For those living in the subtropics, the change in seasons is not so much delegated by weather, but rather a shift in flavors. With the onset of Thanksgiving, fall is in the air. From fresh herbs to apple and cranberry, the change of seasons has arrived in South Florida, and we have a few cocktail recipes to capitalize on the bounty.
Few herbal combinations say Thanksgiving quite like parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” aside, the herbs are standards in dressings and herb roasted turkey, but why not cocktails? Try this recipe for an herb-infused cocktail that is sure to win over the Thanksgiving crowd.
- 1 sprig each: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
- 1 750ml bottle of vodka
In a ball jar, add herbs, top with vodka, seal and shake. Place in a cool dark place—kitchen cupboard—for two to five days (longer for a stronger flavored vodka), shaking once daily to agitate. Remove and discard herbs before serving.
- 1 1/2 oz. infused vodka
- 3 oz. cranberry juice
- 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients. Shake until chilled; strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sage leaf.
Way back in the 19th century—and in some cases, today—people used to throw back a mix of whiskey, lemon, honey, and hot water when they felt flu and cold symptoms. The concoction was praised for the vitamin C boost from the lemon and the soothing properties of the honey—I still think it was the hearty dose of booze that kept this a go-to cure all.
While we’re not advising folks to imbibe while under-the-weather, DeLeón Premium Tequila has come up with a unique take on the classic toddy that is perfect for the Thanksgiving season. Dropping the whiskey for tequila, the sip utilizes unsweetened cranberry juice—on its own, one of the tartest juices around—in the mix, giving it a balance of sweet and bitter like noting else.
Spiked Cranberry Brew
- 1 1/2 oz. DeLeón Platinum Tequila
- 6 oz. hot cranberry batch (1 part fresh unsweetened cranberry juice, ¾ part fresh lemon juice, 3/4 part simple syrup, cinnamon clove and nutmeg to taste)
Simmer together ingredients for hot cranberry batch. Combine hot cranberry batch with DeLeón Platinum Tequila in glass mug. Garnish with a thin pear slice dusted with cinnamon.
Recipe and image courtesy of DeLeón Premium Tequila
Few flavors imbue fall more than apples. A staple of desserts and sides, the fruit has made a niche in the fairer months, and for good reason: its delicious. This Thanksgiving celebration, reserve some of those apple pie apples for a festive, fizzy punch from Sparkling Ice.
Sparkling Cider Sangria
- 3 bottles of Sparkling Ice Crisp Apple
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 1 cup apple brandy
- 2 apples, sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 pear, sliced
In a large pitcher combine sliced fruit with brandy and wine. Let this sit in the refrigerator for approximately 3 hours. Right before serving, top with Sparkling Ice Crisp Apple. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
Recipe and image courtesy of Sparkling Ice.
Need a Thanksgiving pick-me-up? Coco Joy wants to help with the rejuvenating nature of coconut water. While the weather is downright pleasant, that doesn’t mean South Floridians don’t enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. And just because you’re of legal drinking age doesn’t mean those mugs are strictly reserved for coffee and tea. Crank down the air conditioner and brew some Spiked Coconut Hot Chocolate.
Spiked Coconut Hot Chocolate
- 1 1/4 cup Coco Joy Coconut Milk; Divided
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
- 3/4 cup Coco Joy Coconut Water
- 1/2 cup coconut rum
- 3 tbsp. Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Pinch of Cinnamon
In a small saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon and half of the coconut milk until well blended. Whisk in the remaining coconut milk until smooth, then whisk in coconut water until blended.
Bring mixture to a simmer over medium low heat, whisking occasionally. Whisk in vanilla and coconut rum. Divide between two mugs or cups and serve immediately.
Recipe and image courtesy of Coco Joy.
One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. In my family, no Thanksgiving is complete without the midnight sandwich stacked with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy. But this usually leads to slim pickings come Saturday’s battle for Sunshine State supremacy between Florida State and the University of Florida. However, those bowls of cranberry sauce persist, bright red reminders of the caloric bender that is holiday eating.
Fully embracing the “No Food Left Behind” mantra of giving thanks, I’ve got a remedy that’ll add a little fiesta to your Thanksgiving party, utilizing leftover cranberry sauce.
Leftover Cranberry Jalapeno Punch
- 2 1/2 oz. silver tequila (Patron fellas, don’t skimp)
- 1/2 oz. Cointreau
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. cranberry-jalapeno puree (recipe below)
- 1 oz. cranberry-jalapeno simple syrup (recipe below)
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until cold. Strain into a bar glass filled with ice, garnish with a lime slice.
- Cranberry sauce leftovers
- 1 jalapeno
Combine your leftover cranberry sauce into a blender or food processor. Depending on volume of the cranberry sauce, add chopped and de-seeded jalapeno to taste (about one whole jalapeno to two cups of cranberry sauce for a lighter spice). Puree until smooth; strain well before using.
Cranberry-Jalapeno Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbs. cranberry-jalapeno puree, strained
Stir sugar, water, and puree together in a medium saucepan, bringing to a low boil. Let simmer for a minute or two, letting thicken. Remove from heat; allow to cool before using.