Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving chef pro-tip: don’t serve cranberry martinis

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The last time I had an alcoholic beverage was a few years ago, at Thanksgiving, when someone gave me a glass of port. One glass and I felt pretty drunk, which tells you something about my current tolerance for alcohol. Since I’ve been pretty dry for years now, it always amazes me to see how much alcohol people can consume during the holidays. Those are empty calories! Save that space for turkey and ham! It’s even stranger that people are, like, drinking full-on cocktails. I understand having some wine to go with your meal, but why would you drink two or three martinis before your Thanksgiving dinner? Apparently, chef Bobby Flay feels the same way. He revealed the one thing he refuses to serve at his Thanksgiving dinners: cranberry martinis. The reason is that people get sh-tfaced and they’re walking into walls before dinner is even served. Yep.

Despite cooking year-round on television and in restaurant kitchens, Bobby Flay still insists on prepping Thanksgiving dinner every year, normally welcoming 40 to 50 guests into his Tribeca home. After years of hosting, Flay has learned a thing or two about throwing a successful Thanksgiving dinner, and one of his hardest-learned lessons has been this: Don’t serve cranberry martinis.

“I used to make cranberry martinis, but I don’t anymore because people get f**ked up on those,” the chef says. “It’s basically just red vodka. It’s a bad idea. By 6:30 p.m. people are like, walking into walls.”

Flay, who cooked at the Savor Borgata Food and Wine Festival this past weekend, has a different plan for drinks this year. He’s making coquito, a rum-based cocktail with cinnamon and coconut milk, to go along with his Puerto Rican-themed dinner.

“It might sound corny, but I always try to do something as a conversation piece, giving thanks and taking a moment to talk about something that occurred over the year,” Flay says, noting he did a New Orleans-inspired Thanksgiving feast after Hurricane Katrina hit. “This year there were way too many things to choose from, but it just seems to me, especially growing up in New York, that Puerto Rico is a thing that needs to continue to be talked about, so I’m going to cook a couple of Puerto Rican dishes alongside my Thanksgiving. Some people say grace at the table, and we just talk for a couple of minutes about people who are in a less good place than we are at that very moment. Then eating ensues.”

Flay is making sure to have other drinks on hand. He assigns out most of them, specifying who should bring white wine and who should bring red so they don’t end up having 25 bottles of one thing. Another thing he makes his guests bring? Dessert.

“I don’t want to make dessert; it’s just too hard with everything else going on,” he says. “When you’re the chef, the pressure is always on.”

[From People]

I’m a big believer in “the person who prepares Thanksgiving dinner is not the same person responsible for dessert.” That’s the rule as far I’m concerned. If my mom is making the dinner (she is this year, yay!), then I’m in charge of dessert. This year the dessert is an ice cream cake, sorry not sorry. As for what Bobby says about cranberry martinis…those are just a variation on Cosmos, right? Again, why would you load up on Cosmos or martinis before Thanksgiving dinner? People have no sense of saving themselves for the food.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Don’t drink and drive, and don’t get loaded before dinner. This is your Celebitchy PSA.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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34 Responses to “Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving chef pro-tip: don’t serve cranberry martinis”

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  1. mia girl says:

    I may not choose a cranberry martini, but to be honest the idea of heavy drinking this Thanksgiving is a possibility. This entire year has left me so sad, angry, disgusted. I’m working out how to be thankful above all the madness we are living through and so far, I’m not feeling it.

  2. Deanne says:

    I’m not a fan of Bobby Flay ,but I agree with him about the strong cocktails. I made Black Forest Martinis a few Christmases ago and people were literally chugging them down. They were delicious but not a good idea before a holiday meal.

    • T.Fanty says:

      I’m not a fan of him as a person, but the Mesa Grill was one of my favorite restaurants. It hurt when that closed down.

    • Esmom says:

      The thing is it sounds like he’s replacing the martini with another cocktail so he may still have guests drunk before dinner, lol.

      I hosted a dinner party years ago where I made Rick Bayless’s margaritas and they were also not a good idea. In fact I had to go straight to bed after dinner!

      • Deanne says:

        I love a good margarita. I’ve learned that one strong drink is my limit. I ended up with a couple of lone dancers and a cryer, all before dinner.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        My boyfriend and I made watermelon margaritas from a recipe of Emeril Lagasse’s. The watermelon totally countered the taste of the tequila, so they were deceptively strong. We got so drunk so fast. We’ve vowed never to make them again unless we have others to share them with, because they were so delicious and so incredibly strong.

      • Nat says:

        Deanne, I literally cried laughing at your comment. I pictured myself there. :)

  3. Roma says:

    I love a good, craft cocktail. When made correctly, I enjoy it more than having an extra appetizer! And I used to bartender for years while supporting my various career choices, so I’m quite good at constructing them. So for holidays, I’m usually in charge of a signature drink and I’ll make exactly one round. One cocktail and done before I switch to something less lethal.

