Once you enter adulthood, you discover that there are a number of ways to enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday. At last, you can venture beyond the confines of what your parents have planned. And you get to drink the adult beverages. The only downside is that you can no longer show up empty-handed, citing your status as a minor and subsequent lack of a bank account and ID as an excuse for not bringing any booze. But fear not–we’ve provided a handy guide for what to bring to every type of Thanksgiving situation you may find yourself in this year.
Home For All The Turkey
Definition: (a) a return to your family’s all-inclusive homebase for the sacred holiday of eating (b) often involves a too-small childhood bed and piles of clean, expertly folded laundry
Bring: A little something for everyone. Dad loves beer? Bring him a mixed 6-pack of your favorite craft brew. Same goes for mom’s Chardonnay; try upgrading her to a classic white Burgundy like a Matrot Merusault.
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Definition: (a) gathering of friends to share traditions and double down on calories (b) a fantastic excuse to drink on a couch and watch Home Alone.
Bring: All of it. Quality and quantity are both priorities for all aspects of a Friendsgiving, so grab a few good boxes of wine (yes, they exist) like a Cubi Sauvignon Blanc and a Valpantena Corvina and be set for the night without going broke.
(Relatively) New Significant Other’s House
Definition: (a) potentially terrifying first holiday experience with the parents of someone you’ve recently started dating
Bring: The good stuff. You’re going to have to rely on your person for a little guidance here, but the formula is simple: first figure out what their parents like to drink and find the the best one you possibly can afford. Do not waiver from this formula, period.
Definition: (a) very generous invite from a friend whose family lives within driving distance (b) the ability to spend the holiday with friends plus the perks of #1 i.e. clean laundry
Bring: Mimosa materials. Whether you’re welcoming Santa down 5th Avenue with a toast or looking for some festive healing on Friday, everyone’s mornings are better when there’s a decent Prosecco and [good] orange juice around. Bonus guest points for fresh-squeezed.
Stranger’s Pity Invite
Definition: (a) when someone you don’t know well catches wind that you were going to be alone for the holiday and extends an invite via a mutual human (b) potentially awkward 4-hour “getting to know you”
Definition: (a) self-explanatory (b) may be a positive or negative experience (or both)
Bring: Whatever you like to drink. By now you’re presumably past the point of trying to impress your in-laws, but that doesn’t mean they know your drink of choice yet. Just make sure to bring a bottle or a 6-pack of whatever you need in order to be the best child-in-law you can possibly be.
Gathering of Holiday Orphans
Definition: (a) when a motley crew of friends and acquaintances lean on each other for a meal of “holiday orphans” (b) it doesn’t always involve turkey or any tradition, just fun
Bring: Something festive. Hey, you’re all friends (sort of?) who didn’t have anything better to do, so why not just get down and celebrate? Few things start a party faster than a giant bottle of anything, but especially bubbly. Grab a magnum of Mossinet Bonnard Crémant de Bourgogne for around $50 and be the best orphan at the party.
Work Crew Potluck
Definition: (a) when employees of certain industries (service, retail, parade logistics) who are forced to work for a portion of the holiday gather for a late celebration (b) usually in the form of a potluck after the rest of the country has already changed into sweatpants
Bring: Mixers. When it comes to your work crew, odds are everyone will focus on the booze and forget the other essentials. Grab some seltzer, tonic, bitters and/or vermouth and some citrus and shake up the post-work festivities with a cocktail station.
A Catered Thanksgiving (Apparently This Is A Thing)
Definition: (a) a non-Boston Market meal delivered to one’s front door, sometimes accompanied by white linens and steel warming trays (b) the classiest of all types of celebrations (c) fighting over the gravy boat definitely not welcome
Bring: An interesting digestif. Everyone else will bring wine, so stand out with an incredible Pineu des Charantes, like the Navarre Vieux, which has been aged for 30+ years. Even if Boston Market is more your style, you’ll definitely be getting an invite back next year.
Netflix and Chill W/ Takeout
Definition: (a) a distinct eschewing of all things Thanksgiving, such as turkey, stuffing, drunk uncles, leftovers, Macy’s, and a year’s worth of sodium (b) can include watching an entire season of The Wire, ordering takeout multiple times throughout the day, couch-sitting, drinking etc.
Bring: A splurge. You and whoever else is lucky enough to be sharing your couch this holiday deserve to lounge it up with the good stuff. Just pick whatever you like to drink and ask your local wine shop for something similar, but better. For me it would be the Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2010.
At a loss for what to make? Here is the most comprehensive collection of Thanksgiving recipes and ideas on the web.