Thanksgiving is a Boeing 777X, screeching to a halt, and my kitchen is the runway. The pressure is on. I’ll be starting a new job, which means that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I’ll begin meal preparations later than I’ve ever done before. Also, Alex invited his college friends from China to spend their first-ever Thanksgiving in the United States—with us—and I’m thrilled but also realizing, just now, that the sparkling gelatin salad I use as the centerpiece for the meal— because it’s so “razzle-dazzle—” could be unappetizing. Sparkling gelatin salad is really just a fancy way of saying, “Have a slice of goo that’s studded with chunks of fruit you can chew. Dig in!”
However, while tranquility still lingers in the air, and the loud rumble of jet engines is far off, what better way to celebrate than with a cocktail? A highly sophisticated Google search, such as “fall cocktails,” yields precisely 183,000,000 results, which means I’m not the only one whose son has invited friends from other countries to Thanksgiving dinner—friends who may have seen Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party—friends who have expectations and many, many questions.
After performing my superbly technical search on the web, I decided not to pick the first link I saw. Rather, in the spirit of hard-core analysis and dedication, I chose the second link: “23 Autumnal Cocktails Perfect for the Crisp Days of Fall” from Town & Country Magazine. Did I search through all 23 recipes? No. The first one looked just fine to me: Autumn Fizz. I’m feeling a bit fizzy these days, so this drink spoke to me. It said, “You’ll be fine. Serve the sparkling salad and shut up.”
The recipe is quite simple. Just pour two ounces of gin into a glass. Add ½ tablespoon of lemon juice, and then pour some sparkling apple juice over the top, filling up the glass. Next, just a drizzle of agave syrup tops off the drink. The flashy folks over at Town & Country suggest you serve it with apple slices and a sprig of thyme. I didn’t have any apple slices, but I floated a sprig of thyme on the edge. It’s a kind of life raft/floatation device, in case the landing gets a little bumpy.
In any case, I really liked the drink. A lot. It was sweet, but not overpowering. To take it up a notch, just inject fruit with the drink and plop it into a gelatin salad mold. Let it set up. Serve with spoons and straws.
Your Turn: What foods and recipes do you like to share with others?