Thanksgiving Sparkler

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Cocktail History

The Thanksgiving Sparkler is an autumn cocktail that was created by Nick Mautone at Rainbow Room in New York City, New York and was first published in his book The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails. This fall-inspired variation of the classic French 75 combines a brandy base with the seasonal flavor of spiced pumpkin, the sourness of lemon, and the effervescence of semi-dry bubbly to make a festive sipper that’ll keep you buzzed through the long holiday weekend.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sparkling Wine: This is a carbonated wine made with white or red grapes. We used Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut because it has a fruity flavor with notes of pear, apple, citrus, and almond. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine.

Brandy: This is a spirit made with distilled white wine. We used Central Standard Craft Distillery Northern Wisconsin Brandy because it has a smooth and oaky flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup: This is a sweetener made with pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, white sugar, and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Brown Sugar: This is white sugar that has been processed, crystallized, dried, and flavored with molasses. We used C&H Pure Cane Dark Brown Sugar.

Grated Nutmeg: This is a spice made from the seed of a nutmeg tree. We used whole nutmeg from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut smaller ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus, fruits, and vegetables. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Tasting Notes

The Thanksgiving Sparkler starts with aromas of dry wine and has a taste that features sweet brown sugar followed by pumpkin, slight citrus flavors, and other autumnal spices, all accented with the effervescence and aftertaste of dry sparkling wine.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: The original recipe in the book didn’t call for citrus, which we thought left it unbalanced. After making that change, we both found the Thanksgiving Sparkler to be quite tasty, like a fall-flavored bubbly, and could definitely see ourselves enjoying a few with our Thanksgiving meal.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Every year, we make at least one holiday-themed recipe I don’t enjoy because of its flavors, its process, or its kitschiness. This is as close as we get to that cocktail this year. The taste is honestly pretty good, with the dry wine sweetened and flavored by the pumpkin syrup. The original recipe didn’t call for any citrus though, so it was incredibly unbalanced. With the addition of a bit of lemon juice it becomes much more palatable, and I can see this being loved at a family Thanksgiving party as long as your relatives aren’t connoisseurs of complex, herbal, deep flavors or anything like that.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I’m with Alex; the original recipe for this cocktail just wasn’t quite right without the citrus. Adding in the lemon juice made it so much more balanced than it was without it. Although I’ll admit it is a bit on kitschy side with its brown sugar rim, I really enjoyed this sparkling wine cocktail. I found it to be like an autumn-flavored bubbly, which is something I’ve never tried before. If Alex will agree to make it for me, I would have this again—maybe just without the sweet, sugary rim.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails by Nick Mautone.

Sale
The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails: The Best Nogs, Punches, Sparklers, and Mixed Drinks for Every Festive Occasion
The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails: The Best Nogs, Punches, Sparklers, and Mixed Drinks for Every Festive Occasion
Hardcover Book; Mautone, Nick (Author); English (Publication Language); 128 Pages – 10/17/2017 (Publication Date) – Artisan (Publisher)
$8.15 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Sparkling Wine
 1 oz Brandy
 ¼ oz Lemon Juice
 1 tsp Brown Sugar
 Grated Nutmeg

Method
1

Pour brown sugar on a plate, rim a champagne flute with ¼ oz pumpkin spice syrup, and dip glass in brown sugar until coated.

2

Add brandy, ½ oz pumpkin spice syrup, and lemon juice to rimmed champagne flute.

3

Stir gently for 5-10 seconds.

4

Top with sparkling wine.

5

Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Sparkling Wine
 1 oz Brandy
 ¼ oz Lemon Juice
 1 tsp Brown Sugar
 Grated Nutmeg

Directions

Method
1

Pour brown sugar on a plate, rim a champagne flute with ¼ oz pumpkin spice syrup, and dip glass in brown sugar until coated.

2

Add brandy, ½ oz pumpkin spice syrup, and lemon juice to rimmed champagne flute.

3

Stir gently for 5-10 seconds.

4

Top with sparkling wine.

5

Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Thanksgiving Sparkler

Make It a Mocktail: Use Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine and Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Sparkling Wine Cocktails

If you like this sparkling wine-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Minute To Midnight Cocktail Recipe

Minute To Midnight: A brandy cocktail made with pear liqueur, Angostura aromatic bitters, dry sparkling wine, and a lemon twist

Mountaintop Meadow Cocktail Recipe

Mountaintop Meadow: A vodka cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, lavender bitters, dry sparkling wine, a pineapple wedge, and mint

Wild Rose Cocktail Recipe

Wild Rose: A tequila and dry sparkling wine cocktail made with pineapple gum syrup, maraschino liqueur, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a orange twist

British 75 Cocktail Recipe

British 75: A gin cocktail made with lemon juice, simple syrup, sparkling wine, and a lemon wedge

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