12 Thanksgiving Shots from Star Bartenders

Photo: © The Forge

Earlier we brought you our take on how to drink Thanksgiving dinner. But we wanted to see how the pros would handle Thanksgiving shooters. We got a lot of ideas from turkey to stuffing to sweet potato pie. So now we bring you 12 advanced ways to drink your Thanksgiving dinner.

We plan to make this an FWx holiday tradition, so start getting those ideas for Christmas and Hanukkah shots ready.

Cran-Sherry Shooter by Juan Coronado of barmini, Washington D.C.

The secret to this? Home-made cranberry syrup.


For Shot

Splash of Bourbon

Splash of cranberry syrup (see recipe below)

Splash of amontillado Sherry

Splash of lime juice


For the cranberry syrup:

Boil 4 cups of water and mix in 1 cup frozen cranberries and 4 cups sugar for about 10 minutes. Cool and strain into a small bowl.

For the shot:

Add the bourbon, cranberry syrup, amontillado Sherry and lime juice in a shot glass.

Little Miss Sunshine by Chris Burmeister of Outpost, Santa Barbara

Based on the ever-present canned cranberry sauce.


3/4 ounce Espolon Reposado

1/4 ounce Port

1/4 ounce Cinnamon - Fig Syrup

1/4 ounce Lemon Juice

1 dash Angostura

1 dash Orange Bitters


For Cinnamon-Fig Syrup:

In a saucepan dissolve 2 cups sugar in 1 cup water over medium heat.

Add 1 pint of sliced Black Mission Figs, and 1 cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then let cool. Strain out all solids and bottle.

For Shot:

Build ingredients in shaker, shake over ice and double strain into a small rocks glass and garnish with a cinnamon dusted lemon peel.

The Second Serving by Chris Burkett of Jsix, San Diego

A sweet and spicy take on sweet potato casserole.


1 ounce gin (suggested Old Grove gin by Ballast Point Brewing Company)

1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/4 ounce honey poached sweet potato puree

1/4 ounce agave

1 dash The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters


For honey poached sweet potato puree:

In a pot dissolve 2/3 cup honey in 1/3 cup water. Dice one small medium-sized sweet potato and add to the honey syrup.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes until sweet potato is soft.

Strain liquid into a blender, add sweet potatoes and puree until smooth.

For the shot:

Fill a shaker tin with ice. Add ingredients and shake to chill. Double strain into a shot glass. Garnish with a dried honey poached butternut squash chip.

The Candied Yam Shot by Justin Maas of The Forge, Miami


1 ounce Bulleit Bourbon

3/4 ounce Yam Syrup (see recipe below)

1/4 ounce Amaretto

Splash Fresh Lemon Juice.


For yam syrup:

In a saucepan bring 2 cups water, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 can of yams in syrup (strained to remove syrup) to a slow simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes until yams become soft. Allow to cool. Puree in a blender. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

For shot:

Shake all ingredients and Strain into a Marshmallow and candied Ginger rimmed glass.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Shot by Brett Hughes of Madam Geneva, NYC


1 ounce Bols barrel aged genever

2 barspoons sweet potato puree

1/4 ounce brown sugar syrup

Float with bar spoon of aleppo chili marshmallow fluff


Shake all ingredients except the marshmallow and fine strain into a shot glass. Top with marshmallow fluff and char with a torch.

Gimlet de Provence by Chrissy Hassel of The Penrose, NYC

Inspired by my favorite part of Thanksgiving—stuffing.

Makes 2-3 shots


2 ounces Snow Leopard Vodka

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 rich brown sugar simple syrup (2 parts brown sugar, 1 part hot water)

3 dashes celery bitters (Recommended: Scrappy's)

1 sage leaf

1 stem of oregano

1 stem of thyme.


Shake first four ingredients and pour into shot glasses.

Tie the sage and oregano together with the thyme stem and garnish.

The Gobble Go by Erin Sullivan of The Third Man, NYC

I wanted to bring together the most beloved flavors of the Thanksgiving table into one sip.


4-5 cranberries

3/4 ounces celery simple syrup (recipe below)

3/4 ounces fresh pineapple juice

2 ounces turkey infused Wild Turkey Rye (recipe below)


For celery simple syrup:

Cut three stalks of celery into chunks. Put into pot with 1 quart sugar and 1 quart water. Heat and simmer for 10-15 mins. Strain and cool.

For turkey Infused Wild Turkey Rye:

Take turkey drippings and run-offs out of pan after baking turkey. Mix in a separate container with a bottle of Wild Turkey Rye. Freeze overnight. Take out of freezer and dispose of solid fat. Filter remaining liquid through a coffee filter and return to bottle.

For shot:

Muddle cranberries in cocktail tin with celery syrup. Add remaining ingredients. Shake and pour into shot glasses. Makes six shots.

The Wild Turkey Roast Shot by Masa Urushido of Saxon + Parole, NYC

This is based off the focus of every Thanksgiving table—the turkey.


1.5 ounces Wild Turkey 101 bourbon (duck fat-washed with apple & cinnamon)

1/2 ounces Cinzano rosso

1 dash apple bitters

Orange twist

Candied cranberry


Stir first three ingredients in a mixing glass and pour into a shot glass. Twist orange over the top and garnish with candied cranberry

Give 'em the Bird by Brian Means of Dirty Habit, San Francisco

Inspired by my aunt's fantastic sweet potato pie.


1 ounce wild turkey rye

1/2 sweet potato purée

1/2 ounce lemon

1/4 ounce suze

2 dashes all spice bitters


Put all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and double strain into a shot glass.

Garnish with an orange twist.

Caramel Apple Pie Shot by Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark of Tripping Out with Alie and Georgia

Toast to the first caramel apple pie you can drink.


1 ounce spiced rum

1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps

1 ounce IZZE Sparkling Apple

Dash sea salt


Combine first three ingredients in a 2-ounce shot glass & top with a dash of sea salt.

The Short Stop by Alex Day of Death & Co., NYC

Inspired by Carrot cake! It’s not every Thanksgiving, but it should be.

(Makes 3-4 shots)


3/4 ounce Tanqueray Gin

3/4 ounce Krogstad Aquavit

3/4 ounce Borbon Manzanilla Sherry (though any quality Manzanilla will do)

1.5 ounce Carrot Juice

1/2 ounce Lime Juice

1/4 ounce Simple Syrup (equal parts white sugar and water, mixed until dissolved)

1 teaspoon Ginger Syrup (two parts white sugar to one part fresh ginger juice, mixed until dissolved)


Shake all ingredients and pour into shot glasses.

Leftovers Shot by Jodie Battles of Toro, Boston

Think all the fixings you’ll want to throw into a sandwich the day after Thanksgiving—the perfect bite in liquid form.


1 ounce Turkey Stock

1/2 ounce Rosemary Simple Syrup

1/4 ounce Luxardo Amaro Abano

1/2 ounce Amontillado Sherry

Float of Mencia Wine


Shake first four ingredients and pour into a shot glass. Top with Mencia wine.

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