Happy Turkey Day ladies and gentlebeans!
Today is the day to celebrate gluttony, family, and laziness. Not shopping. If you shop today you are a fool. And I hate you. In fact, I think that everyone hates you.
But I have to tell you. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I think that this is because it’s all about food. AND I LOVE FOOD. I love the preparation, the ability to come together, and especially to share. Something about the idea of sharing, of experiencing life together with people using all 6 senses just titillates me. When I get to labor over a cranberry sauce with whiskey, cinnamon, and citrus and have it shared with family and friends, it sparks something in my life and makes me feel, well, whole.
But as much as I love food. The food isn’t my favorite part. My favorite part of Turkey day is the libations. Turkey day has a lot of staples and standards. Mashed potatoes, turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, the list can go on and on. When you have Thanksgiving once a year, I always hate when I don’t feel surprised. Especially with my family who is very comfortable with bland food. Drinks are able to liven the food up. And the guests.
Libations at Turkeyday serve dual purposes. Firstly, libations add and enhance the flavor of the food. They bring out certain flavors in your food. A really peppery wine will help enhance meatier flavors. A great whiskey cocktail can enhance your pies or citrus like dishes. Libations are the accent to a well made dish.
Here are some of my favorites:
Coffee: Anyetsu via Novo Coffee
Every Turkeyday morning I like to start out with a really good coffee to open up my palette. When you have a good coffee you can really take time to appreciate and give thanks. From the brewing process to the consumption, I take this as my personal time to reflect and say this is what I love about life. I always enjoy Novo coffee, especially a coffee from Africa. Thanksgiving I always like to have a more fruity coffee. Something with complicated flavors. If I start out complicated I feel like I can open up my palette and be prepared for the big feast. The Anyetsu from Novo is always a good standbye for me. It is refreshing, has multiple flavors and just makes me start my day off right.
I will argue to the day I die that south american wines are my absolutely favorite wines. They are spicey, complex, dry, earthy, and complicated. I love it. When I am eating I always want to have a wine that has peppery because it adds spice to my food without covering up the flavors of the food. Meats are just perfectly seasoned. Sides have an extra punch that isn’t seen. Wine just makes life and food better. Go ahead, ask my girlfriend’s dad. He is a man that loves them just as me.
Beer: Wiley Roots Apumkalyptica
I have fought with Wiley Roots and fought with them to get a bomber of this beer for my turkey day. They ran out a week ago. I was sad, but that is the price that you pay for quality, microbrew beer. Apumpkalyptica is a 9% pumpkin beer that has strong notes of cinnamon, allspice, and pumpkin. It is clean, crisp, and so full of flavor. I have had a lot of pumpkin beers, but nothing like this that has blown me away like this beer has.
Wiley Roots was a brewery started in Greeley, CO by my friend Kyle and his wife. I met him at a random wine/beer tasting and have fallen in love with his beers ever since. They are strong, full of flavor, and super clean. A lot of smaller breweries will have beers that taste all the same or have a plastic/cheap taste to them. Not Wiley’s. This beer is made by someone who loves what they do and shows it through their beer. This is a genuine person who wants to show his soul through his product. I can’t say no to that.
If you can’t get access to Kyle’s beers, a great replacement is any beer that has fall based flavors. Samuel Adams Winter Lager, anything Odell’s, and New Belgiums Pumpkick are great too. Because it is fall, try and go with a darker beer. Lagers and Red Ales are my personal favorites.
Cocktail: Whiskey Sling
Although cold cocktails are amazing to have with food (e.g. Old Fashioned, Sidecars, martinis, gin based drinks) a nice warm boozey drink is the perfect nightcap. I have a friend Raffi who works at Social bar in Fort Collins. If ever I need a drink recipe he is my go to guy. But I found this one wandering the internet. It is super simple and is one of the few cocktails that can be substituted with cheaper booze and the syrup can be made with things at home. I personally prefer to add a little bit of cherry syrup or cherry based bitters to the sling to add a sweetness. Honestly, no matter what you drink, a cocktail or hard liquor based nightcap is a neccessity to truly finish my Turkeyday. I start with coffee to take a moment to give thanks, my nightcap does the same thing.
Any type of libations that you drink on Turkey day please remember that they are important to your meal. They are meant to compliment what you are eating, enhance what you are eating, but most importantly, they are meant to give you a moment to reflect on what you are thankful for and truly appreciate the life that you had.
Tell me some of your favorite drinks in the comments below and please remember to have a great Turkey day.