If you’re anything like us, you arrive to the Thanksgiving celebration ravenous and ready to dig into whatever is set in front of you. The host likely knows this, and if you’re lucky and she’s wise, she has a crudité platter at the ready. (If there are meaty appetizers or fried things, you’re liable to lose your appetite for the big meal.) The same principle applies to drinks: We hope someone hands you an elegant mocktail, or non-alcoholic drink, instead of suggesting you pour a whiskey sour into that empty stomach.
Not that there’s anything wrong with whiskey, of course, but this is a marathon of edibles and potables: not a sprint. Here are the easy (and complex) drinks you can bring to the festivities or serve up if you’re hosting. Cheers!
Grove 42, Seedlip’s non-alcoholic “spirit” of distilled botanicals and extracts with orange and mandarin peel, blood orange, ginger and lemongrass, is the key to this n/a drink’s success. It’s gorgeous at the base of Seedlip’s own marvelous Sour Blossom cocktail recipe. Making it is as easy as mingling blood orange and lemon juices and simple syrup with the spirit base. And look how elegant.
Autumn in a glass. That’s how we’d describe our Green Apple Ginger Fizz, which shines thanks to crisp Granny Smith apples, storebought gingerale and a homemade ginger syrup, plus plenty of ice. It’s a snap to pull together, super-refreshing, and the addition of spicy ginger is sure to whet the appetite. You can even set out a big pitcher, so guests can help themselves.
Ho, ho, ho! This Ruby Spice Highball makes us happier than a bowlful of jelly, and you can serve it now or during the winter holidays. The drink is a knockout, for one thing: Frozen cubes of pomegranate and cranberry juice nestle alongside plain ice cubes in the glass. (It’s called a highball, but you can easily use an Old Fashioned glass, as shown here.) The mocktail combines chai tea and non-alcoholic sparkling French apple cider. Light, bright and merry, it’s lovely with a garnish of berries (on a pineapple cocktail pick!) and a slice of lemon.
Some of these mocktails are eye-openers, as is the berry-strewn number above. Others are soothing, and say “pull up a chair and stay awhile.” Mulled Spiced Cider occupies the latter category. It’s a classic for a reason, folks. Whether your go-to is a bunch of cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice or a combination of all three, we’re going to stick with the beloved, five-star-reviewed, mulling spices our founder concocted 50 years ago. Some things don’t go out of style.
Ginger has been used as a stomach soother almost since antiquity. Though its gastrointestinal properties are still a slight mystery, it’s safe to say we’d love to be handed a glass of Mint Ginger Ale upon walking into Thanksgiving. It’s minty, it’s sugary, it’s gingery, and if someone at your party really wants a drink, they can add a splash or two of bourbon and be happy as a clam.
Here’s one we might actually break out after the big feast: a Chile Hot Toddy. It’s got dandelion root tea, lemon and blood orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and four Thai chiles, all steeped in water, then spiked with plenty of fresh lemon juice. Don’t worry; there’s a ton of wildflower honey in there, too, for balance and soothing qualities. It’s clear and clean-feeling, bracing with a bit of heat, and just the thing to sip on while you’re watching dumb television in cozy chairs (or lying on the floor; no judgment) after the big meal.