  4. T.Fanty says:

    I would avoid cranberry martinis because they sound gross. Plus, if you’re spending so much time making good food, why would someone not make the effort to pair it with a decent wine?

    On another note, it’s a miracle Bobby Flay isn’t on the predator list yet. You know he’s got some serious dirt hidden away.

  5. T.Fanty says:

    I would avoid cranberry martinis because they sound gross. Plus, if you’re spending so much time making good food, why would someone not make the effort to pair it with a decent wine?

    On another note, it’s a miracle Bobby Flay isn’t on the predator list yet. You know he’s got some dirt hidden.

  6. InVain says:

    I grew up in a dry family/dry home. I had to get very used to the idea that people drink on holidays or at parties (I know…). I choose not to drink on holidays because I am with my family and they do not. I do love to imbibe, I drink often, but I’m sort of okay with alcohol-free holiday meals (even though no one stresses me out more than my family).

    Totally with Bobby + Kaiser about dinner/dessert preparation. I’m in charge of dinner this year, my mom offered to make the pies. Works for me! Being in charge of both is just way too much.

    • Hazel says:

      That’s how I grew up. I remember watching old B/W movies, set in the ‘30s, where everyone always had a glass of champagne & the women always wore evening gowns & the men tuxes…. I was entranced & amazed.

  7. JA says:

    I’m cooking the entire meal tomorrow save for dessert! 1st year as official wifey and 1st year cooking with my in laws there…I plan on hitting the vino but not too hard in case I start walking into walls. I hate this dude with a passion BUT nice to hear professional chefs feel that pressure too on thanksgiving…. ahhhh Lord help me!!!

  8. Lightpurple says:

    My sister and I started drinking cocktails on Thanksgiving at a very young age (neither of us were of legal age when we first poured some Kahlua into some eggnog) to mellow us out so we could cope with our obnoxious brother, who seems to up his obnoxious factors on Thanksgiving. We have continued the tradition since. We usually dine out and bartenders can concoct some delicious seasonal beverages. Just one and then we switch to wine with dinner.

  9. tealily says:

    When I saw his image in the thumbnail, I immediately assumed he had groped someone. Is that bad?

    I usually put a big old pot of mulled wine on and everyone can help themselves. We also do Thanksgiving potluck style. We make the turkey and a few sides, guests each bring a side, dessert, or wine.

  10. Angel says:

    Make more potatoes than you think you need, make sure the gravy is hot and everything else wont matter:) Good Luck!

  11. Wren says:

    I don’t really see how replacing one cocktail with another is that much better….. but hey, whatever. My family enjoys some wine with meals, but my in-laws…… yeah. They used to host a huge Thanksgiving meal and served cocktails and wine. Lots and lots of cocktails and wine. Then port after dinner. To say people were plastered is an understatement. I thought it was funny the first couple times, probably because I was (inadvertently) drunk too, but after that I was pretty over it.

  12. Miss Kittles says:

    I’d rather drink than eat salty ham or tons of pie. Call me a booze hound but I look forward to a good cocktail. I stocked up on my drinks last week. I’m still getting my meal prep together hahaha necessities I guess

  13. Sadie77az says:

    I don’t drink, but I definitely do eat. Also, I have a giant crush on Flay. I reserve the right to change that if anything comes out about him.

  14. Shannon says:

    Having Thanksgiving with my parents, and I love them to pieces but OMFG. They didn’t vote for Trump, but they are Trump apologists. So yup, drinking (although not combined with driving) with happen for me. Wish me luck!

  15. cake says:

    I’m drinking alcoholic beverages, no shame in my game.

  16. raincoaster says:

    I love LOVE Cranberry Martinis. Cosmos/Metropolitans are even better, but Flay is right: people nowadays don’t have just one single cocktail, they have two or three double cocktails, and that’s a recipe for disaster.

    I’ve got a picture of Bette Davis and Ronald Reagan in some old movie. They’re at a bar, and the table is littered with empty cocktail glasses. They are TINY. Back in the day, Martinis were an ounce and a half of gin, a quarter ounce or less of vermouth. Nowadays, they’re all doubles at LEAST.

    I was in Steamworks brew pub in Vancouver and had three delicious Lemon Drop Martinis. I went to stand up to go to the ladies’ room and discovered I could not do it. I physically could not stand up. Then I read the small print on the menu: all their martinis are three ounces MINIMUM.

    This kind of inflation is just bad for socialization. It’s bad for society. Mind you, it reflect the fact that we have so many more reasons to get drunk. Fun fact: Alcohol sales went up in New York by 300% in the year after 9/11.

  17. KiddVicious says:

    Thanksgiving is an excuse to day drink for me. I start out with a dry white and as the day progresses my wines get darker and bolder. I don’t cook often but I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner and drinking while cooking, it softens the blow for when everyone has finished eating and you realized you cooked for 10 hours for 20 minutes of eating.

  18. dora says:

    Bobby Slay

  19. Sarah says:

    Fuck you, Bobby! I’ll make cranberry martinis if I damn well please.