Make your Thanksgiving pairing on the Rocks.

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  • By Jeremy Dugan
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Make your Thanksgiving pairing on the Rocks.

A quick highlight of some Craft Spirits that will pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving dinner.


With it being the week of Thanksgiving, it’s time for people to think about what they will be drinking during their feast. Now you can never go wrong with wine. Whether it’s Pinot Noir, Zwieglet, Riesling or Beaujolais, they will pair very nicely with your meal. But that’s not all there is when it comes to options for what will compliment your Thanksgiving meal. Spirits like Whiskey, Gin, Rum and Brandy will all help transcend a tasty dinner into a memorable night. So here are some of my favorite spirits to pair with your Thanksgiving meal, you don’t need to make it a cocktail, just an ice cube and all is good.



Now Gins can go with both Turkey and Ham. Light citrus notes, juniper berries and depending on which one you get, spice characteristics will play well with flavors from either type of meat.

Calyx 2015 Gin

Lighter floral Gin, juniper berries up front, lemon zest pop delicate ginger spice. Juniper on the finish. Juniper and ginger are really fun to pair with Turkey in my opinion. The floral component with the vibrancy of the ginger just work together.

$48.99 per bottle

Venus Gin #002

Rested for 2 months in American oak. Bold cinnamon and fennel, sage, bay leaf and orange zest. Soft vanilla on. Cinnamon, fennel and vanilla works great to balance out the sweeter flavors of ham while herbal flavors light sage and bay leaf taste good with turkey. And who doesn’t light a little orange with either?


$39.99 per bottle


Now a spirit like Brandy might not be exactly what people think about when they think Thanksgiving pairings, but when you think about Cognacs, Armagnacs and Calvados, I think there are some you’d be able to find and truly enjoy.

Fougerat V.S.O.P. Cognac

Rich coco notes pair beautifully with vibrant baked apple flavors. With big caramel notes on the finish. Rich flavors pair well with turkey and if spiced apples and ham don’t sound like a combination you’d enjoy, sorry, I can’t help you.

$45.99 per bottle

Gelas 8 year Armagnac

Soft charred oak, light coco, delicate maple flavors pair with cherry wood characteristics and vibrant red apple flavors. Oak spices and coco are exactly the kind of flavors I look for to pair with my turkey. Some more savory combinations like maple and cherry wood would do amazingly with a honey baked ham.

$74.99 per bottle

Manoir du Montreuil Calvados

This is just a super easy drinking Calvados. Bright ripe red apple flavors just coat the palate while delicate spice notes and subtle coco wrap it up. This is one that will pair with either Ham or Turkey. Cause what doesn't go with delicious red apples?




Now Rum has spice flavors and sweetness that can pair with turkey and ham very well. If you go with a leaner Rum, where the spices come out more, you have a Turkey Rum. A Rum with a sweeter profile would go fantastically with ham.

Diplomatico Exclusiva

Rich notes of coco and spices (cinnamon being the dominate spice) pair with each other very well on the front palate giving you some sweetness but it is still light and vibrant thanks to the spice. Toasted oak and hints of vanilla add a creamy texture that coats the tongue and allows the coco and spices to linger on the palate. While the creaminess gives you an idea of sweetness, it finishes dry leaving your taste buds wanting more.

$39.99 per bottle

Ballast Point Three Sheets Barrel Aged Rum

What happens when you age a White Rum for 2 years in virgin American oak barrels? You get Ballast Point’s rich and full flavored Three Sheets Aged Rum. Big notes of vanilla and toffee give this rum a richness right off the bat while caramel and tobacco leaf herbalness come into play giving you characteristics commonly found in Bourbon. This fun combination of drying tobacco leaf and sweet vanilla, toffee and caramel give it a balance of being sweet and mellow with a dry finish.

$34.99 per bottle



Whiskey can mean a lot of things, it can be Bourbon, Rye, Irish Whiskey, Scotch Whisky or more. And all styles have a place on your dinner table with turkey or ham.

Henry McKenna 10 year Bourbon

Bold spice notes, rich dark chocolate and light red apple flavors. Chocolate lingers, hints of vanilla on finish. This is the Bourbon I drank last year for Thanksgiving, it worked very well with my Grandma's Turkey. And for those cooks, it doesn't hurt to add some to the gravy.

$26.99 per bottle

Cooperfox Single Malt Rye Whiskey

67% rye and 33% single malt, rye spice pops up front, soft notes of coco, cherry and apple. Rye and apple linger. So I'm thinking this is what I'll be drinking this year at Thanksgiving. The rye and apple wood combination is that sweet and spicy pairing that will go great with Turkey.

$44.99 per bottle

Teeling Small Batch

Lightly smoked with rich notes of butterscotch and vanilla, this non chill filtered spirit from Dublin has unique flavors thanks to spending its last six months of aging in Rum barrels. This would be my Ham Whiskey. The subtle smoke and vanilla would go great with little bit of sweetness in a honey baked Ham.

$38.99 per bottle

Glenrothes Sherry Cask

Hints of sherry nuttiness pair with light notes of vanilla. A bold smoke characteristic comes out on the finish. Another one that could go with both Ham or Turkey. The smokiness and vanilla, like the Teeling, would go great with Ham. The nuttiness and smokiness would work with Turkey very well too.

$52.99 per bottle



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