You guys, sometimes my mom would let me drink booze before I was 21. Maybe she was festive as fuck. Or maybe she was just a shitty mom. For good measure, let’s say it’s a little of Column A and a little of Column B.
Anyway, this Nuts & Berries cocktail is one she’d let me drink around the holidays. Though I don’t know how it even happened, because she never kept any booze in the house, save for the jug of shitty pink wine that was always half full in the fridge. In fact, now that I think about it, it was my cool aunt Susie who first introduced me to it. (See how my mom gets called “shitty” and Susie is “cool?”)
Anyway, there aren’t too many drinks I liked at 18 that I still like at 34. But this is one of them. Yes, it’s sweet. But even if you, like me, usually prefer straight whiskey to sugary, creamy drinks, just fucking give this one a try. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and creamy, but not too creamy.
Nuts & Berries
2 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 ounces Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
1 ounce Chambord raspberry liqueur
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled glass, on or off the rocks, depending on your preference.
I’ve created probably a hundred catchy cocktails for various websites, but this one, a Thanksgiving-themed tipple, is one of my all-time favorites. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say it’s the best Thanksgiving cocktail in the world. In fact, it may be the only Thanksgiving cocktail in the world, but that’s probably not true at all.
The Old Sage has a hint and scent of sage, thanks to a super-easy sage simple syrup. It’s mixed with Old Overholt Rye Whiskey (cheap as shit, but so good), lemon juice, and Peychaud’s Bitters — which very subtly mimics some of the spices associated with the holiday.
This is good. Like, get-Grandma-fucking-wasted-on-Thanksgiving good.
The Old Sage
2 ounces Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
2 ounces lemon juice
1 ½ ounces sage simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon slice for garnish
Sage leaf or sprig for garnish
To make the sage simple syrup, combine 1 cup white granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and ½ cup of loosely-packed fresh sage leaves in a saucepan over high heat. Mix well, and as soon as the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Strain out the sage leaves and store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To assemble the cocktail, add the Old Overholt, lemon juice, sage simple syrup, and bitters to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into a double rocks glass filled with a handful of ice cubes or one large cube. Garnish with the lemon and sage, and enjoy!
Okay, maybe “waste” isn’t a great word. But leaves, sticks and pine cones are all perfect items for your homemade tablescape, as the combination of natural elements and gold strike the perfect festive balance for winter holiday decor.
Anyway, it really doesn’t matter how you do it — you can paint three leaves or 30 — but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Collect different shapes and sizes of dried leaves or pinecones and spray paint them all gold. Scatter or arrange them around a candle or vase to add a touch of nature and glam to your holiday tablescape.
Gather fallen branches of a similar length and girth. Sand them if they’re rough, then add a festive pop by painting a few of them white or gold. Arrange horizontally around a candle holder or put them upright in a vase. A twist on this would be to coat an old jar or can with gold spray paint, then put a combination of natural and white painted sticks in it.
Add a little color to your rustic spread by putting fresh herbs or holiday buds in a vase or milk jug.
Want to make it even more interesting? Spray paint half of whatever you have, or a third. Or tape off a portion of your leaves or sticks diagonally before you paint. Mix it up however you’d like, because no matter what you do, it’s likely going to look like something out of a magazine (because it’s really hard to screw up this DIY!).
You can do this. I believe in you.
These images originally appeared in my Buzzfeed piece, 9 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Make Your Thanksgiving Table Look Better.