Thanksgiving leftover cocktails shake up a new approach to avoiding food waste

(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for WARDROBE.NYC)
(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for WARDROBE.NYC) /

While some people might have eaten turkey sandwiches all weekend long and enjoyed potatoes five different ways, there can be a few extra ingredients that need a second life. These Thanksgiving leftover cocktails are another way to avoid food waste.

The idea of repurposing leftovers is not necessarily a new conversation, nor is avoiding food waste. Whether it is being a conscious cook or trying to keep food costs in check, everyone is looking to be smarter with their choices.

The idea of repurposing cocktail ingredients is something that is seen in the beverage space. NCL Prima has highlighted that idea in its Metropolitan Bar and has continued it on NCL Viva. Spent coffee grounds, sparkling wine syrups, and other items flavor some impeccable cocktails. Although it might seem easy for those master mixologists, the reality is that anyone can apply these concepts.

Recently, Avion Cristalino shared two Thanksgiving leftover cocktails ideas. From an herb forward option to a sweet, tart libation, these two ideas are not limited to just the fall holiday. The concepts can be applied any time of year.

Herb Scrap Paloma is a simple idea that can be used time and again. While some people might have that fresh herb garden, others have to buy those little packages for just a sprig or two. Since those herbs have a short shelf life, having ways to use them in various ways ensures that nothing is wasted.

For this cocktail, the herbs help to make a salt mixture. While that ingredient is used as a garnish, it can be used as a seasoning, too. It is a simple idea that can be employed in many ways.

Here’s how to make an Herb Scrap Paloma


  • 1.5oz Avion Cristalino
  • 1oz Grapefruit juice
  • .75oz lime juice
  • .75 agave nectar
  • Soda


  • Shake ingredients except soda with ice.
  • Strain over fresh ice and top up with soda.
  • Garnish with Herb Scrap salt*
  • *In a blender or food processor, combine equal parts kosher salt and sugar. Add rosemary, thyme, sage, and parsley and blend until salt and sugar mixture is bright green and aromatic. Cover and store in a dry place for up to one week.

While the herb salt might become a new favorite idea, another take on the Thanksgiving leftover cocktails uses an ingredient that might be a little controversial on the holiday table, cranberries. From jellied to homemade, some people love that fruit and others would prefer they were forgotten.

With this cocktail, some people might learn to love those tart treasures. Plus, the combination of cranberry and sage is quite delightful.

Cranberry Sage Smash


  • 2oz Avion Cristalino
  • 1oz canned cranberry sauce
  • 3 lime wedges
  • 2-3 sage leaves
  • Barspoon of agave nectar


  • Muddle lime, sage, cranberry and agave in a shaker tin.
  • Add tequila and ice and shake vigorously.
  • Strain ingredients over fresh ice.
  • Garnish with two cranberries and a sage leaf.

Ready to sip on some Thanksgiving leftover cocktails? What are some creative ways to repurpose some other food items into great cocktails?

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