So it appears that when it comes to Thanksgiving cocktails, my immediate impulse is to post drinks that are brown with an orange garnish. Something to do, I suppose, with the brown-and-orange turkeys we used to make in elementary school around this time of year. Or perhaps just because in California we have no real seasons, so our fall is the brown and orange-gold of fire season, rather than the jewel-toned ruby and topaz autumn of those regions where the leaves change.
Which is not to say that California can’t turn out a delicious fall cocktail, like this gem from our dear friend Chuck of Looka!/The Gumbo Pages. Though Chuck is a New Orleanian in his heart, he pays his taxes to the state of California and we long ago adopted him as one of us—a theme which is important to the genesis of the Hoskins. Named for Chuck and Wes’ dear friends Fiona and John of Shropshire, we were introduced to this drink on one of our first visits to Chuck and Wes’ intensely awesome home bar; in the intervening years we’ve come to know John and Fiona through the stories we’ve heard and the many fine Hoskins Cocktails we’ve enjoyed. Though the Hoskins’ won’t be celebrating across the pond next week, their namesake is absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving, as we all give thanks and enjoy the company of our friends and families.
2 oz gin (Chuck calls for Plymouth, I used Citadelle because I’m a rebel and I ain’t no good)
¾ oz Torani Amer
½ oz maraschino
¼ oz Cointreau
dash orange bitters
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled mixing glass and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, flame an orange peel over the top, garnish with the peel and serve.
Aside from the fact that this cocktail is delicious, it has the added bonus of introducing the element of danger to your holiday festivities through the careful application of fire. Flaming an orange peel is a simple procedure but one that takes some practice, so don’t try to learn while you’re actually serving the drinks—the oils in the peel flare up a bit, so I wouldn’t recommend trying this for the first time in front of company. It is easy enough to do once you get the hang of it, though, so don’t let a little bit of fire stop you! The ingredient list is simple enough, but the cocktail has the most wonderful floral notes I’ve found. The combination of the maraschino and Cointreau does something absolutely lovely, while the Torani keeps the drink from becoming too sweet. The final note of the orange oil adds just a little pop of citrus, bringing the drink to an entirely other level. It’s absolutely sublime, but still assertive enough to stand up to the richness of the Thanksgiving table. Try it with dinner—you won’t be disappointed!