Sipping Italian With Turkey Dinner

Restaurant Critic Craig LaBan compiles a list of crowd-pleasers.

This article, written by Craig LaBan, appears on

Thanksgiving can be predictable when it comes to the drinks. Pinot noir. Zinfandel. All-American choices.

But as a nod to this year’s Italian American-theme menu from chef Joe Cicala, we’ve decided to suggest a splash of Italian flavors, too. For example, why not loosen up the aunts and uncles with a cocktail made to echo some of the same amaro flavors they’ll be tasting in that bird (due to the herbal liqueur used in the brine)? For this two-drink recipe for a “Manhattan all’Ascolana,” blend six ounces of good old American Bulleit rye with two ounces of Meletti amaro and two dashes of bitters; shake well with ice, strain, and serve in two chilled martini glasses with Amarena cherries for your favorite relatives.

For wines, we turned to one of the PLCB’s best “wine specialists,” Max Gottesfeld of the State Store at 1218 Chesnut St., for three very affordable selections to match this meal. Read more at

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