Thanksgiving Eve Ginger Rum Fizz

I'm a firm believer that a special occasion deserves a special cocktail. I've designed this one specifically for Thanksgiving, in order to celebrate all the classic Thanksgiving flavors in an unexpected way. A signature cocktail really makes everything feel so much more festive!

Broadly speaking, this cocktail is a riff on a Dark 'N Stormy. The Dark 'N Stormy is traditionally made with dark rum, ginger beer, and lime juice. My Thanksgiving spin has dark rum and ginger beer as usual, plus spiced rum for holiday flair, and cranberry juice instead of lime juice for tartness. It's the perfect Thanksgiving package.

You'll see that this drink is layered. While this isn't absolutely necessary, it's really fun and makes for such a special holiday vibe. Yes, your guests are worth it! (And I promise it's not as tricky as it sounds). Here's how to do it:

First, rim a tall glass with cinnamon sugar. While I don't usually like sugary rims, it feels so appropriate for Thanksgiving. Add ice, a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, and a little handful of pomegranate arils. Such holiday flair! Note that it's important to add the ice first so as not to disturb the layers you'll create.

Next, pour in ginger beer (I like one that's very ginger-forward and not too sweet). You'll want this to occupy about half your glass. You'll notice that the pomegranate arils will begin to do a fun little dance as the bubbles carry them up and down.

Side note: in my opinion, it's the ginger beer that makes this work for fall. One of the things I love most about the Dark 'N Stormy (or variations thereof) is that it takes rum to a deeper, darker place. Rum is so often in tiki cocktails, which of course are delightful, but not as intuitive for pairing with fall and winter foods. But this cocktail brings in ginger, which makes so much sense with autumnal cuisine. Plus it's fizzy, beautiful, and so holiday-appropriate!

Next, mix up some amber-colored spiced rum (readers of this blog will know that I'm a huge fan of Koloa Rum from Kaua'i!) with a dash of cranberry juice. I experimented a lot with this, and found that I like just the tiniest amount of cranberry. Otherwise, it's too assertively tart and too bright red. Add the rum and cranberry mixture very gently so as not to disturb the ginger beer.

There are some good tutorials online for how to do this, but the most important thing is to go slowly! Some people like to pour over the back side of a spoon. Some people prefer to tilt the glass and pour gently down the side. The best way to learn is to experiment (ideally before you have a bunch of people waiting for their drinks on Thanksgiving!).

Finally, add a dark rum float (again, I've used Koloa Rum). This is a classic finishing touch on many tiki cocktails, including the Mai Tai. It provides a lovely deep color and a big pop of booziness right from the get-go.

Building different layers relies on the density differences between ingredients, so you can't do this with just anything. I find that the higher sugar content of the ginger beer, as well as the upward loft from the carbonation, maintains a very coherent bottom layer. The middle layer is lower density due to its high alcohol content, but the sugar from the cranberry juice weighs it down slightly. The dark rum float on top is the lowest density since it's undiluted, high-proof alcohol.

One final thought. If you're having a few people over, set up an assembly line; it will make this process go much faster. Add ice to all the glasses, then add ginger beer to all, then spiced rum, then dark rum. You can easily make a bunch of drinks quite quickly this way.

Thanksgiving is special. Whip up a few of these for your guests to really embrace the holiday vibe and get the party going!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for another fall-appropriate cocktail? We've been loving this Thyme Julep, which is beautiful and would be lovely for harvest celebrations or Thanksgiving.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

  • Granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Few large ice cubes
  • Small handful of pomegranate arils 
  • Couple sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3-4 oz ginger beer
  • 1.5 oz amber-colored spiced rum. I'm severely biased toward Koloa's spiced rum (from Kaua'i); it's my absolute favorite and has such a wonderful holiday flavor.
  • Dash of unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 oz dark rum. Again, I'm on Team Koloa here. Their dark spiced rum has such a lovely vanilla flavor.
Thoughts About Method
(These are just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Mix up a few spoonfuls of granulated sugar with a very generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Moisten the rim of your glass slightly and dip it into the cinnamon sugar.
  2. Add a few big ice cubes to the glass. This needs to be done first so as not to disturb your layers!
  3. Add a small handful of pomegranate arils and a sprig or two of thyme. Again, this all has to happen before adding your liquids.
  4. Pour ginger beer into the bottom of the glass, occupying about half of the space, although it will depend on the size and style of your glass.
  5. In a separate vessel, combine the amber spiced rum with a dash of cranberry juice and mix well. Add the cranberry incrementally until you achieve a color you like.
  6. Very gently, float the cranberry-rum mixture over the ginger beer (see recommendations above and in various places online for ideas about how to do this).
  7. Finally, and again very gently, float about an oz of dark rum over the top of the cranberry layer.
  8. Savor your creation, and watch in delight as the pomegranate arils dance around and the various layers evolve over time!


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