Thanksgiving is only three weeks away which means it’s time to strategize your menu and get as much prep done now that you can. While some items can’t be bought ahead of time due to shelf life, beverages have a long one. Stocking up early on all your beverage needs is a great way to take some of the stress out of the holiday.
Personally, I hate running around the week of Thanksgiving to procure all the ingredients I need. It is just too chaotic at all the stores that week and many items are out of stock due to high demand. It’s best to avoid a major shopping trip at that time. I make up a list 3 weeks ahead of time and get all the things that will keep, such as beer, wine, liquor, mixers, soda, water, can goods, spices, condiments, paper products, décor, baking supplies, etc…
That helps me to focus on what can get done well ahead of time, so I can enjoy leisurely preparing the meal the week of Thanksgiving. I pick up the pre-ordered fresh turkey and all the fresh ingredients I need on Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Having done my major shopping trip at the ‘off-time’, it leaves me little to buy the week of. I’m usually in and out of the grocery store in a half hour.
Whether you hosting a few people or a crowd, planning out the cocktails ahead of time can pay off big time. You plan out the food and the decorations, why NOT the beverages? Take inventory of your guest’s beverage preferences. Grandma didn’t get the nickname Gin from playing cards, so obviously have her favorite brand of gin on the list and Uncle Bob is old fashioned and enjoys one every night at 6 pm. I think you get the point. Guests feel welcome when their favorite beverages are available.
Getting the standards such as wine, beer, liquors, sodas and juices is a nice starting point. But how about trying out a few fall drinks that will compliment your dinner party and get your guests talking.
Here are a few of my suggestions:
The Autumn Fruit Old-Fashioned uses bourbon that is infused with grapefruit, lemon peels, pear and apple cores (this can be made a few days ahead of time). In a rocks glass, muddle ½ tsp of sugar with 5 dashes of Angostura orange bitters until a paste forms. Add ice, 2 ounces of the infused bourbon and ½ ounce of water. Stir and garnish with and orange twist and cherry. Delish!
The Ketel One Vodka Ultimate Apple Martini makes for a great start to any event. Add 1 ounce of Ketel One® Vodka, 1 ounce of Sour Apple Liqueur, a splash of sweet and sour mix into and iced cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with 2 granny smith apples slices.
A Cranberry Cosmopolitan makes for a perfect match! Mix 1 ½ ounces of vodka, ½ ounce of Grand Marnier or Cointreau, ¾ ounce of fresh lime juice and 1 ounce of cranberry juice in an iced cocktail shaker, shake and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with cranberries.
The Montgomery Punch Bowl Recipe will please a crowd. Start by making a decorative Ice Ring using water and sliced fruit (such as lemons and oranges). Place Ice Ring in a Punch Bowl. Stir together 2 cups of fresh lemon juice and 1 ½ cups of sugar until sugar fully dissolves. Stir in 1 cup of brandy. Pour over ice ring. Stir in 2 (750 ml) bottles of chilled sparkling wine, one (375 ml) bottle of chilled dessert wine (such as Sauternes).
Take inventory of what you already have and make a full list of beverage items you’ll need. Make sure to take note of how long you’ll need to prep the beverages. Let us know if you tried any of these recipes on our Facebook page and what you and your guests thought of them.
With that, all of us at Tri-State Liquors would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Check Out this parody … too funny!!