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  • Writer's pictureJohn B. Reyna

Thanksgiving Sipper

You’ve made it to late November. Congratulations! This has been a year like no other. And while we are excited to put on our elastic waist pants and sit down to a Thanksgiving feast, we’re equally, if not more, excited to enjoy some Thanksgiving themed cocktails. It’s been that kind of year . . .

Here at Teakwood Tavern Hospitality, we love fall flavors and we don’t limit their use to cooking. We created two Thanksgiving themed cocktails that embrace classic fall flavors like sage, brown butter, walnuts, apple, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. The recipes for the Turkey Trot and the Apple Pie Punch are below. You can also checkout our YouTube channel, Teakwood Tavern, for informative videos and cocktail demonstrations of both cocktails.

Turkey Trot

Why labor in the kitchen all-day long when you can bring your favorite Thanksgiving flavors to the table in this cocktail? The Turkey Trot is a play on the modern classic cocktail—Gold Rush, which itself is a play on the classic whiskey sour. The whiskey sour template is incredibly simple, which is why everyone should know it: 2 ounces bourbon (or rye), 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, and 3/4 ounce simple syrup. We prefer our whiskey sour with an egg white to add a silky texture, but versions without egg white are acceptable. In 2001, at New York City’s Milk & Honey, T.J. Siegel used honey syrup in lieu of simple syrup and the Gold Rush was born. We’re taking the Gold Rush a few steps further and using brown butter bourbon and sage honey syrup to create the Turkey Trot. This year, you might not be able to blame tryptophan for falling asleep on the couch!

Turkey Trot

2 ounces brown butter bourbon (recipe below)

3/4 ounce sage honey syrup (recipe below)

3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

3 dashes Fee Brothers black walnut bitters

1 egg white (optional)

1 sage leaf for garnish

Combine all ingredients, except for the egg white, into a shaker—then add the egg white.

Perform a dry shake: close the shaker without ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

[Hold the shaker tightly, there will be a lot of pressure inside.] After the dry shake, open the shaker, add ice, and give 12 shakes. Strain the drink through a fine mesh-strainer into a chilled coupe glass. [If you choose not to use the egg white, then combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, give 12 shakes, and strain into a chilled coupe.] Garnish: smack the fresh sage leaf between your hands to release the aromatic oils and place on top of cocktail.

For the brown butter bourbon

8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cubed

2 cups bourbon

Heat butter in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Cook butter, whisking constantly, until it turns dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm. Pour the bourbon into a jar and add the brown butter. Whisk butter and bourbon to mix. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature until the fat rises to the top, about 5-7 minutes. Whisk again. Repeat this wait-whisk process two more times. Cover the jar and place in the freezer for 12 hours. Line a mesh-strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set over a clean jar. Strain the bourbon into the jar. Refrigerate the bourbon until ready to use. Save the butter solids for another use.

Sage honey syrup (makes approx. 6 ounces)

10 grams (about 0.35 ounces) of fresh sage leaves

100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of water

100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of honey

For this recipe, we recommend using a scale to measure by weight, which is more accurate

than using measuring cups. Honey, alone, doesn’t incorporate well into drinks because of its thickness. Honey syrup does the trick! Boil the water. Once boiling, remove from heat, add sage, stir, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes. Weigh 64 grams of sage-flavored water and pour into a clean container. [There will be some excess sage-flavored water remaining. This was to permit some evaporation during boiling. Dispose of the excess water or up your honey following the same ratio.] Add honey to the container with sage-flavored water. Close and shake. Refrigerate the syrup until ready to use.

Checkout our video for demonstrations of this recipe and its delicious ingredients:

Apple Pie Punch

We know pumpkin spice is all the rage right now, but we love apple spice. How dare we, right? Deliciously spiced apples come in many forms. They are both comforting like a good pie and warming to the soul as a hot cider.

Apple Pie Punch is a play on the classic, Planter’s Punch. It's referenced as far back at 1694 and often used rum and lime. Planter's refers to plantation owners around the Caribbean. Everyone seemed to have their own recipe, but they followed the catchy rhyme: one of sour, two of sweet, three for strong, four of weak, and a touch of spice to make it all nice. We used this template respectively, with lemon, demerara syrup, apple brandy, ice, and angostura bitters + allspice dram, which both have a Caribbean heritage. This made it all very nice indeed.

Coming into the holidays, and let’s be honest, year-round, we adore brandy. You can make brandy out of many fruits, but if you’ve never tried apple, boy, are you in for a treat. Many distilleries in the US create this delight, including the oldest family run distillery in America, Laird & Company. Look for their flagship apple brandy, Applejack. You might also find Calvados, which is a region of France that exports wonderful apple brandy.

Allspice dram is liquor flavored with allspice berries. However, it brings in many wonderful baking spices like clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg along with the allspice. Dram is an old-school word for liquor. St.Elizabeth makes a wonderful product.

Demerara is unrefined, high quality brown sugar, which comes in large crystals with naturally forming molasses. The demerara sugar rounds out the apple and spice for the ultimate holiday trifecta. Brown sugar can be used if you cannot find demerara.

And there you have it friends, a holiday punch that can also be your dessert!

Apple Pie Punch

3 ounces Apple Brandy (We recommend Laird’s Applejack)

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 ounce Demerara syrup (recipe below)

1/4 ounce Allspice Dram (We recommend St.Elizabeth)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake 12 times and strain into Collins glass filled with 1/3 crushed ice. Then fill with crushed ice. Garnish with apple slice and cinnamon stick.

Demerara syrup (makes approx. 6 ounces)

100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of water

100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of demerara sugar

For this recipe, we recommend using a scale to measure by weight, which is more accurate

than using measuring cups. Combine equal parts sugar and water with an immersion blender. Cover and refrigerate the syrup until ready to use. [If you can’t find demerara sugar,

substitute brown sugar.]

Here's an informative video walking you through background and making an Apple Pie Punch and demerara syrup:

Last Call

We hope you find the cocktail recipes informative and helpful. We wish all of you the very best Thanksgiving.

Sending spiced love,

Shenandoah and John



















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