When I started drinking bourbon, I loved adding a splash to my Aunt Vernie’s sweet potato casserole, but now I forgo the dish altogether a create a decadent and delicious sweet potato cocktail. The best part is that I just save some of the syrup from canned sweet potato and use that to make the cocktail. Add in whiskey, lemon juice, and a generous helping of toasted marshmallows and you’ve got a great Thanksgiving cocktail on your hands.
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What’s in a Whiskey Sour?
A whiskey sour is an easy cocktail consisting of whiskey, citrus (usually lemon), and a sweet element. An easy ratio to remember is 2:1:1 – 2 parts spirit: 1 part sweet: 1 part sour, and that ratio works for sours from margaritas to daiquiris to whiskey sours.
Many people associate whiskey sours with summer, but seasonal sours are some of my favorite variations. In this case, I’m using flavors from Thanksgiving – the sweet potato – as the sweet element in the cocktail.
For more information on the whiskey sour in general, head to my article on How to Make a Great Whiskey Sour.
Fall Flavors in this Sweet Potato Cocktail
It’s possible to make sweet potato casserole without the marshmallow topping, but in a cocktail version, they are required. Not only do they sweeten the cocktail, but they also make it look gorgeous and textured with piles of tiny toasted marshmallows.
This sweet potato cocktail includes a dash of St Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram to add clove, cinnamon, and baking spice flavors to the drink. If you don’t have allspice dram, add a dash of spiced or aged rum to the cocktail.
For the whiskey, I chose bourbon because I put bourbon in my sweet potatoes and in my Thanksgiving cocktails. I use a mid proof bourbon – Elijah Craig Small Batch or Jim Beam Black – to build up the baking spice notes and keep the cocktail from being overly sweet.
For garnish I added the toasted marshmallows and a skewer with a sweet potato wedge on it. Dusting the top with fresh grated nutmeg is another excellent garnish idea. If you would rather not pile the Thanksgiving cocktail high with marshmallows, a single large marshmallow, toasted and dusted with nutmeg is a perfect alternative.
How to Make this Thanksgiving Cocktail
As a whiskey sour, this cocktail is fast and easy. It takes more time to toast the marshmallows that it does to mix.
Add your whiskey, lemon juice, sweet potato syrup and allspice dram to the shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 10-12 seconds and strain into chilled coupe glass.
Garnish Ideas for This Sweet Potato Cocktail
Holiday cocktails can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Choose a garnish based on how much time you have and how many you’ll be making.
- sweet potato wedge from the can
- single toasted marshmallow dusted with nutmeg
- nutmeg and cinnamon sugar rim
- marshmallow cream rim with nutmeg and cinnamon dusting
- piles of mini marshmallows toasted
Other Cocktails You Might Like
Recommended Bar Tools
You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:
You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:
Sweet Potato Cocktail: Aunt Vernie’s Sweet Potato Sour
- ¾ oz sweet potato syrup from canned candied yams
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- 1.75 oz Elijah Craig small batch bourbon
- ¼ oz St Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram or ½ oz spiced rum
- Garnish: torched marshmallows, candied sweet potato
- Add syrup, lemon juice, bourbon, and allspice dram to a shaking tin and fill with ice.
- Shake for 10-12 seconds or until the shaker is so cold it’s hard to hold.
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top with marshmallows.
- Torch the marshmallows and sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top.
- 1 3/4 cups bourbon
- 3/4 cup sweet potato syrup from the can
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup allspice dram
- 1/3-1/2 cup water
- Garnish: marshmallows, sweet potatoes