Teakwood Tavern Hospitality, offering virtual wine & cocktail classes, specialty cocktail creation, menu consultation and personal wine shopping services, focuses on providing wine and spirit education in the form of blog posts and YouTube videos.
Wine articles and videos showcase different wine regions or grapes from around the world that don’t receive the attention they deserve. Stated alternatively, they don’t discuss Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy, or any of the other incredibly famous wine regions because enough has been said about those places. The focus is on helping the consumer find great wines at great value prices. Selecting wines to pair with your Thanksgiving meal shouldn’t add to any holiday stress. Dry sparkling wines pair well with a wide variety of foods so it should be no surprise that these wines can hold their own at a Thanksgiving table. The acidity cuts through rich, fatty foods and balances tart items like homemade cranberry sauce. The effervescence also helps to cleanse your palate as you jump between bites of different items. If you’re a fan of bigger, red wine, a California Zinfandel will serve you well. It’s robust fruit and baking spice notes are a perfect match for a Thanksgiving feast (for more Thanksgiving wine pairings, see below).
When it comes to spirits, Shen and John Reyna, founders of Teakwood Tavern, usually focus on a particular spirit and explain the history and flavor profile. Then, they make two cocktails with the particular spirit. Just like with wine, they have written articles and YouTube videos for each spirit that they discuss.
“Cocktails with a Cause”, Teakwood Tavern’s events with the National Liberty Museum, each have a theme based around “liberty.” Past themes included the Suffrage Movement, Civil Rights Movement, and Labor Day. Most recently, Teakwood Tavern created two specialty cocktails based on President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving. However, each presentation is more than just us making drinks. Background is provided on why the drink fits the theme, as well as an in-depth look into chosen ingredients and cocktail creation technique.
The “Turkey Trot” and the “Apple Pie Punch” are two specialty cocktails, created by Teakwood Tavern, perfect for your Thanksgiving celebrations this week. With ingredients like brown butter bourbon and sage honey syrup, fall flavors come to life and your carefully curated menu will sing while you toast to family, friends, health and the gift of a perfectly paired cocktail (recipes below).
If you are making spirits bright with non-boozy beverages, Teakwood Tavern also has you covered with their spirit-free specialty beverages, like Shanina’s Kiwi Cooler with kiwifruit and fresh coconut flakes (we think this sounds like the perfect way to kick off the celebratory long weekend ahead).
Shanina’s Kiwi Cooler
2 ounce kiwi, coconut, and basil shrub (recipe below)
4 ounces Topo Chico carbonated mineral water
Garnish: toasted coconut (recipe below) and basil sprig
Combine shrub and Topo Chico in a Collins glass. Fill with ice. Garnish with toasted coconut and basil sprig.
Recipe for kiwi, coconut, and basil shrub (makes about 625 ml):
355 grams apple cider vinegar (we recommend raw, unfiltered vinegar with mother culture)
13 grams basil
25 grams unsweetened coconut flakes
710 grams kiwifruit
267 grams sugar
In small batches, smack the basil between your hands. This releases the aromatics without overly bruising them. Then, place basil leaves into a nonreactive container (we use mason jars). Place the coconut in the same nonreactive container. Cover basil and coconut with vinegar, and store the mixture covered in the refrigerator for 2 days. Take the rest of the day off.
The next day, wash and quarter the kiwifruit. Don’t bother removing the skins. Place kiwifruit and sugar into a large bowl. Crush the fruit and stir to combine.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Allow to macerate for a day.
Once the basil-coconut mixture has sat for two days and the kiwi mixture has sat for one day, you are ready to proceed. Position a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and pour kiwi mixture through to remove the solids. This is your kiwi syrup.
Strain basil-coconut mixture over the same mesh strainer (i.e., the strainer with the kiwi remains) into the same bowl as the kiwi syrup. Whisk well to incorporate any sugar that didn’t dissolve. TIP: There may be some sugar clinging to the fruit solids in the strainer. For that reason, we recommend setting the strainer with the solids over another bowl. Then pour the syrup-and-vinegar mixture over the solids to wash the sugar into the bowl. Repeat as needed.
Pour the syrup-and-vinegar mixture into a clean jar/bottle. Shake well to incorporate, and place in refrigerator for at least 5 days before using. You could use this earlier, but it tastes even better when it has rested for a few days.
Recipe for toasted coconut garnish:
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees
For each drink, place a pinch of unsweetened coconut flakes on a sheet-pan
Toast for 6-8 minutes. Be careful, once coconut starts to change color it quickly burns.