Unless you’re hosting a house full of guests, Thanksgiving dinner is a once-and-done event. You cook, you eat, you clean and then you try to forget that you’ll be doing it all over again in a short 365 days.
But Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be relegated to just one day. Whether you’re hankering for a plate of leftovers, or you merely want to let the day linger a while longer, try one of these festive libations.
Each of the below cocktails is inspired by a classic Thanksgiving dish, from turkey with cranberry sauce to green bean casserole. They range from savory to sweet to take you through the full holiday progression, and they’re so good you probably won’t be able to stop yourself from going back for seconds. Mix one for your next Thanksgiving gathering, or anytime you’d like to get a taste of the holiday.
Put away the can opener and forget about that “jelly or whole berry” debate. Unlike the plate-staining side dish, this Cosmo variant at Bridges Bar at New York Hilton Midtown has a boozy kick. Grapefruit vodka mimics the citrus peel that gives popping, simmering berries brightness, and a rosemary sprig adds a whiff of herbaceous lift. This version also amplifies the cranberry, to give your Cosmo more of that tart holiday fruit.
In New York City, Miss Ada head bartender Ruben Hernandez was inspired to create a salad stand-in that stems from the Mediterranean tradition of mixing arak with water, mint and citrus over ice. Beets provided the perfect base—not to mention a gorgeous, intense color—and purple, pink and even rainbow ones work equally well. “This root vegetable, which is harvested all summer through late fall, stores well and keeps for months,” says Hernandez. “Both golden and red beets have an earthy, bitter raw flavor.” To add savory tanginess, feel free to garnish with a sprinkle of goat cheese.
Okay, so this drink involves chicken and not turkey, but some leeway is in order because of how comforting and delicious the cocktail is. Created by Christy Pope of Midnight Rambler in Dallas, the chilled beverage combines chicken stock with applejack, apple cider, simple syrup, lemon juice and Angostura bitters. It’s savory, autumnal and a drink you can pull out with confidence on Thanksgiving Day.
This Toddy recipe from New York bitters bar Amor y Amargo is named for the winter squash it’s made with. Substituting sugar pumpkin, though, is a bit more fun and festive. The tiny, twee-looking pumpkin lends a rich, velvety texture to the cocktail, which also includes aged rum, Earl Grey tea, velvet falernum and maple syrup. This year, skip the pie and drink your dessert. It’s just as satisfying, and a whole lot easier to make.
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Mushy green beans from a can topped with canned onion straws? No, thanks. In Washington, D.C., Firefly lead bartender Brendan Ambrose’s vegetal elixir (a version of a drink he does with sugar snap peas,) is smoky, herbal and bitter. You can thank the smoked beans and mezcal, plus salted lime simple syrup and splashes of Chartreuse and Cynar liqueurs. Bring this to the table and, unlike the casserole, everyone’s sure to partake.