5 Thanksgiving Cocktails to Sweeten Your Prix Fixe

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving! This is the time of year when the weather starts trapping us inside for the winter months, so we clean the house obsessively, cook complex dishes for days on end, and get together with our families to yell at each other!

Hmmm. Wait. Scratch that. This is really the time of year that we decide to ditch time-consuming food efforts and go out to eat at your restaurant. (Thank goodness for you!)

In order to make us feel better about abandoning our families for the official start to the holiday season, how about you include some simple and affordable cocktails on your holiday menu. Here are five great Thanksgiving cocktails to sweeten up your prix fixe menu (and increase your margins) this year. 

1. Calvados Hot Toddy

Hot toddies are the kind of thing that you always think you want…until you order one and you remember how dull they are. Keep costs down and interest level up when you add a shot of calvados to the recipe for that quintessential autumn apple kick. To improve the hot toddy recipe even more, make it a hot cider drink. Top the blend with calvados whipped cream (1/2 oz. calvados and 4 oz of heavy cream), and rim the glass with cinnamon sugar. (Recipe courtesy of Saveur.)

2. Cranberry-Orange Sparkler

For a simple, yet satisfyingly holiday drink, mix champagne with ginger ale, then spice up your blend when you add cranberry juice and orange liquor. Easy and festive, this cocktail won’t break the bank when you place it on the list as an included item for your prix fixe menu. Want a variation? Make a cranberry orange simple syrup and blend it with vodka and selzer. (Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.)

3. Blend It with Cider

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than warm apple cider and no Thanksgiving cocktail menu is complete without this toasty and comforting beverage. To make your cider especially inviting, try mixing it with spiced rum, Fireball whiskey, or Jack Daniel’s Honey whiskey. You can also choose to turn these cider recipes inside out if you switch the warm apple cider for some hard cider.

4. Canadian Cocktail 

Want an autumn drink that will get your guests tweeting? Try the Canadian Cocktail, a seasonal classic from Toronto.

2 ounces spiced rum
1/2 ounce maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 ounce apple cider
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Cinnamon stick for garnish

Blend all ingredients (except the cinnamon stick) in a shaker with ice. Shake it up vigorously so that you dissolve the cinnamon, then pour everything, ice and all, into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick. (Recipe courtesy of Saveur.) 

5. Offer Free Champagne

It’s a holiday, and you should celebrate that your customers have decided to spend a traditional holiday of family togetherness with you and your staff. To make them feel special and appreciated, consider offering your guests a free glass of champagne to start their  evening off right. Not only is this a nice gesture, it also doesn’t cost much for you, and it should increase your alcohol sales. To add extra sales encouragement, make champagne the featured drink on your menu—and watch the orders pile up.

Closing Thoughts

You can include more complex or more tailored drinks on your a la carte cocktail menu, but if you include a selection of these simple drinks on your prix fixe menu, your restaurant is sure to be a hit for the Thanksgiving holiday. Don’t forget that your Uncorkd menu app can be used for food, drinks, and desserts!

Photo licensed by Randy Stewart