As the L-tryptophan, Dallas Cowboys football and familial-angst hangover wears off, it’s time to adjourn to the couch for an afternoon of leftovers, yes, more football, and a couple of smooth drinks to aid recovery.
There’s definitely a technique to this; after all the cleanup and storing of folding tables and chairs, it’s time to decompress. It’s time for some “you” time. Step one, pile some leftover turkey, stuffing, gravy and a dollop of cranberry sauce between two slices of bread — or maybe a leftover dinner roll or sourdough biscuit — and kick your feet up for a while. Step two, wash down the sandwich with a mint julep, old-fashioned or other mellow cocktail, and let the decompression begin.
The day after Thanksgiving, dare I say, is almost magical. It has that holiday feel, but isn’t Christmas. Yet many of us don’t have to work the next day. It’s a win-win all the way around. The Mrs. is usually off shopping at those after-Thanksgiving sales, and the kids and
I are on our own for most of the afternoon. It’s an emotional well-being day, filled with leftovers, long naps and maybe a game of touch football or shooting hoops in the park with the kids. I even like to whip together a couple of those dinner roll sandwiches and take the kids for a leisurely hike in the Superstitions or at South Mountain.
But that’s about as exciting as it gets. All events always seem to lead back to the couch, and
the leftovers. And why not? Enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it. Savor that cold turkey leg and slake your thirst with a few after-Thanksgiving cocktails. Here are a few favorites.
15 mint leaves
3 ounces bourbon
3 ounces water
2 teaspoons sugar
Preparation: Tear 12 mint leaves and place in bottom of double old-fashioned or highball glass with sugar and one-third of the water and muddle (smash) until sugar is dissolved. Fill glass with ice and add bourbon and rest of water. Garnish with remaining mint leaves.
1 teaspoon sugar or sugar cube
Angostura bitters (herbal)
3 ounces blended or Canadian whiskey
Splash of water
Preparation: Add sugar, bitters and water into the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and muddle. Add ice and whiskey and fill to top with water. Stir and garnish with lemon wedge.
2 ounces scotch (blended or single-malt)
1 ounce Drambuie (scotch-based herbal liqueur)
Preparation: Pour scotch into old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Float Drambuie on top and garnish with lime wedge.
3 ounces vodka (pepper infused preferred)
4 ounces tomato juice
1 ounce lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of celery salt
Pinch of black pepper
Dab of prepared horseradish
Stalk of celery
Preparation: Combine first eight ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into Collins glass filled with ice and garnish with celery stalk and green olives.
8 mint sprigs
1 tablespoon simple syrup
3 ounces silver rum
1 lime, juiced
Preparation: Place mint sprigs and syrup in bottom of a Collins glass and muddle (use handle of wooden spoon to reach most effectively). Add rum and juice of one lime into glass and fill with ice. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with lime wedge.
2 ounces brandy or cognac
2 ounces triple sec or cointreau (orange liqueur)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Preparation: Combine brandy, orange liqueur and lemon juice into a shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a twist.