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Pass The Turkey – another Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon cocktail

Pass the Turkey by SkyySpirits

Pass the Turkey by SkyySpirits

Today, we’ll make a Thanksgiving holiday cocktail created by Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer called Pass the Turkey. The recipe will be after the short video below, where I make it with you.  It contains Wild Turkey Bourbon 101, and some other Thanksgiving related ingredients.

Bourbon, which was declared as a “distinctive product of the United States” in 1964, has mysterious origins dating back to the late 18th century. Some attribute it to a Baptist Minister Elijah Craig, others to Bourbon County, KY distiller Jacob Spears. Regardless of it’s origins, bourbon is a spirit with very strict guidelines to make it that distinctive US product. It’s believed that some 90%+ of the world’s bourbon is indeed distilled and aged in Kentucky, though it can be made anywhere it’s legal to distill spirits.

Bourbon is made of at least 51% corn, though typically the mixture is 70% corn and the remainder being wheat and/or rye and malted barley. The distilled mixture is typically 80% alcohol, or 160 Proof, and it must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. What ends up in the bottle has been aged for various lengths of time in the oak, which gives it the color and flavor, and is always a minimum of 80 proof, or 40% alcohol.

Bourbon is of course, a whiskey, similar to Scotch, and is identified with the US as Scotch is identified with Scotland. Bourbon has a variety of taste characteristics ranging from apple and brown sugar to leather, smoke and even acetone. The length of aging and many other factors affect the taste of the bourbon, and the drinks they make.   Bourbon can be enjoyed alone (neat), on ice, or with a variety of different ingredients to form your favorite cocktail. I’ll try to create these and more in the coming months, and have you saying Pour Me Another!

Pass the Turkey

Pass the Turkey
Created by Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer

1.5 oz Wild Turkey 101
2 oz apple cider
1 tbs cranberry jelly
1 sprig fresh sage
1 sprig fresh thyme

Muddle sage and thyme with apple cider. Add ice, top with Wild Turkey and cranberry jelly. Shake well, strain over ice in a glass rimmed with turkey jus and breadcrumbs.

Matt note: i took the leaves of the thyme and sage off the stems before muddling.

Thanksgiving Cocktail – Wild Turkey Bourbon Manhattan

Wild Turkey Bourbon Manhattan

Wild Turkey Bourbon Manhattan

All wine and no cocktail makes Matt a dull boy.  And variety is the spice of life. So, I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled wine post for one or two about cocktails for the holidays.

The good PR folks that represent Wild Turkey sent me a sample of their Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon. Not afraid to mix a cocktail, I pulled up a recipe for a Wild Turkey Bourbon Manhattan. I selected this cocktail based on the fact that I had all of the ingredients in the house, and I happen to enjoy Manhattans! I’ll list the recipe below the video, where I show you how easy it is to make. It’s a great Thanksgiving Cocktail, or a cocktail to pair with a cigar, or just drink on it’s own.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you like bourbon? Have you tried wild Turkey? Did you try the Manhattan? What cocktails would you like to see me post? Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays. Until next time, Pour Me Another!

Wild Turkey Bourbon Manhattan

Wild Turkey Bourbon Manhattan

2 parts Wild Turkey 101
1 1/2 parts sweet vermouth
1 dash bitters

Stir well with cracked ice and strain into a Manhattan or chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Recipe and photo provided by Skyy Spirits (

Petit Verdot Petit Sirah from Lange Twins Family Winery and Vineyards

Lange Twins Petit Verdot Petit Sirah

Lange Twins Petit Verdot Petit Sirah

Do you enjoy wine? When was the last time you had a Petit Verdot? How about Petit Sirah? If the answer is anything other than “Last week”, watch this video wine review of Lange Twins Family Winery & Vineyards 2007 Generations Petit Verdot Petit Sirah blend. You’ll be surprised at how delicious and drinkable this $20 wine is! There’s no doubt that this purple teeth stainer will be a wine you look to have again, and again.

The Lange family has been farming in California for 5 generations, starting with Johann and Maria Lange’s 1870 immigration from Germany, where they settled down in Lodi. The Langes started their farming history beginning with melons, the crop of choice back then. They moved into farming grapes in 1916, then in 2006  twin brothers Randall and Bradford Lange, Winery General Manager and Viticulture General Manager respectively, founded the Lange Twins winery, and incorporated the winery in their business of grape growing. There are multiple generations of Lange family members working at the Lange Twins Family Winery & Vineyards today, making it a true family business.

Joe Lange provided a bottle of their Generations Petit Verdot Petit Sirah 2007 to me before the summer started as a sample for review. I am grateful to Joe, and Lange Twins Family Winery & Vineyard for the opportunity to taste this wine, and discuss it with you. Please take two minutes to watch the video review below, then read the rest of my tasting notes and comments.

Lange Twins Petit Verdot Petit Sirah Red Wine review from Matthew Scott on Vimeo.

As you can see from the above quick video wine review (you did watch it, right? Seriously, 2 minutes!), this wine falls into the “Drinkable” and almost “Gulpable” category. It’s only $20 from the Lange Twins website, and by my measure, that makes it a very affordable, bordering on every day wine price wise. Of course, price is not the only measure of selecting wines, so taste has to be there, and in my opinion, Lange Twins Petit Verdot Petit Sirah has it.

I find this wine very approachable. That means, it’s easy to drink, and doesn’t require too much care & feeding, or work, to enjoy it. A good friend of mine on twitter mentioned she is not a fan of wines that require a lot of “me” time, and prefers the ability to just open a wine and enjoy it. While I decanted the wine for an hour, I believe this wine would do well as a “Pop and Pour”, where you can just open it and drink.

Decanting red wines has two purposes. First, for older wines or perhaps wines that are not filtered, it helps separate the sediment that occurs normally in bottles of wine by allowing them to settle to the bottom of the decanter. Second, it allows younger wines time to “breathe”, allowing oxygen to interact with the wine. This can allow the wine to open up, the bouquet and the flavors can show well, and you can enjoy the wine. Some wines may not need any decanting, others may need one, two or even four hours to open up.

As you saw in the video, there was nice fruit on this wine, with just a little hint of baking spice mixed in. I could discern beautiful blueberry flavors mixed in with darker fruit flavors as soon as the wine hit my tongue. It definitely opened up and became even more enjoyable with each minute we drank the wine. Also as mentioned in the video, we paired the wine with steak.  It was a great pairing, the delicious grilled steak dancing gracefully with the luscious wine. Sadly, the wine was finished before the steak was gone, which was a testament to how easy drinking the wine was.

This wine definitely plays well with others, pairing it with beef dishes or other gamey dishes (hmm, venison stew or Cornish game hens perhaps) works wonderfully. It also plays well by itself, making it a great sipping wine. Open a bottle of this Lange Twins wine, take your better half, or your best buds, to the back yard or the porch, and watch a great night with a nice wine unfold!