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.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey-Time Tipples

Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and though we’re almost prepared for a house full of hungry holiday revelers, one thing we haven’t completely decided is what to drink with all that food. The current issue of Imbibe has lots of great recommendations, and we thought we’d also check with a few faces familiar to the magazine to see what they’ll be pouring come Turkey Day. From a pumpkin-pie-inspired milk punch to domestic dry ciders, here’s what you’ll find gracing the holiday table of a few notable imbibers.

Julie and Jason Atallah
The husband-and-wife team behind the beloved beer shop Brusin’ Ales in Asheville, N.C., will be keeping their Thanksgiving guests happy with an international offering of craft beers like Baird’s Jubelation Ale, Scaldis’ Prestige de Nuits, Nöel de Géants from Belgium’s Brasserie de Géants and L’Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien, a barrel-aged beer that Julie says pairs well with turkey and duck. Turducken, anyone?

Adam Avery
Most recently featured in Imbibe’s March/April collaborative beers story, Avery Brewing founder and brewer Adam Avery will be reaching for a few beers that’ll nicely complement the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving. “I know I have a 2 Turtle Doves from Patrick at The Bruery that probably doesn't stand a chance of living past that day, and I believe a couple of 3 Fonteinen may go down as well,” he says. “And if I get started on that sour train, Duck Duck Gooze and Isabelle Proximus [both from The Lost Abbey] are in trouble.”

Paul Clarke
Imbibe contributing editor Paul Clarke will be kicking off his Turkey Day with a round of Northern Spy cocktails, rich with the autumnal flavors of applejack and fresh cider. And the apple theme continues into to the main meal with bottles of dry cider being poured alongside turkey and trimmings. “We've gone for dry cider the past few years—sometimes French, sometimes from the U.K.,” he says. “This year we'll go for something from the Pacific Northwest, like the dry cider from Snowdrift.”

Erik Ellestad
“I've lately been making these ridiculously old-fashioned milk punches for special events,” says cocktail blogger and part-time bartender Erik Ellestad, who we featured in our July/August issue. “They’re so old-fashioned that Thomas Jefferson had one among his recipes.” And Ellestad should know—he’s a cocktail historian of sorts, who became a blogging sensation for chronicling his quest to mix every drink from The Savoy Cocktail Book. Nearly finished with his Savoy Project, this recipe for Great Pumpkin Punch, which will grace his holiday table, is an adaptation of a classic recipe. Combining sweet potatoes, citrus and spices with bourbon, Cognac and Batavia Arrack, Ellestad describes this potent sipper as, “pumpkin pie in punch form.”

Randall Grahm
Often referred to as the “Rhône Deranger,” it’s no surprise that Bonny Doon Vineyard owner Randall Grahm is looking toward France this Thanksgiving with a bottle (or two) of Cornas from the northern Rhône. “Cornas is perhaps the most mineral-intensive Syrah on the planet,” Grahm says, “and the density of the minerals somehow seems to make a great counter-balance to the textural softness of the turkey—at least in my febrile imagination.”

Mitch Steele

Head brewmaster at San Diego’s Stone Brewing, Mitch Steele is gearing up for a suds-soaked Thanksgiving, even getting the turkey in on the action. “I’m roasting a turkey that I’ll brine in part with some wit beer or a Belgian tripel.” he says. And though Stone’s IPA flows freely from Steele’s kegerator, he’ll also be kicking back pre-meal with Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. When it’s time to sit down to dinner, “My plan is to start the meal with a bottle of Russian River Temptation and close with a Bruery Autumn Maple,” he says. “And follow that with a 2003 Fuller's Vintage Ale for dessert.”

Terry Theise
“It makes sense to drink Champagne,” says cult wine importer Terry Theise, “but with all those yummy cooking smells, I don’t need serious Champagne—give me something giddy and simple.” As for mealtime, Theise favors low-alcohol German whites. “The meal makes you drowsy enough,” he says, “and who needs to be half-tanked when there’s all that cleanup?” Even more important, a lot of German whites offer just enough sweetness to handle the side dishes. “But again, this isn’t necessarily a wine occasion,” Theise says, “so I’d choose something lusty and good, but not mystic or complex.” Check out our article, “White Winter,” for more recommendations on winter whites.