An Inventive Holiday Cocktail: The Bird in Hand

A Charleston mixologist pays homage to the Thanksgiving turducken

Photo: Ally Sloway

Allen Lancaster, master in-house mixologist at The Spectator Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, crafted the festive Bird in Hand cocktail, a play on the Thanksgiving turducken, just in time for the holiday season. The drink includes Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon washed with duck fat and thyme, Dolin blanc sweet vermouth, orange bitters, and cardamom bitters.

At the bar, the cocktail is served with three spoons filled with pearl-sized “caviar” gel spheres including: Chicken Cock Bourbon, chicken stock, rosemary, and maple syrup; butter-washed Old Crow, corn milk, cayenne, and honey; and pork sausage—washed Famous Grouse with sage and green-apple cider. 

The Bird in Hand is available at the hotel’s bar through November 29. For every drink purchased, the hotel will donate a portion of sales and one can of food to the Lowcountry Food Bank.

You can make a similar cocktail at home—minus the gel spheres. 

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  • Bird in Hand (Yield: One cocktail)

    • 2½ oz. duck fat and thyme-washed Wild Turkey Rare Breed

    • 1 oz. Dolin blanc sweet vermouth

    • 2 dashes orange bitters

    • 2 dashes cardamom bitters


  1. Combine all ingredients, stir with ice, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a torched skewer of sweet potato, pearl onion, and baby corn.