Some Thanksgiving Recipes (#1 McKenzie Rye Turkey)


Over the next couple of days, we’ll be posting a few ideas for incorporating our spirits into your Thanksgiving meal later this week. We start with the centerpiece of the feast…

Recipe based on a 15 pound Turkey

BRINE (the day before)

2 cups apple cider
1 ½ cups kosher or sea salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 rosemary sprigs
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
two trays of ice cubes


1 onion
2 celery ribs
1 carrot
All of the above – finely chopped
10 garlic gloves


1 cup, plus 1 Glencairn glass of McKenzie Rye Whiskey
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter


1. In a large pot, combine the first six ingredients and bring just to a boil.  Turn off heat and add 6 quarts of cold water.  Place the turkey in a brining bag (available at any grocery store) and place the bag (with turkey) in another large pot.  Pour the brine and ice cubes over the turkey.  Place in refrigerator over night.

Turkey Day

2.   Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Set rack to the lowest position – so the turkey fits!  Drain the turkey, pat dry, and throw out the brine.  Fill the cavity with half the finely chopped onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and place in your roasting pan.  Surround the outside of the turkey with the remainder of the chopped vegetables.  (For you traditionalist who like to fill the turkey with stuffing – fine, the FLD chefs like to roast their stuffing separately.)  Tie the legs, pour 2 cups of water in the pan and roast for 30 minutes.

3.  In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of McKenzie Rye, the brown sugar, and the butter and heat until just melted.    Enjoy a small sip of rye from your Glencairn glass.

4.  Reduce the oven to 350 and brush the turkey with some of the McKenzie glaze.  Continue to brush the turkey and take small sips of the award winning rye every 15 minutes for the next 3 hours.  When done – the pop-up will pop-up, or if your turkey is pop-up-less, an instant read thermometer should read 165.  While the bird is cooking, you may have to add more water and if the bird is getting darker than you like – tent with foil.  More sipping of rye is called for in case you have to add water or tent.  If not, have a sip anyway.   Remove from oven and move to a cutting board.  Let rest for 30 minutes.

5.  You probably have your own hand-me-down from generations gravy recipe.  If not, ask us – the FLD kitchen would love to share.

6.  When you serve the turkey, and your family and friends taste this succulent masterpiece, that you have created, they will call you “genius.”

Just smile, and sip some more whiskey – your place at the family table will become legendary – like the McKenzie Rye you have been enjoying.

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