In 2010, while living in France, I hosted Thanksgiving for 24 American college students. Our “Franksgiving” celebration was boisterous and joyful. My students decorated my apartment with handmade construction paper leaves and turkeys. I cooked for days in the rickety Strasbourg kitchen—green beans, apple and cabbage slaw, winter squash. Students contributed favorite family casseroles, approximated with French market ingredients. I had rotisserie chickens delivered to the apartment on Garlic Street. It required a lot of planning, coordination, and energy to pull off “Franksgiving.” That fall, I gained a deep appreciation for the beautiful and large family meals my grandmothers, mother, and aunts have hosted over the years.
Back in the States, the scope of my responsibilities is narrower. I host intimate, occasional dinner parties, and I leave Thanksgiving to the pros. I am a daring cook and contribute generously to the meal, but being a guest rather than a hostess is blissful.
This fall, I have developed and perfected a tea cocktail that will shine at your Thanksgiving cocktail hour. Prosecco serves as the bubbly backdrop of my Sparkling Apple Spice Tea Cocktail. The star of the libation is Apple Spice Black Tea syrup, which infuses the drink with a bright apple flavor. Subtle undertones of rosemary and cinnamon make the drink especially fitting for the season. A splash of sparkling water cuts the sweetness, and a snip of rosemary makes it deliciously instagrammable.
This is not a persnickety cocktail. The tea simple syrup can be made weeks in advance and stored in the refrigerator. It comes together quickly in a pitcher. I serve this aperitif in my Grandma Mary Ellen’s crystal champagne coupes. Use whatever glassware you can get your hands on, and feel free to mix and match. Cheers!
Elmwood Inn Apple Spice Black Tea