Bring on the holiday spirits

Mom’s ceaseless fussing with the turkey basting. Aunt Bertha’s nubby fingers in the cheese hors d’oeuvres. Dad’s indiscreet picking at the pumpkin pie while the sounds of a packed NFL football stadium obnoxiously blare through the television as the guys holler, the dogs bark and the kids keep complaining, “Is it ready yet?”

Oh, Thanksgiving. That time of year for kitschy festive spirit, irritating relatives and disquieting signs of Christmas lurking around the corner. This is the time of year that may call for a stiff drink like no other occasion could.

Never fear; there is good news. It’s also that time of year that allows one to indulge in several alcoholic pleasures all the while seeming filled with holiday “cheer.”  Just add a little festive creativity to any beverage for instant gratification masked with “turkey oversoul.”

Spirits are a great place to start, especially with the major comeback cocktails have made these past five or six years around the dinner table. Manhattans, for example, are perfect for the American holiday, especially when adding homegrown spirits such as a Kentucky bourbon. If one chooses to indulge in something a little more “Thanksgiving-esque,” Epicurious.com suggests the Wild Turkey or cranberry bourbon spritzers, which include different combinations of bourbon, sugar and orange, lime or cranberry juices.

The smashing pumpkin martini, cranberry punch and brandy Alexander are other great festive beverages recommended by Epicurious.com. 

The pumpkin martini, created by Fifty Seven Fifty bar manager Felix Albano of New York City, demands three ounces of pumpkin-spiced vodka and one ounce of Amaretto, topped off with toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish. 

The cranberry punch requires more ingredients but it’s just as easy to put together. Mixing four cups of cranberry juice,  two cups of vodka, two cups of fresh, strained orange juice, a quarter-cup of cherry liquor, a pinch of ground allspice,  a pinch of nutmeg, and thin lemon slices (for garnish) serves 16 people. 

Brandy Alexander, the greatest cause of unwanted pregnancy in the 1920s (so goes the legend), also happens to be a wonderful fall cocktail. Comprised of two ounces of brandy, a half ounce of dark cr