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The week of Thanksgiving is a beautiful time. There are no Sunday scaries; in fact, that Sunday before Thanksgiving might be the best Sunday of the year — including Super Bowl Sunday. You know the holiday-shortened work week is going to be a breeze, you already have plans with buddies back in your hometown, and you’re already envisioning your meal strategy when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner and the subsequent leftover binges that follow as you immerse yourself in oversized sweatpants, grandma-knitted blankets, and way too many college football over bets. And while Thanksgiving Day is still all about the food, it’s also a drinking marathon as you bounce between family conversations and social situations that seem to all call for some type of alcohol. Unfortunately you’re probably still going to be hungover from Black Wednesday, which is where things can get a little tumultuous. That’s why I’ve pulled together a helpful guide to get you through the day.
Breakfast: Let’s be honest, you only want water at this point. Your mom probably got you up too early to help prep the turkey and you’re struggling to keep two eyes open. Focus on your hydration at first, maybe coffee with a shot of Baileys if you’re feeling especially frisky.
Pre-Lunch: At this point, your stomach is probably rumbling and you’ve spent more time in the bathroom than on the couch. Not ideal, but you can recover. To ease yourself back into the sauce, try to mix in something smooth and a bit sugary. Hot chocolate with schnapps isn’t a bad shout as you can sip it sneakily in-between forced conversations. I’d also opt for a nice smooth and chocolatey stout like Founders Breakfast Stout or whatever dark ale you can scrounge from the fridge.
Lunch: I’m not a huge wine guy, but this is probably the best opening to start mixing in your Riesling and Port wines that tend to skew a bit sweeter and fruitier with fewer tannins to wreck your slowly-recovering stomach lining. As a bigger beer fan, I might have one (1) hazy IPA or something light that won’t upset the stomach like a Miller High Life but is still flavorful enough to pair well with the host of snacks and hors d’oeuvres you’ve been binging since breakfast.
Afternoon Activities + Football On The Couch: Some families go outside and play football, other families opt to lay on the couch and watch others partake in the sport. Whether you’re legging out a 15-yard fade or sweating out a first half under, your blood will be running. You’ll want a beer that’s nice and drinkable to pair with either. I’d opt for a session IPA, winter ale, or light Pilsner to get you through the afternoon as you can have several without getting too loopy.
Dinner Prep: This is where the rubber meets the road. Either you push through with your beer and/or wine compatriots or you opt for a restful snooze in sweatpants. I tend to opt for the latter.
Dinner: At this point you’re probably feeling back to near 100%, which means all spirits, beer, and booze are officially back on the table. I recommend going for whiskey — preferably single malt from the likes of Amrut or Glenfiddich — that will warm your cold soul. Oh, and whiskey also pairs extremely well with turkey and stuffing… and several servings of pie.
Night Cap: The final test for an overstretched and overworked stomach. At this point you already know you’ll be paying for this in the morning, so why not push the envelope? I’m breaking into a bomber of 14% Russian imperial stout or something with a similar booze profile that makes whatever party game I’m partaking in mildly entertaining..