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Thanksgiving: Forget the Food. What about the Drinks?

Nov 16, 2011 11:06PM ● By Anonymous
But a good drink – alcoholic or not – can be an enjoyable part of the holiday, as well.

Make Mine a Virgin, Please. It’s likely that sodas, iced teas, and water will all be available at your Thanksgiving Day celebration. But if the people surrounding you are enjoying cocktails, why can’t there be a non-alcoholic variant offered?

Try the Pilgrim’s Punch, perfectly named for this holiday. Combine cranberry juice, grape juice, and sparkling water for a fruity mocktail with some fizz. Another option is a sparkling Pom-Apple mocktail, a mixture of 1 ounce pomegranate juice with 5 ounces sparkling apple cider with a lemon twist for garnish.

Sparkling and Still – Wine, that is. If you have a large group, I’m going to suggest something a little kooky – wine in a box. No, no, no – not Franzia. Please, not Franzia. But there are good boxed wines that make entertaining extremely affordable. I recently sampled Duca del Frassino Pinot Grigio, an Italian wine from Cantina Di Soave, and it was really good – more than worth the $19.95 retail price (for the equivalent of four bottles!) OK, I’ll admit it doesn’t look as nice on the dinner table as glass wine bottles – but it’s definitely an option.


For more general tips, a pinot noir is a good for the Thanksgiving table because it won’t overpower the turkey and stuffing like many red wines might. If you prefer white, a crisp white such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc works well. Avoid sweet wines for the main meal.

But don’t discount sparkling wines. It not only lends a festive note to the meal, but the bubbles and acidity cuts through the richness of the food. I’m not a huge fan of rose wines, but not too long ago, I sipped on a Rose Moscato from Exclusiv and was pleasantly surprised by the balance of sweet and crisp.

Craft Brews. Beer definitely has its place at the Thanksgiving table. According to this article, the pilgrims brought along beer, not wine, on their journey to the new world. Stick to medium to dark beers that have roasted malt and caramel flavors, and skip overly hoppy brews that will overpower the turkey.

Convivial Cocktails. It’s time for apples, and if you can get your hands on some fresh apple cider, please sip on it at some point during the day. If you want to make a cocktail out of it, I think the combination of ginger and apple is fantastic. Therefore, I enjoy mixing some Domaine de Canton, a ginger liqueur that’s readily available in our area, with lemon, a little bit of spiced rum or brandy, and the fresh cider. It’s like an alcoholic fall in a glass.