How much alcohol is required for you to successfully navigate through the Thanksgiving weekend? This includes any alcohol that you might be expected to bring, have knowledge about, have a glass of to be polite, share to enjoy the sporting event, taste to compliment the meal, mix into the coffee or consume to relax and appreciate the other your family and guests.
• None: my family is great, there is limited alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages are offered, there’s no pressure to be polite or entertaining. Or perhaps I don’t do much over the Thanksgiving holidays and have no need drink alcohol.
• One serving*: I have a glass of wine with dinner
• Two servings: I have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner or before
• Three servings: Dinner is a prolonged affair – 3 glasses of wine over the 3 hour eating fest, followed by a nap. Or, a drink before the meal, one during and another as the evening winds down
• Four servings: a drink when I walk in the door; followed by another pre-meal sip as the turkey won’t be ready, a glass of something with dinner and one to linger over as the evening games begin. **
• Five Servings: three beers while we watch the baseball game, a shared bottle of lush red wine with dinner and a glass of single malt scotch to be social on the deck, commemorating the special occasion.
• Six servings: one before I leave home while prepping, one on arrival, one before we eat, two with dinner (it was a long meal and the wine choices will be perfectly paired) and a specialty coffee – It is thanksgiving after all.
• Seven to eight servings (I lose track): It will start with a double when I got there, generously poured. Generally, I am offered refills another each time I finish, plus a couple of top-ups during dinner. The evening will go by pretty quick!
It doesn’t matter where you loosely put the number of servings – the fact remains that alcohol is an entrenched part of the Canadian Thanksgiving culture – I mean we have pumpkin beer. Alcohol is a social lubricant; there are times when we think it just seems to make things…..easier. And gatherings of family or friends tend to place pressure on us to socialize with alcohol, whether we want to or not.
So enjoy your beverage of choice this Thanksgiving season, try some new non-alcohol beverages (basil water anyone!), and think about the role of alcohol in your seasonal entertaining.
Happy Turkey Day!
*Note: a serving is one 5oz glass of wine, 1.5oz spirits plain or with mix, or a regular sized bottle/can of 5% beer or cooler
**Canada’s low risk alcohol drinking guidelines state that: 2 drinks for women and 3 for men reduces the risk of injury or chronic disease and to avoid alcohol if driving.