To make this large format cocktail, you’ll need:
1 ½ cups (i.e. 12 oz, i.e. half a bottle) of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
4 oz Laird’s Applejack (which is an American Apple Brandy)
4 oz spiced cranberry syrup (which we’ll cover in a second here)
24 dashes of celery bitters (there’s a lot of versions out there, but Aaron calls for a product by The Bitter Truth)
Now, the first thing you’re gonna want to do is make your cranberry syrup. For the full recipe, I’m going to refer you to the book, but it’s basically a combination of cranberries, sugar, dry white wine, and traditional holiday spices reduced to a delicious syrup on the stovetop, then strained and cooled.
Once you’ve got your syrup made and cooled down to at least room temperature, add it to a pitcher with the bourbon and the applejack and give them all a good stir. You’ll serve this drink on the rocks by pouring 2.5 oz of your booze and syrup mixture into the glass and then topping with 3 dashes of celery bitters and the coup de gras – a stuffing cube garnish.
You’re also gonna want to make those ahead of time, but they’re super easy. According to Aaron, all you need to do is preheat your oven to 400 degrees, mold and cut your favorite stuffing recipe into 1” cubes, place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. After 10 minutes, you’ll flip them over, drizzle them with GRAVY this time, then bake until they’re dark brown and crisp. Once they’re cool you can serve these garnishes in your Gobbler cocktails on a cocktail pick, but if you don’t have those lying around, a toothpick will do just fine.
The first part of our conversation with Aaron revolves around his writing career. He began writing booze articles while he was on a quest to become a novelist in the early 2000s. Although Aaron did publish a few novels, he found a unique and innovative voice in the spirits and cocktail space. He initially spent a lot of time in the craft beer space, and then evolved into tracking the whiskey boom in the US, including its secondary online markets.