For a Thanksgiving cocktail, I had in mind an autumnal aperitif that would whet the apetite...a spirited libation that could take the edge off both chilly air and holiday anxiety....yet something light enough in alcohol not to floor us before our meal (and freely flowing wine and aquavit) has even begun.
1 ½ oz bourbon or rye
¾ oz cider
½ Carpano Antica*
½ oz fresh lemon juice
⅓ oz Wood’s Boiled Cider**
dash angostura bitters
Pour all the ingredients into a shaker. Fill it with ice. Shake it hard, until it’s nearly too cold to touch. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. Alternately: make a huge batch, ice it, and serve it as punch.
*Carpano Antica, an herbaceous Italian vermouth, isn’t available everywhere. If you can’t easily find it, use another sweet vermouth and an extra dash of bitters.
**Wood’s Boiled Cider is a syrupy cider reduction. You could replace it with a rich demerara syrup. Gently heat and stir 2 parts demerara (raw) sugar with one part water until dissolved. Use what you need and keep the rest in your refrigerator to make yourself an old fashioned when all the guests are gone.