There are drinkers and then there are drinkers. We like to think that we fall in the latter category, and as such maintain a strict drink regime for our Thanksgiving celebrations. The key, as any professional will tell you, is not only in pacing but also in variety. To help you along we have mapped out each step of the process, from first thing in the morning through late night reveling, to keep you happy this holiday.
Morning Prep Work
We’re going to start things off pretty simply. It’s first thing in the morning and you’ve got to get that bird in the oven, but first, drink. Bloody Marys are not only boozy, but also nutritious (tomato juice and celery, guys!). Here’s what you need:
1 lemon, juiced
2 ounces vodka
4 ounces tomato juice
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 drops tabasco sauce
1 pinch celery salt
Salt and pepper, to taste
Celery sticks, to garnish
SALT the rim of a tall glass by wetting it first with lemon juice and then dabbing it into a small pile of salt.
ADD ice to the glass.
MIX vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco and celery salt in the glass, stirring thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a celery stick.
Turkey Is in the Oven
You did it! The turkey is in the oven and you’re on schedule to having the food on the table at a reasonable hour. You deserve to celebrate, but don’t over do it quite yet. Whip together this quick shooter, knock it back and continue with your preparations – that table isn’t going to set itself!
Dash of whiskey
Dash of amaretto
Dash of cranberry juice (substitute cranberry sauce to really make things festive)
CHILL a double-shot glass in the freezer for a few minutes.
COMBINE one part whiskey, amaretto and cranberry, as the glass will allow. Shoot it back.
Alright, it’s game time: People are actually starting to show up. You’ll want to get the party going, but undoubtedly still have tons to do. The Negroni is a classic, a crowd pleaser, and a totally easy drink to make:
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
PLACE ice in a short glass, or tumbler.
COMBINE all ingredients. Serve.
Once the food hits the table, it’ll be high time for wine time. A meal like this will traditionally call for a red, typically something like a Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. However, if you want to try something a little different, consider adding a dry rosé or Lambrusco to the mix.
Now that we’ve got our wine game on, let’s keep the ball rolling. As Thanksgiving is not a time for holding back, a sweet wine to go with your pumpkin and pecan pies is definitely the move. We would recommend a port or sauternes. But remember, this stuff is super sweet, so short pours are a must.
Fernet and Coke
There will eventually come a time when you physically cannot eat anything else. But you will, of course, still have room to continue drinking. At this point, we recommend a little something to help settle your now gorged self – which is where Fernet comes in. Fernet is an Italian liqueur made from a mix of herbs and is traditionally served as a post-dinner digestif. The taste can be a bit different, but if you mix it up with a little bit of Coca-Cola classic or, if you can get your hands on it, some of that imported Coke made with real cane sugar, you’ll be well on your way to the perfect post-feast beverage.
1 ounce Fernet
½ ounce Tuaca
2 ounces Coca-Cola
MIX Fernet, Tuaca and Coca-Cola in a glass with ice, and stir well.
STRAIN mixture into a separate glass without ice. Serve.
Finally, after the dishes are done, the leftovers put away and the overly-chatty great-Aunts departed, you can really get your drink on. At this point, all that should be left are your old college buddies and their respective significant others, so we’ve got two words for you: Party. Time. Finish strong by taking things up a notch with this New Orleans absinthe classic:
1 sugar cube
½ ounce absinthe
2 ounces rye whiskey
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Dash of simple syrup
Dash Angostura bitters
CRUSH the sugar cube at the bottom of short glass or tumbler.
POUR in the absinthe and swirl around the glass so that it coats all sides, then discard anything leftover.
MIX ice, rye whiskey, simple syrup, Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters in a separate glass.
STRAIN into tumbler. Serve.