Thanksgiving Sparkler

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Cocktail History

The Thanksgiving Sparkler is an autumn cocktail that was created by hospitality professional Nick Mautone of 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 flavor of spiced pumpkin, sourness of lemon, and effervescence of semi-dry bubbly to make a festive sipper that’ll keep you buzzed through the long holiday weekend with family and friends.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Sparkling Wine: This is the base spirit. It’s a carbonated wine made with white or red grapes. We used Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava Brut Sparkling White Wine because it has a nice semi-dry flavor and is affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the wine.

Brandy: This is the other base spirit. We used Central Standard Craft Distillery Northern Wisconsin Brandy because its smoothness and has a slightly oaky taste. 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 adds sweet and sour citrus flavor for balance. We used fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes much better.

Brown Sugar: This is added to the rim for more sweetness.

Grated Nutmeg: This is the garnish. It adds nutmeg aroma and flavor.

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 this cocktail 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, but the original recipe didn’t call for any citrus, 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. Adding 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 rim.”

Recipe

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

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)
$12.95

AuthorThe Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday CocktailsPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 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
 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 wine and Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy to try a low-proof version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

Sale
Marquis by Waterford Markham Set of 4, 9 oz, Clear Champagne Flutes, 4 Count (Pack of 1)
Marquis by Waterford Markham Set of 4, 9 oz, Clear Champagne Flutes, 4 Count (Pack of 1)
Marquis by Waterford Markham Collection; Crafted from high quality crystalline, featuring a classic wedge cut
$47.97
Sale
Waterford Lismore Essence Flute, Set of 2
Waterford Lismore Essence Flute, Set of 2
Crafted from the finest crystal; Perfect for serving sparkling wine, mimosas, spumante or champagne cocktails
$143.67
Godinger Champagne Flutes, Champagne Glasses, European Made Crystal - Dublin, Set of 2, 6oz
Godinger Champagne Flutes, Champagne Glasses, European Made Crystal – Dublin, Set of 2, 6oz
Toast to true love with these elegant champagne flutes.; Ideal for weddings new years or a romantic evening.
$34.95
Godinger Dublin Crystal Champagne Flutes - Set of 4
Godinger Dublin Crystal Champagne Flutes – Set of 4
Lead free crystal. Capacity: 6oz; Set of 4.
$24.99

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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