Vegan Thanksgiving Series: Beverages, Drinks, Sips!

Continuing my Vegan Thanksgiving Series, with the topic of beverages, drinks and sips! You've already bitten off a few nibbles of my vegan cheese log from my appetizers post, and now you need a tall cool glass of something to quench your thirst. Hydration is a must on Thanksgiving! So here we go...

Over the River and through the Woods.
Your guests may be traveling long distances to arrive at your home on Thanksgiving, and we all know how dehydrating travel can be. The dry dusty air of a train, plane or crowded car will leave anyone feeling less than perky. It's a fact: being dehydrated can actually drain you of energy and make you feel fatigued. And who wants fatigued guests before the big meal? So here are my ten Thanksgiving beverage ideas for before, during and after the meal! Drink up...

Vegan Thanksgiving Beverages: Before, During and After the Meal.

1. Ginger Juice Shooters - Before the meal
I love my Ginger Juice Shooters! The idea came from how I crave a shot of ginger-infused juice first thing in the morning. There is something refreshing and energizing about that spicy, warming, energizing ginger flavor. It is a perfect palate cleanser for your guests. I advise making your batch of shooters right before your guests arrive and you can even have them on a platter by the door so they can 'shoot' them before even taking off their coats! Some folks do shots of alcohol as a pre-party ritual....I do shots of ginger juice!

2. Bottled Water 'Bar' - Before/During/After the meal
No, I do not recommend drinking bottled water with every meal, every day. It's true that the bottled water industry produces a lot of excess 'bottle trash' that may or may not be recycled. Bravo to the tap-water-crusaders out there. I've never been a fan of the marketing ploys that can 'scare people' into being afraid to drink their own tap water. (Of course tap water will vary by location.) If you are anti-bottled-water, simply skip down to number 3. But for a special occasion or dinner party I crave a sparkling mineral water. Well-sourced water drawn from deep within the earth or from the purest parts of the world provide various health benefits and nutrients that are simply not available in most tap water. Varying pH levels, mineral analysis and source factors can make a big difference in how your water tastes and what nutrients you are drinking in. I suggest setting up a beverage bar which includes a few bottled waters. From sparkling to still, Italy to Norway - it's fun to taste exotic waters from around the world. And some of your guests may prefer bottled over tap and vice-versa. On a hectic day, it's always nice to have options. So yes, a tap water pitcher also deserves a place on your 'beverage bar'. See #3.

3. Tap Water Pitcher - Before/During/After the meal
Bottled water option or not, you must have a nice pitcher of tap water at your 'beverage bar'. I like to have three options: chilled, room temp and one chilled with coconut water ice and lemon. Mint is optional as well. Use glass pitchers for optimal temperature keeping for the chilled options. Keep a pitcher out for your pre-meal party as well as throughout the night. Guests will be thirsty before, during and after the meal. A 'water' section on your beverage bar will keep everyone healthy, happy and hydrated.

4. Fresh Pomegranate Juice Bellinis - Before the meal
Festive, delicious and fizzy! A fresh pomegranate juice bellini couldn't be easier. (You will need a manual juice press such as an OrangeX). If you do not have a juice press, you can always go with the pre-bottled POM juice. But fresh is best. Simply pour 1/3 pomegranate juice, 2/3 prosecco or champagne, per glass. Delicious, refreshing and fun. Add a nice garnish of a few pomegranate seeds at the bottom of each glass. You can even rim the glasses with lime/sugar if you'd like.

5. Fruity Fizz White Sangria - Before/During the meal
Something about white sangria makes it a nice idea for Thanksgiving. A big pitcher of sangria is meant to be shared among friends. So having a sangria option is a nice touch. You can even make it the night before and pull it out of the fridge the next day. Or make it the morning of your dinner party - for optimal sangria taste, you'll want to flavors, fruits and juices to marinate together for at least a few hours. Add in a few seasonal touches like tangerines, crushed persimmons and seasonal pears.

6. Ginger Snap Smoothie
- After the meal
This is a fun after-meal recipe for anyone needing a stimulating, cooling refreshment boost. Plus, ginger can aid in digestion. This is a sweet option for anyone who may shun the traditional pumpkin flavored desserts you have prepared.

7. Pumpkin Pie Shake
- After the meal
Not into pie, but love pumpkin? Perhaps this pumpkin pie shake is for you (or your guests). It's easy to make, so don't feel shy in offering it post meal. You can even make one blender-ful and pour it into little shooter glasses with a big swirl of rice whip cream on top. I mean, can you really ever have too make pumpkin pie flavors for desert? And after chugging this healthy sip, maybe your guests won't request a big piece of pie (maybe just a sliver). Or maybe not...

8. Poor Man's Fire Chai
- After the meal
I like this recipe because it is fast, easy and cheap! Yup. I know that those boxed chai tea concentrates can be pricey - I often see them for $5 each! So if you are hosting a big party, you may want to save yourself some money and go with my recipe for poor man's fire chai. It's just a firey and delicious as the boxed chai, only a tad less expensive. Tea bags and spices take the place of the boxed stuff.

9. Goji Berry Chai Tea Latte - After the meal
Chai is the perfect post-meal beverage in my opinion. But why not dress up your chai mug with a sprinkling of some goji berries. Your guests may be shocked to find the delicious flavor that dried goji berries add to tea or chai. And goji berries are high in antioxidants as well! You can add goji berries to a traditional chai, boxed chai concentrate or even my poor man's fire chai above.

10. Coconut Water - Before/During/After the meal
How could I make it through a beverage top ten list without adding my favorite beverage of all: coconut water! I will definitely be adding a nice helping of boxed coconut water at my beverage bar. And yes, I will make sure all the coconut water virgins try a little sip before leaving...I haven't had a complaint yet from a first-time-coconut-water drinker...

Need more info on Vegan Wine and Vegan Beer?
Vegan Wine list from
Vegan Beer post from my blog

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