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National Hot Toddy Day

National Hot Toddy Day: Warm Up From the Cold Winter Weather

The winter season always promises many cold and wet days. On those days, you’re may find yourself opting to stay home as close to your heater as possible. There’s nothing like spending a relaxing evening at home except if you complete the warm and cozy night with a hot toddy. In celebration of National Hot Toddy Day (January 11th), we’re sharing four great hot toddy recipes to enjoy at home. Let the mugfuls from Tullamore D.E.W., Fistful of Bourbon, Facundo Eximo Rum, and Havana Club Añejo Clásico Rum warm you up from the inside out as you stay away from the cold, rainy winter weather.

You may remember we highlighted one of these hot toddy recipes on My Life on and off the Guest List during the start of the holiday season. We hope you enjoyed it then and we definitely hope to raise a mug or to now. Do you know what’s wonderful about hot toddies, besides their delicious tastes? They can help relieve the symptoms of the cold and flu, making it perfect to enjoy now. Without further ado, please enjoy these drink recipes in celebration of honoring the hot toddy.

Hot Toddy, created by Tim Herlihy, National Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W.

National Hot Toddy Day

2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
.25 parts lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
Top with boiling water and a clove-studded lemon
First, warm a mug with hot water, then discard water and combine ingredients above. Stir before serving, garnish with lemon.

Fistful Toddy, created by Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons Director of Brand Advocacy

National Hot Toddy Day

2 parts Fistful of Bourbon
2 parts hot water
1/2 part mint simple syrup
½ part fresh lime juice
1 bar spoon crème de cacao
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine ingredients in a mug. Garnish with a large sprig of mint and freshly grated nutmeg.

Rooibos Toddy

National Hot Toddy Day

1 part FACUNDO EXIMO
1 1/2 parts Hot Rooibos Tea
1/4 part Ginger Syrup
1/4 part HUM Liqueur
Lemon wedge or wheel, for garnish
Method: Combine ingredients in a Hot Toddy Glass. Stir gently until syrups are properly diluted. Garnish with a Lemon wedge or wheel.

The 8th Day

National Hot Toddy Day

Bacardi

1 1/2 parts HAVANA CLUB Añejo Clásico Rum
3 parts Chai Tea
1 3/4 parts coconut milk
1 part simple syrup or 1 tbs White Sugar
Method: Prepare Chai Tea. While the tea steeps, warm coconut milk over medium heat, do not boil. Combine ingredients in a high temperature resistant mixing glass, adding rum last and stir. Serve in an Irish Coffee Cup or preferred glass coffee cup, and garnish with a cinnamon stick

With these hot cocktail recipes, you’ll be all set to enjoy this delicious and toasty drink. If you have a favorite hot toddy recipe you’d like to share, please do so in the comments below.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

Grow Your Garnish: Adding a Decorative Touch to Ketel One Cocktails

In true New York fashion, we walked into a space filled with beautiful greenery Tuesday night; a variety of fragrant herbs spilling from the wall to ceiling. Talk about fresh spaces! We were set to learn about the fun side of urban herb gardening – growing and selecting the perfect cocktail garnishes to make exquisite cocktails with Ketel One Vodka. Growing your own garnishes and adding a decorative touch to your cocktails is a fun side to gardening we never expected.

FarmOne, an urban vertical farm (the only of its kind) located in New York brought the greens and an aromatic herbal garden from their farm. Their hydroponic botanists guided us through discovering our individual taste profiles, suggesting combinations to heighten the flavor and color of all of our drink and dining experiences when entertaining at home. Each guest received a biodegradable party plate to snip, smell, and nibble many unique herbs, flowers, and micro-greens from the Edible Bar.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnishKetel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish

When we tell you that Farm One herbals are unique, believe us! Their purplish-bronze fennel was much more fragrant and deep in color than any I’ve experienced in an organic market! The Lemon Balm herb was incredibly floral, and blooming with citrus. These rare herbs are sought after by Farm One’s Michelin-starred clients – Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, and Chef’s Table, among others.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

Farm One grow over 200 culinary herbs to date! We explored all the notes and flavor characteristics of each plant, as we made selections for the Ketel One mixologist to use in our custom cocktails.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish

Cocktail Guru Pam Wiznitzer then led two groups in learning out to make our own perfectly garnished Ketel One herbal cocktails! She came straight out of the gate with a PRO TIP! When mixing a cocktail, always start with the least expensive ingredients first; that way, if for any reason you need to adjust flavor, or start over, the premium ingredients do no go to waste!

