Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanksgiving is Coming

Don't look now but Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Look, I know you are probably just getting over waking up next to Darth Vader on Monday morning, but let's focus. And taking out your frustrations with Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/New Years Eve on Thanksgiving is very childish and immature.

Thanksgiving celebrates why we live in America in the first place. First off nothing says prepare for the coming winter like an enormous feast. Second, it is the only holiday centered around a nap. Third, there are football games. However, we do have to detract points for those games always involving Donnie Boy Riguez's Lions. But bonus points as this year the Saints play. Fourthly, Thanksgiving is the only holiday that gives you the next day off as well. Finally, Thanksgiving has the coolest theme song.

The most important part of insuring a successful Thanksgiving is not properly cooking the turkey (which is nearly impossible), but making sure you have a well-stocked bar. How else are you going to put up with relatives from the other side of the political universe than you? Plus it helps everyone loosen up to make fun of Jerry Jones and that guy over there.

Good rule of thumb is to make sure you bar has one of each: bourbon or rye, scotch, gin, and rum. I'd choose handles because unlike fish and houseguests, liquor still smells great after three days. If anyone asks for vodka, hand them gin. They won't know the difference anyway. Now you can jazz up your bar with other stuff. Bitters, rare elixirs from far away lands, and liquors which make men do bad things. But if you go down this route, you are only guaranteeing someone will say, "What? You don't have any Dubonnet?"  or "You mean to tell me you ran out of Orgeat. You know that is the only way I can drink rum."

Soda, water, and tonic would be good to have. Those cherries in formaldehyde are absolutely necessary. A few segments of lemon, orange, and lime go a long way in easing the feud between Aunt Berthel and Uncle Joey. If someone in your family is bringing kids, make sure to have plenty of Champagne in the house as it goes very well with orange juice. Two birds, one stone.

By the way, go to the liquor store this weekend. I know, I know, you don't have time. But you know when you really don't have time to go to the liquor store? The Wednesday before Thanksgiving. In between picking your sister up at the airport, swinging by Honey Baked Ham, and watching your nephew play an oppressive, buckled shoe wearing Pilgrim at the St. Stephen of the Sanctimonious Thanksgiving Theatrical, the last thing you want to do is wade into Cuban Liquor. Because I guarantee you there will be Teetotaler Terry asking the sales staff what is difference between wine and beer. Go now. Trust me.

Your bar is where the party either goes very right or horribly wrong. Remember prior planning prevents poor performance. Now here, is a drink to use up all the Champagne the kids won't finish.We will cover wine another day. We will cover it all because Thanksgiving is coming.

The Fancy Manhattan

To measure, use the Louapre family standard unit of measurement: your God given hands. In a rocks glass, measure out three fingers of decent bourbon or rye. (Somewhere a mixologist/bar chef with a handlebar mustache and Edith Piaf lyrics tattooed on his stomach, cries.) Buffalo Trace or Sazerac Rye is preferable but Old Grandad will do. Remember you want your relatives eventually to leave so don't break out the good stuff.

Now pour this bourbon into a shaker that you have filled with some crushed ice. To this add, 1/2 an ounce of sweet vermouth and a few dashes of bitters. Angostura are called for in the real recipe, but don't fuss too much. These are relatives; not people you are trying to impress.  Shake and strain into the rocks glass which you have either added ice to or not. Your call. Top with a nice glug of Champagne and a cherry.


Legend said...

"liquors which make men do bad things" = Gin

Great Manhattan recipe, looking forward to trying it out.

Rene said...

Legend, as I seem to recall the thing that really makes you did bad things is Ojen. Good thing finding an Ojen in this city is harder than finding a politician you actually want to vote for.

KeepDurhamDifferent! said...

Please tell me you are going to attempt turducken (from scratch).

Donnie Boy Riguez said...

Respect the Lions! I see big things from Stafford on Turkey Day.

RBPoBoy said...

You are right. The WingNut Teabigots are gonna be insufferable this year.

Rene said...

Correction, they are all insufferable. Our write in candidate of grilled cheese would have been an awesome representative and Senator crawfish would have been a lion.

KF said...

Good post - your writing on drinking is very similar Kingley Amis in Everyday Drinking. Great book if you haven't read it.