A drink to start the festivities

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.