Tradition has us preparing sizable amounts of food for Thanksgiving this Thursday but don’t forget (or underestimate) the value of libations. For timely tips on what to drink from day to night—and how to make it—we chatted with two DC barmen: Brendan McMahon, proprietor of Beuchert’s Saloon, and Jochem Zijp, beverage manager at newly opened Osteria Morini.
Zijp recommends starting the day with a Blood-Orange Mimosa. Strain fresh blood orange juice into a flute and fill with a good rosé Champagne. (Zijp thinks Champagne Paul Bara is perfect.)
Keep cozy with Gluhwein, a traditional Germanic mulled wine. “I’m from Holland and we drink this in winter,” says Zijp. “It’s hot and spiced, great for keeping warm.” To prepare, cook your favorite red wine over low heat with oranges, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice for a few hours and keep the mixture warm.
During the main meal, wine wins again. “I like Chardonnay with some oak but not too much acid, with turkey and gravy,” Zijp muses. Or sip on Pinot Noir as a red option. “[It] goes great with cranberries, and spiced sweet potato and poultry,” he says.
If you’re feeling adventurous, toast with McMahon’s The Abel cocktail, available on Thanksgiving at Beuchert’s Saloon, or make it at home for your holiday guests. “This drink is nice because it makes the whole bar smell like the holidays and warms everyone up on cold nights,” he explains. See his recipe below. Beuchert’s Saloon, 623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 202-733-1384; Osteria Morini, 301 Water St. SE, 202-484-0660
The Abel (topped with cardamom foam)
To make the drink:
1 qt. Chairman’s reserve spiced rum
1 qt. local apple cider
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. water
2 sticks cinnamon
10 cloves wrapped in cheesecloth
Put ingredients in a Crock-Pot and heat. Let simmer.
To make the cardamom foam:
6 oz. Cardamaro liqueur
1 oz. lemon juice
4 oz. egg whites
Combine ingredients in iSi foamer. Double charge.
To make The Abel: Pour 6 oz. drink mixture into an 8-oz. glass and top with cardamom foam and two brandied cherries. Serve, sip, repeat.