Growing up, Mom made no bones about Thanksgiving being her favorite holiday. Trips home to see family were in November, not December, and featured large gatherings of family and friends, food served buffet-style on every flat surface available, and (one memorable year) plates that were actually Chinet platters, because a normal plate wouldn’t come close to holding a little bit of everything available.
These days Thanksgiving is often relegated to the back-burner for many. Merely a carbo-load before Black Friday shopping begins (this year some stores are starting Thursday night, even).
Despite some of the more inauspicious beginnings of Thanksgiving (similar to the controversy surrounding Columbus Day), Thanksgiving is still widely celebrated throughout the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. Menus vary depending on your family’s heritage or adopted traditions, though turkey with all the trimmings is considered the norm. What makes this turkey dinner different from any other?
Sure, you can buy canned cranberry sauce year-round, but you can roast poultry year round, too. Cranberry sauce is just one of those things we don’t seem to buy much of (or make) except for Thanksgiving.
1 Tbsp Dried Cranberries
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 1/2 oz Spiced Rum
3 Tbsp Raspberries & Blueberries
Sprig of Mint
Muddle the dried cranberries and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add the rum, fresh berries, and then crushed ice to the 3/4 mark on the glass and shake until nice and frothy. Dump the whole thing into a glass, add more ice (if needed), and fill with cranberry juice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve with a straw.
Even though cobblers are traditionally made with sherry or other fortified wines, I thought rum better fit the feeling I was going for. The fresh berries should break up a bit during shaking and the cobbler is one of the few drinks that is served with the shaking ice rather than straining over fresh. It’s a fun sort of throw-back drink for a fun sort of throw-back holiday. It’s very sweet, so if you want something lighter, split the shaken mixture between two glasses and use more cranberry juice to thin it.
To be totally candid…
There’s a lot of crap going on in society today–Mother Nature is obviously not. pleased. with us, jobs are still scarce for many, and some people still insist on being grade-A asshats just because they feel like it. But in the face of all of that, we still have a lot to be thankful for. I’m not going to make you confess your gratitude. (Hey, if what you’re most thankful for today is your morning coffee, your earbuds to drown out an annoying co-worker, and the 30%-off coupon you’ve got for Kohls, you shouldn’t have to feel bad for standing next to the guy whose thankful his cancer’s in remission–we don’t judge, here. Be happy for you both.) But whatever you raise your glass to this coming week, I hope you have a good one.