What to drink on Thanksgiving…
Everyone always talks about what to eat on Thanksgiving, but more importantly what are you drinking? Of course you want drinks to complement your Thanksgiving feast, but how do you please everyone’s palates? Below are a list of cocktails, wines and beers to make your Thanksgiving happy for everyone.
For beer drinkers serve beers that can cut through the flavorful, rich foods that your Thanksgiving feast offers. Saisons might be the best beer for Thanksgiving. It’s highly carbonated to cut through the richness of mashed potatoes and gravy or sweet potato pie. It also is high in yeast and has herbal notes that pairs well with stuffing, breads and roasted vegetables. However, if your beer drinker’s palate is less sophisticated a good Oktoberfest will please the masses. These beers are made for fall drinking. There are many Oktoberfest choices from locally brewed such as, Shorts Nobel Chaos or national brands such as, Sam Adams.
White wines should have balanced acidity and red wines should be lighter and low in tannins. Sparkling wines are great for Thanksgiving because they pair with many flavors. I recommend Prosecco or another bubbly wine that is crisp and dry, nothing overly sweet. If bubbles are not your thing a different wine to go with is Gewurztraminer. This slightly dry, with a hint of sweetness white wine pairs great with all things savory. Pinot Noir is the most obvious choice for red wines. It’s earthy flavors and soft fruit overtones pairs great with vegetable dishes, turkey and ham. If you want to step out of the box a bit, lighter red blends can be a perfect complement to your Thanksgiving meal. When looking for a red blend stick to varietals such as, Grenache or Syrah the light tannins and high spice will satisfy your bold red drinkers.
Fall brings tons of great flavors that can be incorporated into some awesome cocktails. Below are a couple of recipes for cocktails that you can make ahead of time and keep in pitchers, keeping things easy so you can concentrate on making the best turkey ever!
Blackberry Ginger Beer Sipper
(makes 6 drinks)
4 Bottles of Ginger Beer
1/2 Cup of blackberries
2/3 Cup of fresh mint leaves
8 oz. of Vodka or Whiskey (your choice!)
- In a pitcher muddle (smash) the blackberries and mint leaves together
- Add the vodka or whiskey and ginger beer. Stir.
- Add ice and stir again when ready to serve.
- Pour into champagne glasses and garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
(makes 6-8 drinks)
1 large apple, cored and diced (sweeter the better)
1 Cup of fresh cranberries
1 large orange, juiced squeezed out and sliced into small pieces
½ cup of raw honey
½ cup of unsweetened 100% cranberry juice
½ cup of brandy
2 750ml bottles of dry Riesling
12 oz of sparkling water
- In a pitcher add the diced apple, orange juice and orange segments. Wash and dry the fresh cranberries and add them to the fruit mixture.
- Add the ¼ cup of wine and ½ cup of honey, stir until the honey is dissolved (it helps if the wine is room temperature). Lightly muddle the fruit into the bottom of the pitcher.
- Add brandy, cranberry juice and the rest of the wine, stir.
- When ready to serve pour over ice and add sparkling water