Happy Hour and Happy Thanksgiving

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The Leith Cars family reminds you to always drink responsibly and don’t partake in these recipes if you’re driving to or from your Thanksgiving gathering.

All of us here at Leith Cars are getting excited about Thanksgiving this Thursday. In terms of no-strings-attached holidays, there’s nothing better than an occasion that just asks you to show up and chow down on some home cooking. If you enjoy the company of your extended family, it’s a great chance for you to catch up and reminisce. If you don’t, well again, there’s food.

We know that many of you already have your Thanksgiving menu set at this point in the week, and maybe you haven’t changed it in twenty years. That’s why we aren’t going to be peddling any sort of dish to insert into the lineup.

What we will do is make some suggestions for beverages, a little something to wet your whistle if the turkey has dried you out. Let’s talk about cocktail hour.

There’s a great book called The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart that talks all about how to make amazing cocktails from your garden. It details how to grow herbs and plants you need, how they combine to make such sweet and savory drinks, and most importantly the recipes that you can use to mix up some tasty cocktails. We’ve picked just a couple of recipes from the book to share with you.

For a pre-dinner drink, try the Farmer’s Market, the author’s take on a Bloody Mary.

Photo: Amy Stewart

Photo: Amy Stewart

1.5 oz vodka (Try Glacier Potato Vodka from Idaho) Gin or tequila would also be lovely in this drink.

2-3 ‘Mexican Sour Gherkin’ cucumbers or regular cucumbers

1-2 stalks ‘Red Venture’ celery

2-3 sprigs cilantro or basil

2-3 slices small spicy or mild peppers

6 cherry tomatoes or 1-2 slices large tomato

Dash of Worcestershire sauce (try Annie’s for a vegetarian version)

3-4 oz Q or Fever Tree tonic water

Reserve a celery stalk, cherry tomato, or cucumber for garnish.  Combine all ingredients excep the tonic water in a cocktail shaker and gently crush the vegetables and herbs, making sure to release the tomato juice.  Shake with ice and strain into a tumbler filled with ice.  Top with tonic water and add garnish.

Here’s a video of Amy Stewart showing you how to prepare the drink.

If you’re more of a dark liquor fan, or if you’re looking to warm up after what looks to be a particularly chilly day, try the Chamomile Hot Toddy.

Photo: Amy Stewart

Photo: Amy Stewart

1-2 oz whiskey

1-2 oz honey-chamomile syrup (see note)

Lemon wedge

6-8 cloves

Note: Make honey-chamomile syrup by combining equal parts honey and hot water. Add fresh (or dried) chamomile blossoms and allow to steep for 1 hour, then strain.

Pour hot water into a heat-proof glass. While you wait for it to heat the glass, press cloves into the rind of the lemon wedge and set aside. Empty the glass and coat the inside with syrup, then add the whiskey and top with hot water. Squeeze the lemon into the drink and drop it into the glass.

The Drunken Botanist is published by Algonquin Books, based locally in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. If you’re interested in more great recipes like these, we encourage you to pick up a copy and check out the official blog.

Leith Cars wishes all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. All of our dealerships will be closed, but we will see you bright and early on Friday.

Happy Hour and Happy Thanksgiving was last modified: December 23rd, 2014 by Chris Leith Dodge