Thanksgiving by the Pool

Outdoor Thanksgiving Table
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If you’re tired of stuffy Thanksgiving meals in a formal dining room and live in a warmer climate, it’s time to move your celebration outdoors—to your poolside. With autumn skies overhead and mild weather beckoning, it makes the perfect atmosphere for a more relaxed holiday. To help you out, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite Thanksgiving cocktails and recipes, curated for an easygoing yet elegant feast.

Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail
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Cranberry Old Fashioned (Southern Living)
Many people have memories of cranberry sauce sitting beside their turkey for every Thanksgiving, so why not make this year’s holiday even more noteworthy with a classy Cranberry Old Fashioned? After one sip of this classic drink, your guests will certainly be clamoring for more. And, the fact that you didn’t mix together the gelatinous condiment will immediately be forgotten.

Harvest Margarita (Food Network)
In a delicious nod to autumn weather, we’re sure your guests will love this autumn-inspired Margarita. Tequila, allspice and cinnamon—need we say more? There’s almost nothing more perfect than sitting next to the pool with one of these in hand—and the thrill of relaxation, football, and gratitude on everyone’s mind.

Although drinks are important, the real star of a Thanksgiving meal is the food. But, since it’s a holiday, stress is not a welcome guest at your poolside, which is why we encourage you to grill. Grilling is a laid-back activity. And, even though Thanksgiving conjures thoughts of extreme kitchen prep, you’ll be able to sit back and relax—and let the grill do the work this year. You’ll like it so much, it may become an annual tradition.

Citrus-Grilled Turkey Breast
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Grilled Turkey Breast With Citrus (Southern Living)
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without turkey, but we have an alternative to the yearly wrestling of the big bird into the oven. In fact, you won’t need to use your oven at all with this delicious citrus-grilled turkey breast. It’s hassle-free, but impressive enough to receive raving reviews from your guests. Say goodbye to your sweltering kitchen, and hello to your poolside grill!

Spiced Sweet Potatoes (Whole Foods)
While your turkey is grilling, you can create a family-favorite side dish of grilled spiced sweet potatoes. Healthy, nutritious, and mouth-wateringly delicious, these tender sweet potatoes won’t last once they’re placed on the table and are the perfect accompaniment to your turkey.

Grilled Carrot Salad + Brown Butter Vinaigrette (Food and Wine)
Fresh baby carrots are pretty delicious by themselves. But when you roast them on the grill and drizzle nutty brown butter vinaigrette overtop, they become irresistible. Serve this delicious side dish atop a bed of pepper arugula and stand back to hear the oohs and ahhs that will transpire. We guarantee them.

Stuffed Apples on the Grill
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Stuffed Apples on the Grill (Taste of Home)
By the time you reach the end of the meal, everyone’s stomachs will be fullbut not full enough for this seasonal and relatively light dessert. There’s something about cinnamon and apples that conjures up feelings of coziness and warmth, and they’re the perfect way to end a rich, delightful meal. After the last morsel is swallowed, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your afternoon.

We can’t imagine anything better than these delectable grilled dishes beside your tranquil pool. With a few white tablecloths, some tapered candlesticks, and a fresh flower arrangement, your poolside will look festive and sophisticated, a great setting for Thanksgiving by the pool. Be prepared, your neighbors may get a little jealous when they smell your grilled food wafting over the fence! 


Cranberry Old Fashioned
1 orange wedge
1 sugar cube
Dash of bitters
Crushed ice
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons whole-berry cranberry sauce
Club soda
Garnish: orange twist and fresh cranberries

Mash orange wedge, sugar cube, and bitters against bottom and sides of a 10-oz. old-fashioned glass using a muddler or wooden spoon. Fill glass with crushed ice. Stir in bourbon, cranberry sauce, and a splash of club soda. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Harvest Margarita
2 ounces tequila, such as Patron reposado tequila
1 1/2 ounces chilled Spiced Simple Syrup, recipe follows
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Few dashes bitters
Lime wedge, for garnish

Combine the tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, bitters and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Serve straight up or on the rocks with a lime wedge for garnish.

Spiced Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

Combine the sugar, 1 cup water, allspice, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is completely melted. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold.

Grilled Turkey Breast With Citrus
1 (5- to 6-lb.) skin-on, bone-in turkey breast
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons salt

Let turkey breast stand at room temperature 30 minutes; rinse with cold water, and pat turkey dry. Stir together parsley, next 4 ingredients, and 1 tsp. salt. Loosen and lift skin from turkey without totally detaching skin, and rub parsley mixture under skin. Replace skin. Sprinkle cavity with 1/2 tsp. salt; rub into cavity. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 tsp. salt on skin; rub into skin. Light 1 side of grill, heating to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat; leave other side unlit. Place turkey over lit side, and grill, without grill lid, 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer turkey to unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165°. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes before slicing.

Spiced Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), scrubbed well
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Cover potatoes with cold salted water in a large pot, then bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly resistant when pierced with a sharp small knife, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well. When cool, slice potatoes lengthwise. Mix together salt, spices and apple cider vinegar; add oil in a slow stream. Brush this mixture on sweet potatoes. Grill potatoes on a lightly oiled grill rack over medium heat, until grill marks appear and potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve potatoes warm.

Grilled Carrot Salad + Brown Butter Vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs
1 pound baby carrots, halved lengthwise and tops trimmed to 1 inch
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons marcona almonds, plus chopped almonds for garnish
5 ounces baby arugula

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, paprika, fennel, coriander, garlic and thyme. Add the carrots and let stand for 2 hours. Preheat a grill pan. Remove the carrots from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until crisp-tender, 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until lightly browned and nutty-smelling, shaking the pan gently, about 5 minutes. Scrape the butter and solids into a blender. Add the vinegar, water and the 2 tablespoons of almonds; puree until smooth. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Add the vinaigrette and arugula to the carrots; toss to coat. Transfer the salad to plates, sprinkle with chopped almonds and serve.

Stuffed Apples on the Grill
4 medium tart apples, cored
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place each apple on a piece of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square).

Combine the remaining ingredients; spoon into center of apples. Fold foil over apples and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.