Thanksgiving is rife with confusion of its origin and may well have been first celebrated in St. Augustine, Florida; Plymouth, Massachusetts; Canada; or even borrowed from the Dutch. These are things well beyond the scope of a blog post on Thanksgiving drinks but it bears noting that they all culminate in a harvest party—something few of us experience anymore. (A visit to Whole Foods hardly constitutes harvesting, though it may even be arduous fighting for the perfect bird and lunging for the last can of cranberry sauce.) But then it's the perfect time of year to remember our debt to agriculture and the purpose behind the holiday: to give thanks for what we have.
Therefore, instead of sending you on that shopping spree at a chain store, I'd rather send you to the farmers' market or to your own cupboards. There's no need to splurge on beverages during the feast, it's easy enough to cobble ("cobble" not "gobble") together some simple recipes. Let's start with a colonial drink called the Sangaree.
Yes, it sounds enough like Sangria that the very mention of the word conjures summer days and a pitcher of the delightful, red concoction, fruit-laden and packing a wallop. But the Sangaree, it's forebear, is ideal for year-round enjoyment. At its heart, the Sangaree is a punch and can be made from a wide range of spirits and wine. No one tells the story better than Dr. Cocktail, Ted Haigh, so I'll give him his due.