For those hoping to embrace a boozier Thanksgiving Day, we created a Wild Turkey Whiskey lineup to pair with your holiday. Here’s what to drink—both neat or in a cocktail—this Thanksgiving.
1. Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Whiskey
Like all Wild Turkey Bourbons, it is aged in the deepest charred barrels — #4 “alligator char.” That brings out the complexity and depth of flavor that has been winning fans for generations.
But the 101 is exceptional. It is made from the best casks of Wild Turkey, and it served up at “101 proof” (50.5% ABV) — which is how the Whiskey gets its name and why the flavors are so complex and powerful.
How does Eddie Russell, Master Distiller at Wild Turkey, celebrate Thanksgiving?
In the recent People who live for the Flavor interview, Eddie Russell gave to Flaviar some inside info about the family side of the Bourbon business.
Eddie: “I think for us as a family, 101 is our Thanksgiving drink, even though I'll probably drink more Russell’s all the time. Thanksgiving was always very traditional for us, and the 101 represents the beginning, just like Thanksgiving.”
What are some good food and Spirit pairing options for Wild Turkey?
Eddie: “Well, I've always thought good Bourbon goes along with something that's grilled or smoked— barbecue or a good steak. I'm one of those guys that like to have any of our products before dinner, but at dinner, I usually prefer water so that after dinner, I can have another cocktail. ”
Check out this article to get more info on the best Thanksgiving Whisk(e)y-s with food pairing ideas.
2. Rare Breed Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon was first released in 1991. Since then, there have only been ten releases. So now you understand why it’s called “Rare Bird.”
Let’s cut right to the specs. Don’t worry that there is no age statement. The mash bill is 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. And it’s bottled at cask strength! We’ve tested it straight up, but this monster was made to stand up to ice and a splash of water and teach it who’s boss.
What’s the next bottle of Wild Turkey you should try once you’ve had the first sip of one?
Eddie: “If Wild Turkey 101 is their first Bourbon and they really like it, maybe the next possession progression is definitely The Rare Breed. I don't think there's ever a better product - the price point, its taste and flavor, a barrel-proof whiskey that has a 12-year-old in it. I think that's probably the next one.”
What’s Eddie’s suggestion on how to learn how to drink Whiskey?
Eddie: “... when people asked me what was the best way to get started in the Bourbon industry, go to a bar which is something we never said my first 30 years. There was no bar presence whatsoever for Bourbons.”
People have always been sort of surprised when Jimmy and I tried them all. Why go to the Liquor store and buy ten $40 bottles of Whiskey just to try them?
So go to a bar, have your cocktails sometime during the night, and have your own tasting. And for neat tasting, taste it with ice or a little water so get the full flavors.
I think that's the best way actually to get into the Bourbon. But if you're stuck the next step would be Rare Breed.”
3. Wild Turkey Cocktails
Hold on to warmer days with this signature summer cocktail.
- 2 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
- 1/2 oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Ginger beer, to top
- Garnish: mint sprig.
Add the first four ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake, and strain over ice into a highball glass and top off with soda water. Garnish with lime and mint sprig.
This comforting classic warms up even the coldest nights.
- 8 parts Wild Turkey 101 Rye Whiskey
- 16 parts hot water
- 3 parts honey
- 3 parts freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients into a heat-resistant batch vessel (kettle/pot). Garnish individual servings with lemon.
A twist on the Negroni that’s perfect for cooler weather.
- 1 1/4 oz Wild Turkey Bourbon or Rye
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz sweet Vermouth
- Garnish: Cherry
Add all ingredients into the mixing glass. Stir, and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a cherry.
I'll take two helpings of liquid Turkey, please. Let's be thankful for good food, good friends, and good Bourbon.