In attempt to prepare the best Thanksgiving meal ever, we came to a realization a few years ago: the best meal is one made entirely out of shots. The model worked for us, thus Shotsgiving was born.
If you’re planning on doing Shotsgiving, it’s not advisable to do it by yourself. Seeing as it’s Thanksgiving, bring the family into it — what better way to getg randma to stop asking why you haven’t settled down with a nice girl yet than to offer her a shot of ginger liqueur?
Cranberry sauce: Leopold Brothers Cranberry Liqueur
Bottled by hand to maintain the brilliant cranberry red color and flavor, Leopold Brothers easily answer the age-old question of canned vs. homemade: neither, you want this instead. Not too tart, not too sweet, this beats even the best cranberry sauce.
Mashed potatoes: Grand Teton Potato Vodka
What kind of Thanksgiving meal would it be without mashed potatoes? Grand Teton steps in here with a spirit made from, you guessed it, potatoes. Distilled to the equivalent of 20 times and polished with charcoal and garnet crystal, this vodka is flavorful and smooth, with or without ice.
Rolls: Templeton Rye
With so much gravy and other good things in need of being sopped up on a Thanksgiving plate, you can’t not have bread of some sort. To solve that problem, we’ve gone with Templeton Rye, which exudes the spicy notes that rye lovers look for. It also has just enough sweetness to balance these notes out, making it great to stuff yourself on when Grandma takes too long to get all of the appetizers out in time.
Side salad: La Quintinye Vermouth Royal
While a salad should probably be a shot that contains multiple different spirits, we’ve gone with a flavorful, aromatic vermouth that incorporates 28 different plants and spices — enough greens go into this vermouth that the Jolly Green Giant would think it’s a long lost kid.
Carrots: Boardroom Spirits Carrot
Made from 100 percent carrots that are processed and distilled, this is literally a side dish made into alcohol. The fragrance is like shaved carrots with a flavor reminiscent of coleslaw. All you’re missing is a little bit of butter.
Stuffing: Modern Spirits Celery Peppercorn Vodka
This vodka tastes exactly like it sounds. It’s best served in a drink like a Bloody Mary, but the flavors of celery and peppercorns work perfectly here for a nice stuffing. For those that want a different kind of stuffing or dressing, try substituting an apple brandy such as Laird’s for an apple stuffing-flavored side.
Sweet corn: Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey
For sweet corn, you want an unaged whiskey that really brings those sugary corn flavors to the forefront. Glen Thunder from Finger Lakes Distilling in Burdett, New York, captures that essence, with a fresh corn nose and great smoothness on the palate.
Sweet potato casserole: Art in the Age Sweet Potato Vodka
Art in the Age is great for producing not only interesting spirits, but producing interesting spirits that taste great. Last year, we used their sage flavor as our stuffing, and this year we’ve got the sweet potato vodka on deck. With caramel and a little oakiness, this vodka is like a sweet potato casserole (or pie!) in a glass. If you like it, save a shot and have another as dessert.
Turkey: Wild Turkey Rare Breed
We’re cheating a little here and going with the name. That being said, there’s nothing better to anchor a meal than a good shot of bourbon. In the case of Rare Breed, this bourbon is barrel proof and rich in tobacco and oak flavors that are perfect to sip on all night long.
Gingersnap cookies: Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
Simultaneously sweet and spicy, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur offers up all of the flavors you love in ginger-flavored cookies, just in liquid form. After a long heavy meal, this spirit will awaken the sense and get you ready to close it out with some other desserts.
Apple pie: Barking Irons Applejack
It wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving meal without apple pie and for that, we turn to Barking Irons Applejack. Using cider made from New York apples, Barking Irons is an homage to the first hard spirits that were created in the United States, back before we were a country.
Mixed berry pie: Eau Claire Distillery Equineox
A spirit made from a barley base that falls between gin and vodka, EquineOx uses prickly pears to give the spirit a refreshing, fruity flavor. For those that eschew traditional Thanksgiving pie flavors (pumpkin, pecan, apple), a mixed berry pie is a delicious alternative.
Coffee: Caffè Borghetti
After more dishes than you’ve got fingers, a nice cup of coffee would be a welcome respite. This espresso liqueur is made from the same recipe that the creator, Ugo Borghetti, made in 1860. A classic recipe to round out a classic meal.
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