Mastering day drinking on a day dominated by food like Thanksgiving requires a unique set of skills and circumstances. Unlike a typical bout of day drinking where one might casually drink half a dozen beers or hard seltzers, Thanksgiving leaves no room for such volume. What are you gonna do, nurse a White Claw for two hours? Might as well drink water. The key instead is to choose a booze that allows you to both sip comfortably and maintain an adequate buzz to get you through the three Zoom family hangouts you have scheduled. So, what should you be going for?
According to Florida sommelier Adam Sageser, the best course of action for day drinking on Thanksgiving is to just choose liquor. Volume-wise, liquor provides the most bang per ounce compared to wine or beer. One and a half ounces of liquor is about the equivalent of a 12-ounce beer or 5-ounce glass of wine. So, if you’re really concerned about not filling up that tummy with too much liquid, liquor is the way to go. Even mixing 1.5 ounces of liquor with 1.5 ounces of mixer will still amount to less fluid than a glass of wine.
Now, you may have heard some rumors about aperitifs and digestifs playing a role in helping enhance your appetite and digest your food. But is there any truth to that? “Straight up, no,” says Sageser. While certain aperitifs like dry vermouth and digestifs like fernet often contain herbs that are thought to aid with the hunger and digestion process in homeopathic medicine, there’s not much conclusive evidence that they will have that effect when combined with alcohol.
There is a great deal of variety among the two categories, though. Some are low in alcohol like wines, while others have the same ABV as traditional liquors. Many digestifs are also high in sugar and intended to be filling, like a dessert following dinner. If an aperitif or digestif is what suits your fancy, that’s perfectly fine, just don’t expect it to work any differently than other types of alcohol.
With whatever it is you’re drinking, though, small sips are key. That makes straight liquor like scotch or a nice tequila ideal — they’re meant to be savored this way, and chugging them will probably make you a pariah at your Thanksgiving celebration. Sure, you might have room in your stomach to take multiple shots, but doing so will almost certainly ensure you’re unconscious before the pie is served.