Thanksgiving is coming up – Oct. 14 – and if you’re wondering what kinds of unique drinks to serve to your guests, look no further than this year’s Spirits Guide. It’s here we’ll give you the rundown of some of our favorite alcoholic beverages to bring a little more joy to the Thanksgiving feast.
In no particular order:
Flor de Caña: the number one rum producer in the world, is aged at the base of an active volcano in bourbon barrels, since its inception in 1890. With a nose of rich red fruit, honey, toasted almonds, toasted coconut, and baking spices, it’s no surprise that the distillery has earned more than 200 awards over the last ten years. The Flor de Caña 12 Year has been awarded twice with the double gold medal in the international rum conference of Madrid, and won the international wine and spirit competition of 2017. As an interesting point of information, it is distilled with 100 percent renewable energy, and is fair trade certified.
Jack Daniel’s No. 7: This Tennessee whisky was the cherished drink of ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra himself. It originated in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1866, and the recipe has been the same since the beginning; the perfect mix of corn, rye, and barley. Jack Daniel’s is one of the only distilleries in the world that make and use their own barrels (made with American White Oak). They craft their own charcoal for mellowing. (pictured above)
Black Cow Vodka: is the world’s first pure milk spirit, made entirely from grass-grazed cow milk. Jason Barber family farm has been producing milk and making cheese for over 200 years, and since 2012, producing this whey-based beverage. By sight alone, you’d never be able to tell it apart from other vodkas; it’s neither black as its name suggests, nor white as you might expect, but crystal clear. Flavour-wise, devotees have noted a marked absence of the rough edge so often found in other vodkas, because they are distilled with mineral water rather than milk. (pictured above)
Herradura Tequila: Has won the world’s most gold-medal awards in the tequila industry. Created in 1870, Herradura hand-harvests the piñas, the heart of the agave plant, which are cooked for 26 hours in clay ovens, distilled in small pot stills, and aged and toasted in American white oak barrels. Its notes are reminiscent of agaves, vanilla and oak flavourings.
Woodford Reserve: is the number one fastest growing bourbon. The Distillery is one of the only heat-cycled barrelhouses in the world, ensuring every drop seeps into the charred and toasted white oak. It has won reams of awards; with top marks in 2017 alone: Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Korea Wine and Spirits Awards, and Whiskies of the World. It has become such a popular bourbon, that it has doubled its volume every three years, since 1997. (pictured above)
Collingwood Whisky: is a unique artisan whisky, crafted by local distillers since 1967, who carry the traditions of Canada’s longest continuously owned and operated distillery. Its aroma is reminiscent of sweet graham cracker, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch. It is distilled using glacial waters from Georgian Bay, and fine grains sourced from Canadian farms. They won Silver Medal 2016 Whiskies of the World Award, and scored a 90 rating (highly recommended) at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge of 2016. (see right)
Crystal Head Vodka: has just come out with a limited edition Bone Bottle. Crystal Head Vodka was created by iconic Canadian actor and screenwriter Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters, Blues Brothers, My Girl). Designed by renowned American artist John Alexander, the skull bottle was inspired by the legend of the 13 crystal skulls. The vodka is produced in St. John’s, Newfoundland, by distilling high quality Canadian sweet corn. An accurate rendering of a human skull, and with a bone white colour finish, it’s also literally the perfect spirit (pun intended) for Halloween, two weeks hence! Plus it makes for a pretty cool design piece to keep, once finished.
And, of course, for the wine lover, we highly recommend:
Rodney Strong 2016 Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: Wine Spectator rated the Rodney Strong Estate Russian River Pinot Noir 91 points in March 2019, and Wine Enthusiast rated it 91 points in August 2019. This Pinot Noir has lovely aromas of red fruit, floral and earth. With a soft and silky texture, on the palate dark cherry, cranberry and baking spice characteristics shine through the balance, acidity and a nice lingering finish. The medium bodied wine was aged for 14 months in small French oak barrels, which added a hint of toasty vanilla and spice complexity. Pairs well with pulled pork, charcuterie, duck, goat or mild blue cheese.
Rodney Strong 2016 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon: It is a 100% Sonoma County Appellation, rich with dark cherry, plum and baking spices. The delicious fruit is accompanied by black pepper notes, crushed violet and cassis. The palate has medium tannins, lingering spicy oak flavours and a velvety lush finish. Pairs well with grilled steak, rack of lamb, roasted chicken, pasta with tomato sauce, gouda or cheddar cheese and grilled winter vegetables.