Thanksgiving with Food Fare

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During Thanksgiving dinner, I rarely drink beverages because I'm more than amply sated from the food. However, there are those who like a strong cup of coffee or tea after the meal, or wine during the feast.


Turkey Blend from River Wild WineryIf wine tickles your fancy, try the Turkey Blend from River Wild Winery. The price per bottle is fairly affordable ($14), and the wine itself is a combination of California Zinfandel, Grenache and Petit Syrah. The bright purple wine provides an abundance of raspberry and black cherry flavors and aromas; the Grenache gives a more elegant, bright red berry flavor while the Petit Syrah adds structure and a rustic, roasted meat nuance.


Nouveau Beaujolais is another wine that compliments Thanksgiving dinner. The taste is light and fruity, with an aroma which hints at candied apples. One bottle averages from $9 to $11.


Apple cider would also be a nice addition to the holiday meal, as well as spiced wine, a cool Frappuccino, or a flavored punch which everyone can enjoy.


Or try the following beverage recipes to add variety to your holiday meal:


Brown Sugar Tea

  • 2 orange pekoe tea bags (Lipton, Luzianne or generic brand)

  • 1 C boiling water

  • Ice cubes

  • 4 tsp. sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized cooking pot. Steep tea bags in hot water until color turns dark, about three to five minutes. Discard tea bags; allow tea to cool slightly. Combine ice cubes, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar in a glass or cocktail shaker. Pour in tea and mix well. Add more ice if necessary. Serve.




  • Brewed coffee

  • Powdered Coffee Mate non-dairy creamer (original flavor)

  • Pinch of sugar (optional)

Pour hot coffee (or re-heated leftover brew) into a Frappuccino bottle or other sealable container. Add Coffee Mate to preferred lightness, stirring well with a small spoon or a straw. Add sugar if desired. Chill for several hours, and then serve.



Hot Apple Cider

  • 1 QT water

  • 3 orange spice tea bags

  • 1/2 C light brown sugar

  • 2 C apple cider

  • 1-1/2 C light rum

  • 8 cinnamon sticks

  • 3 tsp. butter

Pour water into a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add orange spice tea bags. Cover and allow to steep for about five minutes. Remove tea bags. Stir in sugar, apple cider, rum and two of the cinnamon sticks. Heat just until mixture steams; do not boil. Ladle hot cider into mugs; drop half a teaspoon of butter into each. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Note: To prepare non-alcoholic cider, eliminate light rum from recipe ingredients.



Orange-Ginger Cocoa

  • 4 TBS brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. ginger root, peeled & chopped

  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla

  • Zest of 1/2 orange

  • 4 TBS unsweetened, extra-dark cocoa powder

  • 1 C milk

  • 1/2 C water

Combine brown sugar, ginger root, orange zest and vanilla in a food processor. Blend for one minute; stop to stir if necessary. Add cocoa powder; continue to blend until mixture is even. Combine milk and water in a small cooking pot; warm over low heat. As the milk-water mixture warms, add small quantities to the cocoa mixture. Add about one teaspoon of liquid at a time, stirring well after each addition. When cocoa becomes a thin paste, slowly stir back into the remaining simmering liquid in the cooking pot. Once mixture is well blended and hot, pour into mugs and serve.



Spiced Wine

  • Spiced Wine3 bottles red wine

  • 3/4 C sugar

  • 2 TBS honey

  • 1/4 C cinnamon

  • 2 TBS ginger

  • 1 tsp. each of nutmeg, mace & cardamom

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

  • 1/4 tsp. paprika or black pepper

In a large pot, warm the wine on low heat. Stir in the sugar. In a small bowl, combine spices and add a bit of the wine so that spices form a paste. Then add to the pot of wine, stirring until completely dissolved. Avoid boiling the mixture. Turn the heat off, and let the pot sit for several minutes. Then strain the wine mix through a fine mesh colander and into a large bowl. Repeat the straining procedure after the wine has settled again. Serve at room temperature.



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