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish

In our mixed cocktail tutorial, Apple Mint was the star in the deliciously green and fresh, subtly fruit-infused cocktail. As a lover of Green drinks and pressed juice cocktails, this one is an absolute favorite. Seeking a little more green in your life? This cocktail incorporates a wide range of herbs for a surprising and light burst of flavor. See the recipe below

Ketel One Garden of Green 

Ketel One Vodka Garden of Green Cocktail
1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
.5 oz Snap Pea Reduction*
.5 oz Lemon juice
Splash of soda water
5 leaves of Apple Mint
A small handful of Micro Mizuna
Tear apple mint leaves and throw in a mason jar. Add all ingredients except the soda water and add ice and cap the jar. Shake vigorously. Open and top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with micro mizuna and serve directly from Mason jar.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

If your green thumb isn’t what you expected, you can always head to Farm One for their exotic herbs and edible flowers.  You’ll get the tools to make a Ketel One cocktail and forget that gardening phase that never happened!

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

You can take a tour of Farm One‘s facilities, Manhattan’s only indoor hydroponic farm, where you can sip complimentary beverages as you taste dozens of new and rare culinary plant varieties from around the world. This sensory experience is unlike any other in New York.

 

 

 

EDITED BY GLASGOW SKINNER
Holiday Rum Cocktails

Give the Gift of Festive Rum Cocktails to Ring in the Holiday Season

We’re sure you’ve heard the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The same thing can be applied to learning how to make great cocktails. This holiday season, we’re going to show you two ways to create delicious libations. There’s our usual sharing of amazing cocktail recipes that are simple to follow, but we also want to make sure you experience how wonderful it is to learn how to craft a cocktail from experts. We’re sharing a few festive rum cocktails featuring Bacardi, Havana Club, and Facundo Rums, as well as wonderful mixologist classes at great venues in NYC and Miami.

Mixology classes with Facundo Rum

If you’re looking for an extraordinary last minute gift idea, why not give the gift of a mixology class. You don’t have to be a cocktail connoisseur to enjoy an experience like this. For those you live in NYC, the newly opened Osamil gastropub (pictured above) will play host to the Facundo Rum Mixology sessions on Monday, January 14th and Monday, January 21st. Miami-based attendees will have the same mixology experience at the newly opened Cuban bar Café La Trova on Tuesday, January 22nd and Wednesday, January 23rd.

Holiday Rum Cocktails

Osamil Beverage Director Gelo Honrade and Facundo brand ambassador, Robert Nieves in NYC, and Café La Trova bartenders and Facundo brand ambassador, Ken Navarro in Miami will teach attendees how to mix the perfect Facundo Rum cocktails this holiday season using Facundo Neo white rum and Facundo Eximo dark rum. Attendees are sure to enjoy this taste of luxury rums from the Bacardi family’s private reserves. Now, on to the cocktails. After you’ve learned how to craft the perfect cocktail (of course you don’t have to wait until then), we invite you to try one of the three decadent cocktails below. We’re highlighting three distinct cocktails, all made with luxury rums. We know you will enjoy.

Eximo Estrella

2 parts Facundo Eximo Rum
½ part Demerara sugar
1 bar spoon Crème de Yvette
1 dash Green Strawberry Bitters
1 dash Chocolate Bitters
Garnish: Orange peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with plenty of ice until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a zig zag orange peel.

Bacardi Coquito

2 part Bacardi Superior Rum
3/4 part of evaporated milk
3/4 part of condensed milk
1 part coconut creme (preferably Coco Lopez)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pinch cinnamon
Garnish: coconut flakes & cinnamon sticks
Shake all ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice and strain into a glass mug. Garnish with cinnamon and coconut flakes.

Crème de Vie (Cuban Egg Nog)

4 parts Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum
8 parts sweetened condensed milk
8 parts evaporated milk
16 parts sugar
8 parts water
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Mix the sugar and water together over very low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves – about 3 minutes. The heat must be just low enough so that the sugar doesn’t caramelize, but yields a thick sugary water. Place the egg yolks in a blender and mix with the condensed milk. Slowly add the evaporated milk and mix completely. Flavor with vanilla. Pour the egg yolk and milk mixture into the sugar-water, and mix together. Finally, stir in the rum.

Are you ready to make some festive rum cocktails?

Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar Returns to NYC

As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”, and this perfectly describes Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar, a celebration of the 20s-inspired cocktail bar. We had the pleasure of attending the Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar’s return to New York, the final leg on the multi-city tour. We were in for a night full of vintage, apothecary cocktails (slightly modernized) created by the event’s mixologist, Kenyon Aubin Oster.

