Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drinks of the Week: Turkey Day Tipple

Thanksgiving is peeking around the corner, and if you’re still deciding what drinks to pair with all the festive flavors of the day, our current issue offers lots of tasty suggestions, and for today’s Drink of the Week we thought we’d check with a few industry insiders to see what they’re planning to pour next Thursday. From inky-black brews to classic cocktails with seasonal twists, there’s plenty of inspiration to be drawn from their plans.

Greg Engert
“I like to bust out some special-occasion beers for this day of delicious indolence,” says Washington D.C.-based Birch & Barley and ChurchKey beer director Greg Engert. Among those celebratory brews? “A couple of insane sours that I think will work nicely as aperitifs and with brined, dark turkey meat,” says Engert, “as well as some Allagash Mattina Rossa—an amazing ale that’s brewed with raspberries and aged for 18 months in oak barrels with wild yeasts and bacterias—and some Coolship Red, which is spontaneously fermented then barrel-aged on raspberries.” And lucky for his Turkey Day guests, the beers will flow right into dessert, with Engert dipping into his stash of Surly Darkness Russian Imperial Stout and 3 Floyds' Dark Lord. “We don't tend to do too much chocolate during Thanksgiving, and for good reason—these decadent tipples are intensely chocolaty, nutty, coffee-ish, and even boast some undertones of dark forest fruit,” he says. “Resisting the urge to drizzle these on some pumpkin or pecan pie and ice cream is difficult.”

Bob Scherb
Whether we’re looking for that hard-to-find bottle or trying to decide which wine best pairs with dinner du jour, Portland, Oregon bottle shop Liner & Elsen never lets us down. Which is why we wanted to know what owner Bob Scherb plans to pour this Thanksgiving. “You can never go wrong with Burgundies, both red and white,” he says. “But the auslese Riesling from Jos. Christoffel Jr. is also just magical.” And Scherb knows that a celebration isn’t the same without some bubbly, which is why he plans to keep the stunning and inexpensive Loire Valley-produced 2005 Huet Petillant on hand. “Sparkling wine is must for every occasion,” he adds. “In fact, there’s really no reason to wait to open a bottle.”

Cora Lambert
As coffee director of Manhattan’s RBC NYC, Cora Lambert is used to finding flavors to match people’s palates, and for her family’s Thanksgiving celebration in Chicago, she’ll be doing the same. “I’m planning to brew Honduras, Las Manos from Ritual Coffee Roasters without a doubt,” Lambert says. “It’s sweet, juicy and easily the best coffee I’ve had all year.” But Lambert’s not stopping at coffee. “I have a real obsession with Rum Old Fashioneds,” she says. “And relatives love when you break out the classics!”

David Wondrich
This year, Imbibe columnist David Wondrich plans to spend Thanksgiving relaxing at home with family—but with a few good tipples, of course. “I've got a couple of big bottles of Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops set aside,” he says, “and also some lovely Ransom Pinot Noir from Oregon—that should do it.”

Marko Karakasevic
Most recently featured in our November/December 2011 issue, Charbay’s master distiller Marko Karaksevic plans to kick off Thanksgiving with some locally brewed beer. “My brother-in-law loves beer, so Bear Republic’s Racer 5 is a must,” Karakasevic says. Charbay’s whiskey is even distilled from it. “It’s so much fun to taste the beer and then the whiskey made from that beer,” he says.

Jane Danger
For Jane’s Sweet Buns bakery co-owner Jane Danger, the booze gets baked right into her cocktail-inspired sweet treats (bourbon, rum and even Aperol-spiked pastries), with a seasonal Sherry Cobbler-inspired bun even finding its way into the pastry case just in time for the holidays. But at home, spirits find their way back into the mixing glass for this bartender-turned-baker who plans to fill her cup with “sherry, vermouth and apple brandy, for sure,” she says. “I love bourbon and rye, but for some reason this season I'm all about those three.”

Chris Hannah
For New Orleans barman Chris Hannah, Thanksgiving is all about enjoying the flavors of the season and celebrating with friends. After toasting opening day at the local racetrack (“I’ll flask the Winter Waltz cocktail, wear a suit and socialize with other bartenders,” Hannah says), the crew then plans to hit several service industry "family" gatherings, where Hannah says he’ll mix a variety of classic cocktails with a seasonal slant. “I get dressed up and show up with friends at a friend's,” he says, “then it's stop after stop after stop until I'm back home.”