Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Serve for Thanksgiving
November 18, 2014
Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Serve for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is the perfect day to switch things up and opt for food-friendly cocktails that have low alcohol content. That way, you can enjoy without over-indulging. These “low-tails” might not pack the punch that their traditional versions do, but they make up for that in flavor.
Baked Cranapple Cobbler
Old-school cocktails like the sidecar have risen in popularity lately. The Fig Sidecar at the Beverly Hills Hotel is one of the place’s most popular drinks. Made with fig-infused Remy Martin 1738 cognac and spiced brown sugar, it’s a warm and toasty cocktail that is fitting for the flavors of Thanksgiving. This version cuts the cognac by half and adds more flavor-enhancing fresh lemon juice. Infuse your cognac by de-stemming and halving black mission figs and letting them steep in cognac with brown sugar syrup for up to a week.
Fireball Whisky Christmas Hug
This is the perfect drink to get you in the holiday spirit. You might think fireball is too strong a drink for daytime, but it is actually bottled at 33-percent alcohol by volume (making it 66 proof), meaning it contains less alcohol than traditional whisky and most vodka. Its cinnamon spiciness pairs perfectly with sweet and tart flavors of apple and cranberry, which are also common flavors for Thanksgiving dinner.
A cosmo is a classic cocktail to serve before or during dinner. With just one ounce of vodka, it’s light enough to help you last the day. Cranberry and lime are great complements to the meal and a splash of soda helps lighten it even more.
Minibar Cider Sangria
Somewhere between spiked cider and juicy sangria, this fall cocktail's flavor perfectly captures the essence of the season. The delicious concoction was created by Minibar co-founders Lindsey Andrews and Lara Crystal especially for guests looking for a lighter cocktail to sip all day that doesn't compromise on flavor. The low alcohol content means it's an ideal meal drink, but also works as an after-dinner treat alongside homemade apple pie.
This is the sole Thanksgiving cocktail recommendation in The New York Times Cookbook, adapted from NYC-based bartender, Xavier Herit. It’s an apple-based drink that plays on the crisp, tart flavor of the Granny Smith variety.
Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pie Martini
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin. From your coffee to your pie, it’s all about fall’s favorite gourd. You love the flavor, but did you know that pumpkin can actually aid digestion and boost immunity? It is also high in beta-carotene, which helps protect against UV rays. Toast to healthy skin and eyes when you make this seasonal spiced pumpkin martini.
Oregon Pear 75
Ryan Magarian’s autumn-based cocktail calls for pear brandy and dry Champagne, two flavors that will enhance your palate during dinner. The drink is light enough not to overwhelm the meal, but sweet enough (thanks to the pear brandy) to complement fall fruit flavors that are present in most side dishes, especially apple-spiked gravy.
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, so why not bring on some Christmas cheer a little early? Not only is this cocktail low in alcohol, it’s low in calories at around 85 per serving. Choose a brut Champagne or dry sparkling wine like prosecco so that it’s not sweet and pairs well with the citrus and cranberry sides at the table.
Poached Fig Margarita
Nothing says party like a margarita. The poached fig margarita served at Marc Forgione’s New York City restaurant, American Cut, takes a traditional margarita and transforms it into a low-tail libation that focuses on flavors of dried orange and poached fig. It calls for just a touch of tequila, so the alcohol is low without compromising the flavor or fun of a margarita.
Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour
One of the best fall flavors is maple syrup, and the bourbon in this cocktail is sure to warm things up at your Thanksgiving fête. Rosemary adds a fresh flavor and amazing fragrance that pairs well with the herb-roasted and infused items on the menu.
The Skinny Bean Spiked Coffee Cocktail
Pam Wiznitzer created this cocktail for coffee lovers. It’s a spiked drink that uses vanilla and hazelnut extract and almond milk to impart a seasonal nuttiness to traditional coffee.
Sangria with Cranberries and Apples
Spanish chef Jose Garces’ recipe for rosé sangria with cranberries and apples is the ideal drink to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. It’s nicely spiced with seasonal flavors and gets a bit of a kick from spicy red pepper. It calls for one bottle of rosé and ⅓ cup each of ruby port and Cointreau, but serves 12, so it’s a low-tail that will last through dinner. Make it ahead and chill in a pitcher for easy serving. Add ice if you like.
Spiced Rum Cider
Stay warm all day with a cozy spiced rum cider. The fragrances of apple, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg are what the season is all about, so this is the perfect accompaniment to dishes like candied yams, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and all the day’s desserts. Its low alcohol content makes it easy to drink and adjust if you want something stronger. Triple or quadruple the recipe to serve this as a punch.
Skinnygirl Blushing Bubbly
Skinnygirl is reality star Bethenny Frankel's low-cal cocktail line dedicated to packing all the flavor punch of a traditional cocktail without the calories. The Blushing Bubbly is made using the brand’s prosecco, so it’s an ideal dinner cocktail and perfect for fans of a bit of fizz. Flavors of grapefruit, cranberry, and ginger enhance the natural flavors of the season and they aid in digestion, too. With less than a full serving of wine in the cocktail, it’s low-alcohol and high-flavor.