Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family, and of course, delicious food and drink. While the meal usually centers around traditional dishes like turkey and stuffing, many folks enjoy kicking back after dinner with a festive cocktail. Thanksgiving cocktails are seasonal libations that complement the flavors of fall and help celebrate this cozy holiday. They offer a refreshing way to unwind after a big feast. Recipes usually incorporate autumnal ingredients like cinnamon, pumpkin, cranberries, and apples.
Whether you’re hosting friends and family or relaxing at home after the gathering, these special drinks provide the perfect note to end the evening on. Mixing up a batch is a fun, creative way to get in the Thanksgiving spirit.
FIg is an underrated fall fruit that is growing in popularity, especially in the cocktail world. The Fig Old Fashioned is a great choice for Thanksgiving. It takes the classic Old Fashioned and adds fig syrup for some sweetness and fall flavor, and the fig garnish will look absolutely gorgeous next to the full Thanksgiving spread.
The Pumpkin Spice White Russian is the perfect dessert cocktail to end your Thanksgiving meal. If you're having pumpkin pie for dessert, why not wash it down with a creamy and delicious white Russian made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice? This seasonal drink is decadent, but so is Thanksgiving dinner, so indulge!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the Thanksgiving cooking, this easy and delicious cocktail takes a few seconds to make. It’s a simple four-ingredient recipe that you make by throwing vodka, champagne, apple juice, and cranberry juice into a cocktail glass. It’s easy enough to multiply the proportions to make this easy cocktail by the pitcher.
Start your Thanksgiving dinner with a strong drink to get you ready for all the food to come. The Maple Bacon Old Fashioned is a delicious choice, offering a twist on the classic Old Fashioned by sweetening the drink with maple syrup. The crispy bacon garnish will whet your appetite for the meal to come. This is a great cocktail because it offers some fall flavor without being indulgently sweet.
If you think apple cider is overused, try this autumnal upgrade that spikes fresh apple cider with whiskey, lemon juice, and pumpkin spice. The lemon juice brings out the tanginess in the apple cider, which goes so well with a smokey whiskey cocktail. Don’t forget to use plenty of ice as this cocktail tastes best ice cold.
Putting a fall twist on the classic Moscow Mule, Cranberry Apple Spice Mules are easy to make and taste amazing. The Moscow Mule is a combination of vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer, to which this cocktail adds cranberry sauce, apple cider, and cinnamon. Bust out your copper mugs for this delightfully refreshing cocktail.
If you’re up for a challenge, this Cranberry Bourbon Sour has you make everything from scratch, including the candied rosemary garnish! The wonderful simple syrup in the Bourbon cocktail uses maple syrup instead of sugar to combine with orange and cranberry. The recipe yields enough simple syrup to prepare drinks for a large thanksgiving party.
Alluding to ruby red grapefruits, the Ruby Vermouth Spritzer imitates the bittersweet flavor profile of grapefruits without actually adding the fruit itself. The sweet vermouth combines with angostura bitters and soda for a classy, if not a lip-puckering aperitif. Ruby red grapefruit wheels make an appearance, but only as a garnish.
The Harvest Apple Spritz is a vodka and apple juice cocktail with spicy ginger simple syrup. The addition of sage gives it an earthy depth, while a dash of lemon juice and orange liqueur brightens the cocktail with tangy citrus. This recipe makes enough for the whole family to ring in the Thanksgiving festivities.
This highly alcoholic cocktail combines bourbon and champagne with citrus and spiced maple syrup for a dangerously tasty Thanksgiving cocktail. Good thing you’re about to devour a few plates of turkey and fix-ins to soak it all up! Bourbon and maple is the best combination in my opinion because it balances sweet with smokey so elegantly.
You can have apple pie before and after Thanksgiving dinner, starting with this Sparkling Apple Pie Cocktail as an alcoholic preview to the slice you’ll enjoy later with ice cream and coffee. This sweet cocktail combines cinnamon schnapps with champagne and apple cider to perfectly mimic the flavors of apple pie.
Margaritas turn any gathering into a party, and this Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margarita is the best cocktail to kick off your Thanksgiving festivities. This recipe calls for my all-time favorite spirit, mezcal! It’s much smokier than tequila, working well with the sweet apple cider and dash of maple syrup.
This cheerful vodka cocktail combines citrus and spice, using homemade thyme and ginger spiced cranberry syrup, lime, and grapefruit juice. The addition of ginger beer and elderflower liqueur adds a burst of spicy floral flavors and a delightful fizz. This is another user-friendly recipe that you can throw into a pitcher and let sit in your fridge until the guests arrive.
The title of this cocktail singlehandedly describes the ingredients and mixing instructions! Fresh figs, plums, honey, and elderflower get a hearty smash at the bottom of your cocktail shaker to create a floral, and sweet juice that you strain into long-stemmed cocktail glasses before topping it off with prosecco. This is an elegant cocktail that has a low alcohol content.
Pears are my favorite fall fruits, their subtle sweetness and soft, juicy texture are a delight to the senses. This spiced pear gin cocktail is as classy as they come, using fresh pear juice, pear liqueur, and cardamom bitters. It tastes like a pear tart in liquid form! The thin slice of pear and sprig of thyme garnishes make this cocktail as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the tongue.
Showcasing the heavenly marriage of ginger and pear, this Thanksgiving Bourbon Pear Spritzer gives you double doses of pear and ginger. Combining smokey bourbon with pear juice, ginger ale, and homemade sage and ginger syrup, this Thanksgiving cocktail offers the ultimate flavor trifecta of sweet, smokey, and spicy.
This creative cocktail has you create an apple cider reduction, with brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. The apple cider syrup alone is worth making this cocktail in my opinion. Concentrated spiced apple cider and smoky bourbon get a refreshing kick of lemon juice and fizzy sparkling wine. This cocktail is a crowd-pleasing recipe you can make by the pitcherful.
Another pitcher drink, Thanksgiving Sangria covers every fall fruit and flavor under the sun. It uses a dry white wine and rich brandy base, to which you add apple cider, maple, a myriad of fresh fall aromatics, and chunks of fall fruits. I think the piece de resistance is the hearty helping of melted pumpkin butter.
Apple and cinnamon are a classic fall combination, used in everything from ciders to pies. This Apple Cinnamon Whiskey Smash adds an unlikely herb to the mix. It calls for the muddling of apples and mint before adding rye whiskey, cinnamon syrup, and apple cider. I was skeptical, but the cooling mint helps tamper the spicy heat from both the cinnamon and the rye.