Every holiday dish gets better when paired with one of these delicious whiskey concoctions.

Mulled wine, eggnog, maybe a dark beer—all holiday traditions. But when you’re preparing meals for parties and family gatherings this year, consider treating your guests to quality whiskey. Mixed drinks and cocktails can complement any dish, from the traditional holiday staples to more exotic fare. (Plus as edgier alternatives to classic libations, they’ll play very well on Instagram!)

Our team of experts has determined the perfect pairing for every heaping helping of holiday cuisine:

The Dish: Turkey

Nothing signifies the holidays more than the sight of a freshly carved bird. Turkey is often paired with red wine—especially Zinfandel—as a sweet taste is a perfect match for dark meat and the accompanying sides. (Getting sleepy, yet?)

The Pairing: Crew Ryde

If you’re ready for a red wine alternative, try this effervescent pairing of whiskey, ginger ale, and cranberry juice. This one goes perfectly with cranberry sauce, which means it will work with 85 percent of your holiday meals!

The Dish: Latkes

Latkes are a staple of any Hanukkah meal, whether served as appetizer, side dish, or even dessert (cinnamon sweet potato and apple latkes are absolutely amazing). For many families, it’s just not the holidays without these tasty treats, no matter how they’re prepared.

The Pairing: Couch Crew Toddy

Break from the tradition of tea and coffee and try pairing latkes with this flavorful winter cocktail, which doubles as a cure for the post-holiday slump, or a recovery drink following the madness of family gatherings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½- 2 ounces Cask & Crew Rye Whiskey Blend
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bag Gingerbread Spice, or Orange Spice tea
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • ½ of a small orange

Instructions:

  • Muddle fresh ginger in a glass.
  • Add cinnamon stick and one tea bag.
  • Add Whiskey and maple syrup.
  • Pour hot water over top and let seep several minutes.
  • Add a squeeze of orange and stir.
  • Find the nearest couch and Netflix movie.

The Dish: Ham

Like turkey, ham is holiday meal centerpiece that you’ll likely see again and again through November and December. There are countless ways to prepare the dish—a Sriracha-pineapple glaze is all the craze right now—but most guests just want some variation of sweet and sticky.

The Pairing: Sweeten the Pot

Good news, whiskey fans: nothing goes with glistening ham better than an orange juice-flavored cocktail. This cocktail is especially delightful when eating warmed up ham for breakfast with eggs and a newspaper—okay, your iPad.

The Appetizer: Summer sausage, cheese, and crackers

A year-round combination that’s especially popular at holiday parties, as it lets guests add some protein to their plates full of sugary snacks. Also works well at Holiday Bowl games!

The Pairing: Ginger Whiskey Sour

Let every ingredient stand up and be counted in this crisp cocktail, which perfectly complements meat, cheese, and, well…. just about everything! And don’t just mix one for yourself—be bold and offer one to your office crush!

  • 1 1/2 oz Cask & Crew Rye Whiskey Blend
  • ½ oz lime juice in a shaker with ice.
  • Shake and strain in a rocks glass over ice.
  • Top with your favorite Ginger Beer.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.
  • Pucker up and meet us under the mistletoe!

The Dessert: Apple or Pumpkin Pie

After a heaping plate or two of holiday dinner, your guests may not feel like eating again until Labor Day. But then out comes the pie—and that wafting smell of brown sugar and warm crust—and suddenly everyone has room for dessert!

The Pairing: Here’s to Whiskey! Here’s to Ginger!

Finish off the pie and fire up some holiday karaoke while sipping on this sweet Wassail concoction, which was historically served from a “wassailing bowl” during medieval festivals.

Party punch bowl (yields 6-8):

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Cask & Crew Ginger Spice Whiskey
  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1 inch nub of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks (one for recipe, two for garnish)
  • Orange slices

Instructions

  • Combine apple cider, ginger, and vanilla in a large saucepan and let simmer for at least thirty minutes, preferably over an hour. Let it cool and add to a punch bowl.
  • Add whiskey to punch bowl, and top with ice. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange slices.

Try as a single cocktail:

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Cask & Crew Ginger Spice Whiskey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/8 inch nub of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick
  • Orange peel (optional for garnish)

Instructions

  • Same as above, except pour in a large, festive glass over ice.

And remember: No matter what food and drink your serve your crew, what really matters is the opportunity to be together. (And getting somebody else to do the dishes.)

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