Thanksgiving Spirits: Bottle Recommendations for your Feast

November 21, 2018

Although wine and beer are more commonly paired with a Thanksgiving Day feast, don’t overlook distilled spirits for the festivities. Have a few bottles on hand and let your guests create their own cocktails while you take care of business in the kitchen. Additionally, aged spirits like whiskey, brandy and rum make great after dinner drinks as well as fine gifts for your host should you be invited to a meal this year. Prices listed are average retail prices in the US.

Wild Turkey 101

In my household, Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a bottle of Wild Turkey to share. It’s the perfect no-nonsense bourbon to drink while watching a little (or a lot) of football. The classic 101 proof is perfect served on the rocks. Go ahead and splash a little in the sweet potatoes—we won’t tell! $23

Thanksgiving Spirits: Wild Turkey 101Wild Turkey 101 / Photo Credit: Wild Turkey

Laird’s Straight Applejack 86

Introduced in fall 2017, this Applejack is 100% apple brandy—unlike the brand’s standard Applejack which uses neutral spirit in its makeup. Seventeen pounds of apples are needed to produce each bottle. Perfect for when Hot Toddies are in order. $25

Don Q Añejo

Of course, not all families serve turkey for Thanksgiving. For many, pork is the protein of choice. And what better to serve with pork than rum? Aged in American oak from 3-10 years, the brand’s Añejo bottling displays flavors like vanilla, molasses and dried fruit. Don Q is the go-to rum brand in Puerto Rico, so if you aren’t familiar, make sure to give them a try. $19

Martell Blue Swift

Martell is one of the “Big Four” houses in cognac. Blue Swift is made by taking Martell VSOP cognac and finishing it in barrels previously used to age Kentucky bourbon. Aging in used barrels which held something other than wine or wine spirits is not allowed in cognac, hence the “Eau de Vie” designation. Expect to find lots of oak, vanilla and fruit. If you’re a bourbon drinker looking to make the leap to cognac, this is just for you. $48

Thanksgiving Spirits: Martell Blue SwiftMartell Blue Swift / Photo Credit: Martell

Mount Gay 1703 Master Select Rum

The rums used in this annual release are aged for 10 to 30 years. Find smoky, sweet flavors with tropical fruits, butterscotch and barrel spices coming through. Serve as is! $164

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2018 Fino Cask Finish

I have a thing for oysters and find that peated whisky pairs beautifully with them. This bottling from Laphroaig was finished in a fino sherry cask, which makes this an especially good whiskey to eat with shellfish. Cairdeas means “friendship” in Gaelic, so make sure to share with your chosen family. $84

Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt

This Seattle-based distillery uses six different styles of malted barley and four different casks to create this whiskey. Notes of chocolate, orchard fruits and barrel spices are just a few of the flavors you’ll find here. $76

Thanksgiving Spirits: Westland Sherry Wood American Single MaltWestland Sherry Wood American Single Malt / Photo Credit: Westland Whiskey

Lepanto PX Gran Reserva

This Spanish brandy bottling is aged on average of 15 years with its final three years resting in Pedro Ximenez sherry. Think lots of dried fruit, espresso and walnuts. Try this one with pecan pie! $62

WhistlePig The Boss Hog V: The Spirit of Mauve

The fifth in the Boss Hog series from Vermont-based Whistlepig, this is named after a beloved pig named Mauve. Aged 13 years, this straight rye whiskey finished its maturation in calvados casks. The bottle is topped with a handcrafted Danforth pewter stopper “in the shape of Mauve ascending to heaven”. Expect a perfect harmony of rye and calvados expressed in the glass. $499

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