Everyone loves a great pop-up bar and Eataly USA brought the best of vintage cocktails and the amazing The Great Bitter Bar, across the U.S.! Cocktail lovers were able to follow the spirited “Grand Tour” to experience these exclusive signature cocktails created by Eataly and its bitter producers such as Fernet-Branca, who shares the values of tradition and quality as the eatery. Paired with some of Eataly’s most delicious pizzas, we enjoyed five amazing cocktails, Fernet-Branca-style.

Inspired by the roaring 20s and the Art Nouveau period, The Great Bitter Bar is a pop-up bar that will be hosted at all Eataly USA locations during the year. The menu is dedicated to vintage, apothecary cocktails with the iconic herbal flavors of Fernet-Branca, which has been crafted according to a secret family recipe in Milan since 1845. The Great Bitter Bar held its final pop-up bar experience in the Big Apple at Eataly NYC Downtown. The cocktails, pictured below, included the Ferneta-groni, the Toronto, Fernet Me Not, Fernet Cola, and the Milano 75.

While they were all unique and delicious in their own way, we had an absolute favorite. But first, let us tell you about each cocktail. We love Negroni (our Negroni Week activities prove that), so we love this more robust version which for lack of a better word, seemed more masculine than the classic Negroni; sweet cocktail fans will love the slight syrupy sweetness of the Toronto; love ginger beer? Then the Fernet Me Not is for you. We loved the refreshing effervescence and subtle sweetness of this cocktail; if you love a cocktail that really plays up the herbal-ness of Fernet-Branca, the Fernet Cola, made with the famed Italian cola, Mole Cola; lastly is the Milano 75, the Italian version of the French 75. This was our favorite cocktail by far; deliciousness in a glass and a cocktail we’d love to have again….soon.

The pop up launched at the beginning of this year at Eataly NYC Flatiron on January 29th and ran until February 11th. In Chicago, the bar made its Midwest debut from March 19th to April 1st; it was at Eataly in Boston from May 14th – 27th and Eataly L.A. took place from June 18th – June 30th.

Each location featured a specially crafted cocktail unique to that city. We thoroughly enjoyed the Ferneta-groni. The recipe for this not-so-classic take on the classic Negroni cocktail is below:

1 1/2oz of Malfy Gin Originale
1 1/2oz of Carpano Antica Formula
1 oz of Fernet-Branca
stirred, up

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Giving Thanks to Friendship: Celebrating Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s

It occurred to me the other day that I’m the only one in my immediate clique that lives in New York City. The others in my caravan live across the pond in Jersey. While the city unites us for various events and revelries, quite often there has to be a good reason to stay late in the city, venture out into the depths of lower Manhattan or justify a late night uber home. Now while the very natures of our friendships are enough, let’s face that with the annoying hustle and frustrating bustle of our day-to-day, some days you have to relinquish your good intended presence to just being there in spirit. Outside of just hanging out, some people may be cajoled to find further justification in dancing the night away, seeing a sold-out show or catching a must-see movie. However, my friends all have seasoned palettes and nothing gets us together more than good eats, great energy and anchoring the deal with top-shelf cocktails.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

So when I got the invitation to spend the birthday of one of my dearest friends with one of my favorite whiskey brands, the pot was sweetened and the seal of approval was stamped. The satisfying Basil Hayden’s, that beloved and delectably slick bourbon kicked off the season on November 1st with a pretty amazing Friendsgiving in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Held at the posh event space 501 Union, upon entering I knew why the trip to BK for this Bronx guy was worth it. The bar was serving up unique cocktails curated for the event that showcased just how wonderful Basil Hayden’s is. Their Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is very smooth, has just the right amount of sweetness and packs enough weight to flavorfully hold its own when paired with other cocktail ingredients and spirits. However, don’t just take my word for it. Here are the cocktails that were on tap for that memorable evening:

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

First up was the Basil Hayden’s Boulevardier. I tried it with their bourbon and combined with the bitter Aperol and the herbal sweet vermouth it made for such a balanced drink. The mild espresso-like bitterness of the licorice-like Aperol played up to the bourbon so nicely. Next up was the Basil Hayden’s Highball, which I also requested with their bourbon. The lightness from the club soda and the citrusy sweet kick from the lemon soda created a light and refreshing almost summery cocktail with a herbal grown edge from the presence of the basil.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

