located in one of the oldest bars in San Antonio.

  • 2 ounces Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon
  • 1 demerara sugar cube (or sugar cube of your choosing)
  • Dash of El Guapo chicory-pecan bitters
  • Splash of club soda
  • Orange peel, for garnish

Drop sugar cube into an old-fashioned glass, and add bitters and a spoonful of club soda. Using a muddler or heavy spoon, liquefy the ingredients into a syrup. Add bourbon, and stir to combine. Add ice, and a wide strip of fresh orange peel as a garnish.

Classic Eggnog

Finally, what would a holiday drink list be without eggnog? This year, do yourself a favor: Instead of buying this beverage from the store, treat your family and friends using this recipe from chef Heather Nañez of Bohanan’s. This recipe will serve 14-16 people.

  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 pints heavy cream
  • 8 pints milk
  • 2 pints bourbon
  • 2 pints aged rum
  • 3 ounces Bitter Truth Pimento Dram
  • freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with one cup sugar until thick. In another bowl, beat egg whites with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until thick. In a third bowl, beat the cream until thick. Add the cream to the yolks, fold in the egg whites, and add the milk, bourbon, rum, and pimento dram. Chill in freezer and garnish with nutmeg before serving.

Not looking for liquor this holiday season? We’ve still got you covered. Here are the beers and wines we’re looking forward to this Thanksgiving.

Beer

What says “autumn” better than a drink named the Pumkinator? Brought to you by Saint Arnold Brewing Company, this beer is flavored with pumpkin, molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. It comes out every year around October 15—get it while it lasts.

For a perfect pecan pie pairing, reach past the vanilla ice cream and try the Pecan Porter, a year-round treat from 512 Brewing Company. Its malty flavor combined with a healthy dose of local pecans gives it a seasonal edge.

Wine

Pinot noir is the go-to red wine for Thanksgiving, but one from a Texas winery is a bit scarce. A good alternative would be the Kuhlman Cellars 2014 Barranca. The blend of Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Malbec, and Sangiovese makes for a delicious drink.

If you’re more into white wines, try a viognier, of which there are several good options in Texas. Wedding Oak Winery has you covered with their 2016 Viognier, which has characters of melon, apple, and white flowers.

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