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The holidays are approaching, and if you’re not flying across the country for Thanksgiving or don’t feel like hearing the endless political differences or why you’re still single, there are other options. Opting to have a Friendsgiving is always a dope idea despite missing out on some of that home-cooked food.
While there are no strict traditions when it comes to the pretty new concept of the holiday, that’s what makes it elite. You can cook whatever style of food you want and, even more importantly- get creative with your drinks.
Whiskey is one of our favorite, versatile go-to liquors, so we decided to round up some cocktails that are sure to be a hit at your Friendsgiving celebration.
Get to pouring and toasting. Cheers.
1. Whiskey HighballSource:Getty
The Whiskey Highball is a classic cocktail that fits that theme but there are ways to jazz up the drink for all four seasons.
The Highball’s history has been debated over the years with some claiming the cocktail got its start in America and others saying it is an imported concept from Europe. From the various sources I looked over, including the always excellent Difford’s Guide, the cocktail has origins that seem to point to the late 1800s, and in the 1930s, Patrick Gavin Duffy claims to have brought the cocktail to the states in 1895.
2oz bourbon (or spirit of your choosing)
4oz club soda
Tom Collins glass (chilled via ice water or left in the freezer for at least one hour)
In a pre-chilled glass, fill to near the top with good, clear cubed ice and not crushed as it’ll melt too quickly.
Chill the bourbon in a mixing glass over ice and strain over the rocks-filled glass.
Then, slowly pour in the club soda, no stirring or mixing needed as the bubbles do all the work.
2. Old Fashioned Whiskey CocktailSource:Getty
We tried our hand at making an Old Fashioned using cognac as the base spirit, and we’re happy to report that it was excellent as hoped.
For the Old Fashioned, I used Hennessy for the base and looked over my bar to figure out where to go next. From there, I gathered my trusty bottle of Peychaud’s, a bottle of freshly made demerara simple syrup, and an orange for the garnish.
2 oz cognac
1/4 demerara simple syrup
3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters (or Bitter Truth creole bitters)
Like any other Old Fashioned, this drink is built in the glass. Add the cognac, simple syrup, and bitters. Then add ice and stir vigorously for 20-30 seconds in a mixing glass. Then pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with either a lemon or orange peel.
3. The Oldest American CocktailSource:Getty
Along with being The Big Easy’s official drink, the Sazerac is also framed as America’s oldest cocktail. The story behind the drink has been told several ways, much like many classics of lore. The New Orleans tourism website gave what’s typically regarded as the most accurate version of the cocktail’s origin, saying, “The story goes that back in 1838, Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud invented the Sazerac in his shop at 437 Royal Street. They say he first served it to his fellow Masons after hours in an egg cup –a coquetier—a word that some insist morphed into “cocktail.”
1 cube sugar
1½ oz. Rye Whiskey or Your Favorite Bourbon
¼ oz. Herbsaint
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
4. The ManhattanSource:Getty
The origin of the Manhattan isn’t exactly known as it was widely claimed that the Manhattan Club of New York created it in the 1870s as a drink for Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill. However, that retelling of the story has been debunked many times over. There are other accounts that a bartender named Black invented the drink in the 1860s, which largely called for two parts of whiskey, one part of Italian vermouth and aromatic bitters.
2 oz rye whiskey (bourbon or Canadian whiskey can also be used)
1 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Luxardo cherry for garnish
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