The produce savvy among you may leap on the fact that sweet potatoes and yams are actually two different things—the former being a member of the morning glory family native to the Americas, the latter a completely unrelated family (kin to grasses and lilies) hailing from the Old World. Despite that, in the U.S. both names are applied interchangeably to the orange-fleshed New World native, and since the standard name “candied yams” just has a nicer ring than “candied sweet potato”, we opted to uphold status quo, and beg the pardon of any ardent botanists out there.
When we hear candied yams, we immediately think of the dowdy, marshmallow-bedecked kind. It’s an oddball vegetable side dish, to be sure—the sort of thing a surrealist or a sugar-fiending 5 year old might invent. Despite being a bit weird (and, let’s face it, cloyingly sweet) it IS pure Americana, so we decided to give this classic flavor combo some maturity by translating it into a cocktail. Bourbon lends oomph, a touch of sage and maple add depth, and bright hit of lemon juice brings balance, turning this fuddy-duddy standby into something urbane; the marshmallows even give it a classy head of foam. So bring a touch of sophistication to your Thanksgiving and try making candied yams that won’t have to sit at the kid’s table.
Make your Thanksgiving a little drunker right here.