By Ektoras Binikos, Founder of Art & Spirit Mixology

Photographs by Simon Jutras

In my fifteen years of experience as a mixologist, I have developed a wide repertoire of recipes that fit within the context of a meal, party or special occasion. There is nothing more rewarding for a bar chef than to create recipes that translate the essence of a season, a person, an event or a particular holiday into a libation.

Today we’ll teach you how to make two fantastic holiday cocktails for your Thanksgiving gathering. They will be perfect pairing for all your favorite Thanksgiving dishes, be it before, with, or after your meal.

And remember, great drinks mean great entertaining!

Autumn Fizz

4 oz of Champagne or Prosecco
1 oz Pedro Ximenez sherry
½ oz bay leaf syrup * see recipe below
2-3 drops of old fashion bitters (Fee Brothers)
Candied ginger for garnish
I whole star anise for garnish

Add Sherry, bay leaf syrup, old fashion bitters in a shaker with ice and shake well.
Add candied ginger at the bottom of each champagne glass and pour in the strained mix from the shaker to fill half the glass.
Top with Champagne or Prosecco and add the whole star anise on top for garnish.

Champagne flute.

*Bay leaf syrup

Can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored sealed in the refrigerator.

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
5 bay leaves

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer until the syrup is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Discard the bay leaves. Store into a tight-fitting-lid container until ready to use.

Thanksgiving Apple Cider Punch

1+1/2 oz of Dark Rum
½ oz Cherry Heering
3-4 drops of old fashion bitters
2-3 drops of Angostura bitters
½ oz lemon juice
2 oz fresh- pressed apple cider
1 piece of clove for garnish
An apple slice for garnish
2 tbsp maple sugar or 2 tsp cinnamon mixed with 4 tsp sugar, for rimming the glass.

Cocktail coupe

Add all ingredients except the garnish in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until the outside is extremely cold to the touch. Pour into the prepared cocktail coupes, rimmed with the maple/cinnamon sugar.

To rim the edges of the glasses, simply rub a lemon wedge around the rims and dip into a saucer containing the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Master Mixologist Ektoras Binikos (formerly the Head Mixologist at the 3 star Aureole and Oceana restaurants) is a creative force in the “New American Cocktail Renaissance”.   His award-winning cocktails reflect the pure and natural ethos of our new American global cuisine, featuring fresh, exotic ingredients in surprising combinations.

Born in Greece and educated in Athens and New York, Ektoras possesses a distinguished background as a multi-media artist that informs his approach to mixology. To him, the perfect cocktail should please the eye and nose as well as the palate; it should provide a transcendent experience that amazes and excites. To that end, he immerses himself in the process of creating beautiful and original concoctions that achieve balance between sweetness, dryness, and sharpness. Fresh fruits and herbs figure prominently in his creations, lending their flavors, textures and colors through a variety of alchemical techniques. 

Art & Spirit Mixology
Please visit us at www.artandspiritmixology.com