A Thanksgiving wine list and festive cocktails
Whether you like to have a good glass of wine with your turkey or you need something a bit stronger to survive your crazy family, this wine and cocktail list will fit all of your needs. Mix up a few of these cocktail recipes and relax -- you only have to do this one time per year.
Thanksgiving is all about the food and the giving of thanks of course, but that doesn't mean cocktails aren't just as crucial to the November feast. A great cocktail can make massive dinners with family a bit more bearable and a good wine can make the long hours you labored over dinner completely worth it. A well-rounded drink menu will ensure that all your guests have access to something they enjoy.
Thanksgiving wine menu
Wine is just as crucial to Thanksgiving as that big ol' turkey and if I'm being honest, I'd much rather have the wine than the turkey. Due to all the flavors in the Thanksgiving feast, it is best to stick with a wine list that is mild and conducive to pairing well with many tastes. A nice mix of red, white and a sparkling wine will carry you through the prep process all the way to dessert.
Pinot noir - This wine is generally light, fruity but not sweet and flavorful. Consider this your crowd pleaser. Most wine drinkers will be content with this whether they are sommeliers in the making or just the occasional wine drinker.
Zinfandel - We're talking red zinfandel, not the pink stuff. Zinfandel is more full-bodied and often has a peppery bite to it. It will hold up well to all the flavors from the savory taste of the turkey to the sweet taste of the sweet potato casserole.
Sauvignon blanc - Sauvignon blanc is light and crisp with a blend of citrus and earthy flavors which pairs well with savory dishes like turkey or stuffing.
Pinot grigio - Much like the pinot noir, this white variety is a pretty safe bet among a range of wine tasting palates. The light flavor of this wine means it won't compete with the more distinct flavors in your feast like garlic and onion.
Sparkling wine - A good sparkling wine or Champagne will make your Thanksgiving dinner feel like a true celebration. Sparkling wines are very versatile and pair well with turkey and other Thanksgiving staples. The difference between Champagne and sparkling wine is essentially where the grapes come from, so you can opt for either one. Often times sparkling wine is less expensive than those labeled Champagne.
A few festive cocktails are a good option to serve before dinner while guests are mingling, cooking or snacking on appetizers. You may have a few guests who do not drink wine, so offering a few other options will keep everyone happy and relaxed.
From the drink artisans at Cascal comes this festive and fruity cocktail. It is perfect to put the person at ease that has to give the toast or to make everyone else feel less awkward when the toast maker inappropriately airs family drama.
- 1 ounce whiskey
- 1 ounce CASCAL Ripe Rouge
- 1/4 ounce grenadine
- 1/4 ounce cherry juice
- Mix whiskey, Cascal Ripe Rouge, grenadine and cherry juice over ice in a highball glass. Serve chilled!
Sparkling cranberry sangria recipe
Cranberry vodka is the new way to incorporate that little berry into your Thanksgiving feast. Say goodbye to the canned stuff for good. Trust me, you won't miss it.
- 2 cups cranberry vodka
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 2 cups sparkling water
- 2 cups cran-apple juice
- Frozen cranberries and apple chunks for garnish
- In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the following ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pumpkin margarita recipe
What every Thanksgiving needs is a little tequila and until now you'd be hard-pressed to find this spirit at your feast. The margarita is typically reserved for the summer months, but a little pumpkin makes this cocktail recipe favorite perfect for fall.
- 2 ounces clear tequila
- 1 ounce pumpkin syrup
- 1/2 ounce triple sec
- 2 ounces orange juice
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
- Salt, cinnamon and sugar mixture for garnish
- Make pumpkin syrup according to the instructions and let cool completely.
- When cool, combine the syrup with the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Dip the rim of your glass in lime juice and then in the salt mixture. Fill the glass with ice and strain the cocktail mixture over the top.