Editors’ Picks: Best Thanksgiving Drinks

By Justine Sterling Posted November 20, 2012
Thanksgiving Drink Picks

© Frances Janisch

Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, the stuffing, the sweet potatoes. But for F&W editors it wouldn’t be complete without the perfect cocktail, beer or wine. Here, expert suggestions for terrific Thanksgiving drinks from a bracing vermouth cocktail to a rare late harvest zinfandel that will go perfectly with the holiday spread.

Vermouth & Soda “The ultimate pre-and-post Thanksgiving drink: Carpano Antica and soda with a dash of Angostura bitters. It helps get you primed for a big meal and settle your stomach after.” —Kristin Donnelly, Senior Food Editor

Planter’s Punch “I went to New Orleans earlier this year and got addicted to Planter's Punch. A guy called Steve Remsberg, who has what must be the world's best collection of rare rums (about 1,000 bottles!), made one for me. It's so simple—you just need a good quality dark rum (I'm a Cuban rum girl), simple syrup, a squeeze of lime and a few healthy dashes of Angostura bitters. Serve it in a glass of crushed ice; Steve garnishes with a mint sprig but you can go with a lime wedge or orange wheel. The F&W Cocktail book deputy editor John DeBary taught me a great crushed ice trick. You put ice cubes in a shaker, shake hard—and it's crushed!” —Kate Krader, Restaurant Editor

Trousseau Gris “A couple of weeks ago, while out for dinner, I had a bottle of the 2011 Wind Gap Trousseau Gris—made from a pretty obscure white grape from France's Jura region, that's recently found a home (in small quantities) in California's Russian River area. I was astounded by how well the minerally, cardamom-spiced, juicy pear-scented wine went with everything from spicy chile pasta to brown-butter drenched monkfish to a pretty rich duck dish. It comes in somewhere between a Pinot Gris and a Gewürztraminer and a Viognier—all of which would probably go well with the very flavorfully diverse Thanksgiving meal—but this wine is truly the perfect synthesis. I'll grab a bottle or two of that and try to track down a 6-pack of Sierra Nevada Celebration for my exclusively-beer-drinking pal Tim.” —Megan Krigbaum, Senior Wine Editor

Late Harvest Zinfandel “I recently bought a half-bottle of Ridge's 1978 Dusi Ranch Late Harvest Zinfandel, an unusual dessert wine that has a port-like sugar level but not as much alcohol. How this bottle has held up is anybody's guess, but it should be fun to open an obscure little piece of American winemaking history after the meal.” —Lawrence Marcus, Senior Digital Editor

Belgian-Style White Ale “Beer typically is saved for watching football games on Thanksgiving with wine taking the lead during dinner, but Cisco’s Grey Lady wheat beer can hold its own against a hearty holiday meal. Brewed with fruits and spices, the hazy Nantucket ale is light but complex and has that terrific autumnal flavor that will pair really well with my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner: cranberry sauce.” —Justine Sterling, Assistant Digital Editor

Related: F&W's Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide
Thanksgiving Wine Pairings
Thanksgiving Cocktails

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