Have an Old Fashioned Wild Turkey Thanksgiving

Bartenders have created a list of fall-themed Old Fashioned cocktails that are as tasty as they are charitable.

Christopher Osburnby Christopher Osburn

Thanksgiving is all about eating massive amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing in order to pay tribute to the potential meal the pilgrims had with the local native tribes. Chances are, if it even happened the way we’re told it did, they didn’t eat the same food as us. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a lot of corn eaten on that day so many years ago. I guess that’s just how I imagine it. I envision a lot of people sitting around gnawing on corn on the cob. Oh yea, and I highly doubt they had can shaped, jello-like cranberry sauce.

Since we live in the year 2014, we have the ability to eat until we feel sick and/or sleepy. After dinner, you’ll probably want to find a way to help digestion while also getting your drink on. Some bartenders, in the name of charity, have designed their own versions of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail using Wild Turkey Bourbon as well as fall flavors like cranberry, apples and pumpkin.

These cocktails were created by bartenders in the San Francisco Bay area in partnership with Wild Turkey Bourbon on the second annual Give Back the Bird fundraiser. For the whole month of November, the bars working with the charity donated two dollars of the sale of each cocktail to the San Francisco Marin Food Bank. Even if you aren’t in the Bay area, you can still make these tasty cocktails at home.

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Wild Turkey Bourbon and Rye are both handcrafted in Kentucky by two of the most famous distillers in the world – Father and son team of Jimmy and Eddie Russell. In September, Jimmy Celebrated his 60th year at the distillery. He’s by far the longest tenured master distiller in the United States. Also, Eddie is one of the longest tenured with thirty-four years of service. 

Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

Created by Jon Gasparini, Rye

  • 2 oz. Wild Turkey® 81 Rye
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice Black Tea Syrup *
  • 2 dashes Bar Keep Apple Bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura® Bitters

Combine ingredients in an old fashioned glass over a large ice cube and stir.

* Pumpkin Spice Black Tea Syrup

  • 2 parts organic cane sugar
  • 1 part strong pumpkin spice tea (Recommended: The Republic of Tea’s “Pumpkin Spice”)

Brew pumpkin spice tea (one tea bag for every 6 oz. of water). Combine tea and organic cane sugar. Bring to boil, stir as sugar dissolves. Let syrup cool completely before using.

Old Fashioned 17

Created by Christopher Longoria, 1760

  • 2 oz. Wild Turkey® Rye
  • .75 oz. Campari®
  • 2 tsp. Cynar®
  • .25 oz. Cinzano® Dry Vermouth
  • .25 oz. simple syrup
  • 4 dashes Angostura® Bitters
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers® Orange Bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain over 1 large ice cube. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

The Old Fashioned Pilgrim

Created by H. Joseph Ehrmann, Elixir

  • 2 oz. Wild Turkey® 101 Kentucky Pilgrim Infusion*
  • .5 oz. Clover Honey Syrup **
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Orange twist & cocktail cranberry for garnish

In a glass, add the three ingredients and stir gently, top with ice and stir gently again. Express orange oils from a wide twist over the glass and then spear the orange twist with a cocktail cranberry in between for garnish.

* Wild Turkey Kentucky Pilgrim Infusion:

In a wide-mouthed glass infusion jar, place 1 liter of Wild Turkey 101 and 2 bar spoons of cardamom seeds. Close and leave in a dark cool place for one day. Strain out cardamom and add

1.5 cups dried unsweetened cranberries and 3 sticks of cinnamon. Close and leave for an additional two days, agitating once per day. Strain solids and store in the original Wild Turkey bottle.

** Clover Honey Syrup:

Dilute clover honey with hot water on a 1:1 ratio by volume (1 cup honey to 1 cup of hot water). Let syrup cool completely before using.