After two bourbon-centered cocktails, I needed to try one of their latest offerings, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye. Perfect on the rocks, the dark rye has less sweetness naturally and more of a distinguished oaky spicy weight, but no less smooth and delicious. This was a perfect wind-down of a sipper before dinner.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Dinner featured two new cocktails for each course. The Ward Eight wonderfully combined their bourbon, the citrus power of grenadine, lemon and orange together with the refreshing cooling pop of mint for a clean sipper that evoked a great spiked Summer lemonade. Finishing up was the Havoc In Nelson County, a surprisingly island-fresh cocktail that took the wonderful rarely seen flavor of banana and mixed it with orange bitters for a flavorful, diverse drink that hits several areas of the palette pleasantly with soothingly familiar notes. Speaking of dinner, our culinary journey, heralded by Chef Paul Donnelly, boasted offerings similar to the Basil Hayden’s Friendsgiving at Peachy’s: an appetizer of Strange Flavor Burrata; a first course of Steamed Baby Branzino and Northern Chinese Style Roasted Golden Beets; a second course of Crispy Lamb Ribs and Salad of Watercress with assorted vegetables; and Chocolate Mousse for dessert. Feast your eyes on these delights below:

APPETIZER

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

FIRST COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

SECOND COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

DESSERT

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

What the evening with Basil Hayden’s recreated was the makings of classic friendship lore. The drinks were flowing, the food was stellar and the energy was upbeat and positive. How comforting to know that the sweet sip & the relaxing savor, the honest pleasantries & the communal savorings can all conspire together to recognize an evening of old and new friends.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

All in all, when Friendsgiving happens, good spirits in both physical and social forms, must ensue. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Rye varieties are available now at your finer wine & spirit retailers.

Treat Yourself To These Merry And Bright Holiday Cocktails This Season

Keurig has officially launched a new product in collaboration with Anheuser-Busch, just in time to fix your cocktail craving this holiday season.

The new product is called the Drinkworks Home Bar. It expands on the idea of the coffee pod by using pre-mixed cocktails instead of your favorite ground bean. The machine contains 15 different cocktails to make, including classics like the Moscow mule, the Long Island iced tea, and the margarita.

It’s perfect for homeowners who don’t want to create a home bar right in their kitchen. This type of product offers the convenience of a bar without engaging in a remodel, even if a kitchen renovation does offer an 83% return on investment.

This is great for the homeowner who loves a tried and true cocktail made fresh just for them. But for more complicated mixtures, like your favorite holiday cocktail, you’re better off sticking to your trusty cocktail shaker.

When you want to impress guests this holiday season, a craft holiday cocktail might be the best way to treat your guests. Try these holiday mixtures to taste the best of the season.

Holiday Toddy

Photo by Fistful of Bourbon

This drink offers the best in barrel-aged whiskey or bourbon to supplement your Christmas spirit. Did you know that barrels are made from hardwood trees that can take up to 20 years to mature? This treat is certainly worth the wait.

The hot holiday toddy puts a twist on the classic drink with fresh mint and a dash of nutmeg. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 parts bourbon
  • 2 parts hot water
  • Half-part mint simple syrup
  • Half-part lime juice
  • 1 bar spoon of creme de cacao
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Simply garnish with a sprig of mint and top with grated nutmeg for a look anyone will love. Serve it nice and toasty to warm those winter hearts this holiday season.

Cranberry Martini With A Twist

Photo by Williams Sonoma

Everybody loves a cranberry and vodka, and luckily, this can be a great holiday treat on its own. But if you want to make it extra special, try throwing in a little vanilla spiced syrup to the mix. Here’s how to make the vanilla spiced syrup you’ll want to put on everything.

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • One-quarter tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick, around 2.5 inches in length or cranberries
  • Half an ounce of vanilla extract

Excluding the vanilla extract, combine all items in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, bring it down to a simmer for about five minutes. Then, simply strain the mixture and throw in the vanilla. Add your simple syrup to your favorite vodka cranberry to keep your spirits bright.

A Winey Cider

Nothing screams fall like a citrusy cider in the mix. Pair your favorite cider or apple cider liqueur with a dry white wine — sparkling preferred. This will leave a tart and crisp aftertaste that’s sure to satisfy the cravings of any wino. An alternative is Comsi Comsa Apple Dry, the newest dry sparkling apple wine from Sauvage. To make it extra-special, dip the rim in a simple syrup and garnish with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Ward Eight 

Dave Fisher, New York

1 ½ part Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
⅔ part Lemon Juice
⅓ part Orange Juice
½ Mint Syrup
⅙ part Grenadine
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

These are just four classy cocktails sure to create Christmas spirit this holiday season. Whether you opt for the new Drinkworks Home Bar or simply stick to the syrups you know and love, these cocktails will delight during these cold winter months.

