Cocktails Add Spice to Thanksgiving Feast

November Cocktails of the Month

By Sid Robinson

As Thanksgiving brings us together with family and friends, preparations are likely already in place for dinner and dessert. Perhaps the last thing on your mind is the bar. The holiday isn’t complete without a special cocktail to enjoy during football and before turkey. We’ve pulled a few suggestions to go along with your other Thanksgiving traditions. As always, please drink responsibly and be sure to designate a driver. Cheers!

Charleston Brown Water Society Punch

First brewed by a group of South Carolina bourbon drinkers, this punch is the signature drink of the Charleston Brown Water Society.


3 cups bourbon

2 cups dark rum

1½ cups fresh orange juice

½ cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups honey syrup

2 cups demerara sugar syrup 

3 cups soda water


Combine all the ingredients except the soda water. Chill. Pour into a punch bowl with a large block of ice, and add soda water just before serving, with orange slices for garnish.

Recipe courtesy of Imbibe Magazine through excerpts from The Southerner’s Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories by David DiBenedetto and the Editors of Garden & Gun (Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers). Copyright © 2015. 


Port Of Call

The popular holiday cocktail from New York’s Clover Club serves not only as the taste of Thanksgiving, but also features a bit of the day’s cranberry sauce.


1 ounce gin

1 ounce ruby port wine

¾ ounce lemon juice

½ ounce cinnamon syrup

1 teaspoon cranberry sauce (or cranberry preserves)


Shake the gin, port, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and cranberry sauce with ice until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and 1 raspberry

    Cinnamon Syrup


     ½ ounce cassia cinnamon bark or five cinnamon sticks

     1 cup superfine sugar

     1 cup water


     In a saucepan, muddle the cinnamon bark or sticks into tiny pieces. Add the sugar and water and heat over medium heat, stirring periodically so the sugar doesn’t burn and stick to the pan. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and let sit over night in the refrigerator. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve into nonreactive metal or glass container with a lid. The syrup will keep for about a month in the fridge. Makes 1 ½ cups.

Recipe courtesy of “The Craft Cocktail Party” by Julie Reiner.


El Morro Sunset

The final recipe is my own concoction, bringing the flavors of orange and cranberry. The name comes from the orange and red colors that reminded us of many sunsets at the beach just north of Laguna, where the Bosson family had a trailer for decades.


1 ½ ounce Vodka

1 ½ ounce Cranberry Liqueur

1 ounce Cranberry Juice

1 ounce Orange Juice

2 ounces soda water

2 dashes Angustora bitters


Mix the vodka, cranberry liqueur, cranberry juice, orange juice and bitters in a shaker with ice until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with cranberries.


Happy Thanksgiving!