Your Thanksgiving guests have departed, leaving you with enough mashed potatoes to feed an army. You’re staring down three weeks worth of turkey sandwiches and feeling slightly ill. Here’s another idea: Turn those leftovers into booze, and drink away your turkey coma until Christmas.
Here are a few simple recipes to get you started.
Cranberry Sauce Cocktails
Cranberry sauce is one of the hardest leftovers to rid yourself of. After the first few sandwiches, it gets shoved to the back of the fridge, where it hibernates until the annual spring cleaning. But those jiggly, gelatinous berries are a surprisingly versatile booze additive, from zesty margaritas to creamy winter comfort drinks. My recommendation? Start with a twist on the classic cosmopolitan.
1 ounce vodka
2 1/2 ounces cranberry granita
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1. Follow this recipe in its entirety to make cranberry granita from scratch. But you can also start from leftover cranberry sauce, reheating it in a saucepan for 5-7 minutes and adding water as needed to achieve a syrupy consistency. Do this ahead of time—the granita will need at least a few hours in the freezer to set.
2. Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake until granita melts. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon. Consume liberally with leftover turkey.
Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes
We all know the best way to enjoy pumpkin pie: Buried under a scoop of ice cream and a blanket of cool whip. So, why not take things to their natural conclusion, and stick the whole damn dessert plate in a blender? A dash of whiskey will take the edge off the appalling number of calories you’ve just consumed.
1 slice pumpkin pie
1/2 cup milk (Use 2% if you want, but really, who are you kidding? Use whole milk.)
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
At least 1 shot Fireball whiskey
Stick everything in a blender, blend. Pour into a glass. Garnish with cinnamon, whipped cream and graham crackers, and maybe another slice of pie.
Boozy Turkey Soup
Believe it or not, you can even turn your Thanksgiving bird into booze. Over at Food and Wine, Justin Hampton, the lead bartender at Washington D.C’s Poste, explains how to transform your turkey drippings into a bourbon-infused cocktail that tastes a bit like somebody spiked grandma’s chicken soup. A cure for all seasons.
Coping Until Christmas
Thanksgiving leftovers aside, you’ve probably got plenty of stray ingredients lying around, just begging to be transformed into booze. And there’s no better place to start than with food blogger Michael Procopio’s “The Coping Mechanism,” an eggnog-esque concoction that promises to take the edge off the family blitz you just endured.
3 ounces of bourbon
1 ounce dark amber maple syrup
Juice of half a lemon
One egg white from a reputable source, lightly beaten
Freshly grated nutmeg
1. Drop ice into a large cocktail shaker. Pour over bourbon, maple syrup, lemon juice, and egg white. Close lid firmly. Shake until your arm is sore and you can feel the turducken pounds dissipating into thin air.
2. Strain your frothy creation into cocktail glass, garnish with nutmeg. Drink, rinse, and repeat.
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