The Ideal Thanksgiving Cocktail to Prep Ahead

Photo by Angel Tucker

Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you’re hosting or joining friends and family at their table this holiday, there’s a great cocktail recipe you can prepare ahead of time. There are so many tasks to do on the day of Thanksgiving, and this recipe is designed for folks who’d like to share a beautiful handmade cocktail but don’t have the time to build individual drinks for each person.

In my family, our beverage ritual revolves around sipping Champagne while dressing the turkey and gathering for cocktail hour when guests arrive. A massive cheeseboard, hot cider for the kids, a popcorn and cranberry stringing station in the living room- that’s what I can expect come about 4pm tomorrow afternoon. Here’s the recipe that I’ll be prepping this evening after I turn the turkey in the brine. Earthy and lightly sweet with a hint of smoke, The Dram is sure to please guests with a range of tastes. Have a crowd that prefers whiskey? Swap in your favorite Bourbon for the Mezcal to yield a slightly sweeter variation without the the smoke. Leave yourself about an hour to prepare the batch and make sure to savor a glass while you do so.

Cheers to a happy and relaxing holiday!

❤ Willa + Little Bitte

The Dram

1½ oz Mezcal (Bourbon works too! )

¾ oz Pear Cider Syrup* 

¾ oz Sweet Vermouth (I love Carpano Antica)

¼ oz Saint Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Tasting Notes: Boozy, warming spices


The Dram  [Batch Recipe Version] 

24 oz Mezcal (750ml bottle – 1 ounce for sipping while you batch!)

12 oz pear cider syrup*

12 oz sweet vermouth 

4 oz Saint Elizabeth Allspice Dram** see note

8 ounces fresh apple cider (for balance + dilution)

Pear Cider Syrup*: Seed and dice 2 ripe juicy pears. Combine pear, apple cider and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, cool to room temp. Fine strain batch into a large bowl gently pressing residual liquid through the strainer with a large spoon and discard the solids. Pour batch into 2 clean sealable glass jars. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Allspice Dram**: If batching a day or days before you serve The Dram, reduce the amount of Allspice Dram to 2 ounces because the flavor is so strong. The flavor of amaros, bitters and spiced cordials amplifies significantly in batches.

Preparation: Combine liquid ingredients and divide into 3 clean bottles or 2 large mason jars and refrigerate. When ready to serve, fill a pitcher with ice and fill with batch. Serve into rocks glasses filled with ice. Garnish with fresh rosemary, thyme or lavender leaf. 

Yield: 20 servings

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