Thanksgiving recipe riffs + cocktail pairings for your Friendsgiving table

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THIS CONTENT IS POWERED BY: VINEPAIR
WORDS: Austa Somvichian-Clausen
INFOGRAPHIC: Sara Pinsonault

The holidays are all about celebrating those we’re most thankful for – including our friends. Thanksgiving’s arguably less formal counterpart, Friendsgiving, is typically observed with festive cocktails and a potluck-style feast enjoyed with the best of company. While it’s expected that holiday staples like turkey and mashed potatoes will make appearances, we suggest putting a creative spin on your next Friendsgiving offering with these Thanksgiving-inspired bites that are riffs on the classics.

 

Instead of opting for a few bottles of wine for your celebration, mix it up with spirits. The versatility of cocktails allows for hand-picking the flavors you want to stand out in your feast. We are giving thanks with a few crowd-pleasing pairings that mix libations with these delicious dishes. They’re sure to become the stars of your table.

A fizzy and herbaceous G & T is the perfect way to prepare the palate for the rich meal ahead. Serve it alongside a delicious counterpart, like pieces of warm rosemary garlic bread dipped into a perfectly oozy baked brie. The fresh thyme in the cocktail pairs perfectly with heady rosemary, heightened further by the inherent botanical notes of Tanqueray No. Ten, balanced with the tart sweetness of cranberry.

 

Ingredients

1.75 oz. Tanqueray No. Ten
Tonic Water
Grapefruit Twist
Grapefruit Wheel Garnish
Thyme Sprig Garnish

 

Instructions

1. Pour Tanqueray No. Ten Gin into a goblet or wine glass over ice and top with tonic water.

2. Express grapefruit twist over the glass and stir well.

3. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of thyme.

 

Serves 1

 

Dip your toes into the savory realm with a simple yet elegant Ketel One martini. It’s perfect for cleansing your palate if you were just enjoying the melty cheese above. Pair this beverage with some turkey meatballs, smothered in an herbed gravy, which will provide a perfect contrast to the bright, chilled cocktail. Notes of cracked black pepper from the martini also complement the meaty dish.

 

Ingredients

1.25 oz. Ketel One Vodka
0.25 oz. Dry Vermouth
Lemon Twist Garnish

 

Instructions

1. Stir Ketel One Vodka in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

 

Serves 1

 

A spicy margarita is just the kick your multi-course meeal needs to prevent any impending food comas. Pair it with a creative take on traditional creamed corn, which helps to cut through the cocktail’s spice level. The smoky-sweet Hatch green chiles complement the flavors of chipotle chili powder, while the rich Don Julio Añejo Tequila adds further balance.

 

Ingredients

1.5 oz. Don Julio Añejo Tequila
0.25 oz. Orange Liqueur
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
0.25 oz. Simple Syrup
1 tsp. Chipotle Chili Powder
Lime Wedge Garnish

 

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.
3. Garnish with a lime wedge and salt or sugar rim (optional).


Serves 1

 

This Rob Roy cocktail places the subtly smoky Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky front and center, balanced with sweet vermouth and aromatic bitters. It’s the perfect sipper for the end of your meal, made even better when paired with a delicious apple pie — thanks to the complementary fruity flavors of baked apple and a buttery crumble topping.

 

Ingredients

1.5 oz. Johnnie Walker Black Label
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
Orange Peel Twist
Brandied Cherry Garnish

 

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Stir and strain into a coupe glass and twist a piece of orange peel over the glass to release the aromatic oils.
3. Garnish with a brandied cherry.


Serves 1

 

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A diverse selection of spirits, just waiting for you to give them as gifts.