Girls Night In – A Read & Sip Book Club Event with Ketel One Botanicals

From time to time, certain women on the go all have a little voice in their heads that sometimes asks, “Hey girl, why don’t we just stay in instead, curl up with our king size body pillow with some wine and a good read tonight?” Ketel One Botanicals knows – and partnered with the best kind of book club, (the one with an open bar) and paired it with an event to answer that inner-homebody that loves to read. For the women who enjoy having a cocktail or two in a cozy space, but also, meet other people who listen to that little voice regularly too – there was the Read & Sip Book Club Event with Ketel One Botanicals.

A Read & Sip gettogether feels like you’re visiting a good friend at her apartment just nearby, after work, for a few bites and a catch-up. Held at the Witness apartment in NYC, the intimate space welcomed all with the creature comforts of home, lots of cozy corners with fuzzy throws, plush chairs and ottomans to sit and chat.

A very tasty vodka cocktail menu of light and fragrant Ketel One Botanical cocktails (a sophisticated vodka base of Grapefruit & Rose, Cucumber & Mint, or Peach and Orange Blossom – 30% ABV and only 73 calories per refreshing serving) paired with nourishing bites, nibbles, and flatbreads to keep you fueled up for conversations.

 

Alisha Ramos, Founder & CEO of Girls’ Night In, moderated leadership and female power -focused discussion of the October book selection ‘Circe’ by Madeline Miller alongside Liz Breeden and Cara Meiselman who heads up the Girls Night In BK chapter. Alisha started Girls Night as a newsletter in 2017 and it grew exponentially to over 100,000 women! The newsletter, combined with the book clubs which are currently in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and Alexandria, VA to create both a space and a guide for women to immerse themselves in a community that reminds them to regularly re-fill the self care tank. You can socialize in their own unique way – which is a welcome change from typical “get the heels on the dance floor” night out!

Read: “Why I Quit My Job to Build Girls’ Night In” for the full origin story behind the Girl’s Night In lifestyle and the events and gatherings that support it. Sign up for Girl’s Night In’s weekly newsletter! You’re just in time to join in for November’s book of the month, ‘Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay”, written by Phoebe Robinson of Two Dope Queens. Why not take your book club experience to the next level with Ketel One Botanicals.

Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s: An Asian Twist to the Traditional Thanksgiving

There’s been a slight shift in how we celebrate Thanksgiving. While many still travel to spend the holiday with their families, there’s a growing few that celebrate the traditional holiday with friends. With economic challenges, family feuds, and sometimes, a lack of family, quite a few will celebrate Friendsgiving instead of Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to attend two Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s events with the culinary twist. This will be about the first one, a preview of what was to come later on. Hidden away in the heart of NYC’s Chinatown, is an amazing cocktail bar called Peachy’s. Located right below Chinese Tuxedo, a contemporary Chinese restaurant set in a former opera house on historic Doyers Street, this was to be the location of our first Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey.

Partnering with a local Chef Paul Donnelly, Basil Hayden’s put a Chinese cuisine twist on the traditional holiday meal and created a unique menu for the evening. We were truly in for a treat of small and large dishes, sides, and dessert that would make anyone pass on the traditional turkey dinner. With a trio of delicious Basil Hayden’s cocktails to compliment the evening’s meal.

In order of appearance, the small dishes included Tuxedo BBQ Pork Buns, Pan Fried Tuxedo Dumplings, King Prawn Spring Rolls, and Strange Flavor Buratta. The large dishes included Hamachi sushi, Chili Crab Rice, and Crispy Lamb Ribs. Sides included Spicy Cucumbers, Roasted Golden Beets, Salad of Watercress, and Stir Fried Iceberg Lettuce. Dessert was a delicious Chocolate Mousse.

SMALL DISHES

LARGE DISHES

SIDES

To commemorate the Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s event, Basil Hayden’s had Calligrapher Nancy Moy on hand to create personalized coasters perfect for serving Friendsgiving cocktails. We can’t wait to use these wonderful keepsakes during and beyond the holiday season.

It was an evening of wonderful food, drinks, and conversation with old and new friends. We love the Asian twist on the traditional holiday menu. We can’t wait to repeat this night with Basil Hayden’s. We know what we’re doing for Thanksgiving, what about you? Will you be enjoying a Friendsgiving or traditional Thanksgiving?