Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.Native American Saying
On Thanksgiving, a day to set aside “normal life,” we are offered a unique moment to focus on all that we have. We gather with those we love (either in person or through one of our biggest gifts: technology) to count and cherish our many blessings, our home, our health, our friendship. Even though we’ve been through a difficult year, we all have so much to be grateful for if we just look.
And hopefully, it won’t take too long for your eyes to land upon some amazing food and cocktails! While the Thanksgiving feast gets most of the attention on the big day, why not get crafty in our kitchens with the libations, too?
I always like to start a meal or gathering with the “Drink of the Day.” Of course, you can count on classic cocktail options. Or break the ice with something new and unique! Be celebratory and make a splash for the folks who may not venture past their scotch on the rocks. Though there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!
In honor of those amazing people who have supported us through the good, the bad, and the unpredictability of 2020, the new opportunities we’ve found, and the unknown blessings on their way, let’s raise a glass (or two)!
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a full-blown turkey extravaganza with all the trimmings, but why stop there? Enjoying abundance and plenty all through the day is what makes Thanksgiving a truly sensational holiday. With these recipes, you’ll be nibbling and sipping the whole day long – and all with a grate-full heart! (All recipes are available in a printable format at the end of this post.)
This cocktail concept is an homage to the delicious Old-Fashioned cocktail, which dates back to the 1880s. This version, however, gets a modern upgrade with chunky fresh sweet orange marmalade for a cozy autumn feel.
Whiskey refreshes your palette. And with holiday foods, which tend to liven the soft, sweet, and creamy segment of the flavor wheel, with precious few pungent, spicy, or crunchy dishes, whiskeys are an excellent substitute for wine. Whiskeys also complement a warm apple pie a la mode while sitting’ around the fire.
Pair with: An olive tray or spiced nuts. Or, if you have the extra time, the Barefoot Contessa’s Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts are the perfect starter for your Thanksgiving feast!
The Gimlet is synonymous with the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel, The Long Goodbye. In it, it is stated that “a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.” It was also believed to be a gift from the gods for sailors to ward off scurvy. No offense to Mr. Chandler, but we like to make our Gimlet with the fresh, crisp bite of celery and cucumber juices to clear our palettes before our Thanksgiving feast!
Pair with: Serve these refreshing gimlets with a pre-dinner cheese, artisan cracker, and dried fruit assortment.
Here’s the skinny of the relationship between pears and honey. They’re like Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, star-crossed lovers that are a match made in heaven. Take it from Yummly and their pear cheese appetizer suggestions. Now, let’s get those flavors mixed as a cocktail.
Pair with: When the doorbell rings, hand your guests this sparkling magic. Then lead them to the table displaying a seriously good pear cheese and honey hors d’oeuvre. Or you can make it even easier with a sliced pear on top of a warm Triscuit, with a smear of blue cheese and a few drops of honey.
The fun of serving this drink is using all different types and styles of glasses. You can use a traditional punch bowl, top each cup with whipped cream. Or set-up a self-serve bar with colorful Mason Jars, martini glasses or other stemmed goblets. Make the table festive with an autumn colored tablecloth or napkins and lots of mini pumpkins.
While this recipe can be made with vodka, it can easily be made without it. This makes for a fun punch that everyone, kids included, will love!
Pair with: This mocktail/cocktail is a bit heavier than most. Pair with a lighter treat like fruit or dark chocolate.
Warm up with a spicy cocktail that’s sure to get the party started. This Chai-spiced apple margarita is an herbal twist on the classic apple cider.
We couldn’t leave out the after-dinner drinks! Irish coffee is a satisfying way to wind down after a delicious gathering around the Thanksgiving table. And, it seems, a great way to relax after a blustery, wild ride. . . .
The Irish Coffee was created in 1943 by Joe Sheridan, chef at Foynes Port near Limerick, Ireland. Foynes worked transatlantic flights that often carried political or Hollywood figures. Usually, just a stopover for longer flights to refuel, often due to weather, passengers would need to stay for the night, so the airbase built a new restaurant.
After a flight was turned back due to inclement weather, Chef Sheridan, feeling empathy for the cold and weary passengers, decided to whip up something special for them to drink. The story goes that a silence descended as everyone enjoyed this delectable concoction, which came to be known as The Irish Coffee. This year, we all deserve an Irish Coffee to finish off the holiday!
Pair with: Thanksgiving pie and a game of cards, of course!
However you spend Thanksgiving this year, it is bound to be one to remember. So, light a fire, grab some cozy blankets, stare at the flames, sip in silence and enjoy the loving company of your family (near or far). Bask in the beauty of gratitude, and a well-deserved cocktail!
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