Whether you’re off to celebrate Thanksgiving with far-flung family or staying close with friends and neighbors, it never hurts to come prepared with some upbeat talking points and conversation fillers—and it’s hard to go wrong with cocktail trivia and miscellany. Here are three easy picks for making a splash on the big day:
A Proper Drink
Brush up on the history of the craft cocktail renaissance with this new book from cocktail writer Robert Simonson before the holidays so you can come prepared to tell everyone about how a band of maverick bartenders revived the art of the cocktail for modern audiences. Anecdotes abound, from tales of movement’s foundations at the Rainbow Room in New York to the true history behind the Cosmo. For extra credit, try whipping up one of the star bartender-approved recipes.
Amaro Taste Test
The excess of Thanksgiving Day festivities is the perfect time to introduce your tablemates to the wonders of amari, bittersweet liqueurs made popular in Italy in part as ways to mitigate the effects of overeating. First, read up on the history of the category with Amaro, a new book from Brad Thomas Parsons. Then choose a couple to bring with you — the hipstery Fernet Branca and something more obscure, such as Amaro Nardini — to share after dinner.
Carry On Cocktail Kit
Don’t be stuck drinking drab Bloody Mary mix on your flight. Bring along one of these delightful little tins—packed with recipe card, muddler, and special ingredients — that majorly upgrade what airlines have to offer — and then tell all your Thanksgiving Day tablemates about your mile high drinking experience. The classic Old Fashioned comes with bitters and cane sugar (just add plane-bought whiskey), or go for the Moscow Mule, Champagne Cocktail, or Bloody Mary version. Is Thanksgiving at your house? These kits would make excellent party favors for your guests’ trip home.
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