Celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.K. with JW Steakhouse and Wild Turkey

By London Liquor

While Thanksgiving generally passes with little fanfare in the UK, the British Bourbon Society has found at least two bourbon fuelled reasons to celebrate it this year.

First up, several BBS members will be attending the Saturday 26 November ("Let's Experiment") and Wednesday 30 November ("Old School, Old World, Old Times") bourbon dinners hosted by Tom Fisher of bourbonblog.com at JW Steakhouse Bourbon Bar in London. With each dinner on 26, 28, 29 and 30 November featuring tasting flights of up to six whiskies as well as a three course meal, we're looking forward to some great food and drink while hearing from a recognised bourbon expert . Full details can be found here.

If you plan on coming along, drop us a message on the Facebook group or Twitter.

Second, BBS are always looking for new ways to enjoy bourbon so were interested to see the cocktail lists that Wild Turkey has released to mark Thanksgiving. The aptly-named distiller has been working hard to build its profile in the UK over the past few months with the launch of Rare Breed in October of this year. While BBS' verdict on Rare Breed is still out, we are fans of its entry-level whiskies (Kentucky Straight & Kentucky Straight Rye) and recently managed to hunt down a bottle of the elusive Wild Turkey 13 Year Old Distiller's Reserve from the far flung reaches of the internet (review to follow). As well as Old Fashioned's, we'll be trying out Wild Turkey's Manhattan receipe (mix all the ingredients with ice, strain into a glass & garnish with a maraschino cherry) later this week: 

  • 40 ml Wild Turkey Rye (or another quality rye whisky such as Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond)
  • 20 ml sweet vermouth 
  • Dash of angostura bitters 

BBS tends to drink whisky straight up but it's impossible to ignore the fact that the rapid rise of bourbon in the UK has been fuelled by the willingness of bartenders and home enthusiasts to experiment with bourbon in cocktails (in contrast to Scotch whisky, with the notable exception of the Penicillin). This can only be a positive development and we'll be organising a BBS night soon to celebrate bourbon cocktails. Stay tuned for details.