By now, you’ve finalized your Thanksgiving guest list and mapped out your menu, but have you thought about the perfect holiday party drinks to serve? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of the best Thanksgiving cocktails that are sure to please your crowd, whether you’re celebrating with family or planning a Friendsgiving.
What makes these mixed drinks the best, you may ask? To me, the holiday cocktail recipes below not only capture the flavors of the season, they’re also easy to create with a few basic bartending tools and simple ingredients. Whether you’re primed for pumpkin or crazy for cranberries, I’ve got your new Thanksgiving signature cocktail on my list! And since not everyone wants – or gets to – indulge in ‘the booze’, we included recipes for some festive non-alcoholic drinks.
To mix up these Thanksgiving cocktail recipes properly, be sure you have a good cocktail shaker on hand. Because nothing is more annoying than a leaky drink mixer that dribbles your concoction all over your festive party attire while you’re trying to impress your guests with your flair bartending skills!
Here’s some other equipment that will help you prep cocktails like a pro (and stay dry in the process):
Once you’ve gathered your home bar essentials, you’re ready to shake things up. Let’s start with these popular alcoholic drinks for Thanksgiving. We sorted them by the poison of your choice, so you can easily pick.
Thanksgiving Gin Drinks
If you’re a fan of gin, then these gin drinks for Thanksgiving will be right up your alley. Different gins can really affect the flavor of your holiday cocktail, so feel free to experiment!
This delicious fall favorite is the perfect mix of sweet and refreshing.
- 2 oz dry gin of choice
- 1/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Splash of agave syrup
- Sparkling apple cider
- Sugar or salt (for rimming the glass)
- Garnish: Fresh lavender and sliced apple
Lightly rim a highball glass with agave syrup or honey, then dip it into sugar or salt.
- Pour the gin in a cocktail shaker with ice and add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and agave syrup. Shake well.
Pour your into the glass filled with ice.
Top with sparkling apple cider and garnish your apple cider Thanksgiving drink with lavender and a slice of apple.
Give your classic gin and tonic a festive makeover with hints of orange and cranberry. Yum!
- 1-2 oz gin
- 3 oz tonic water
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- Fresh cranberries and orange for serving
Combine the gin, tonic water, orange juice, and cranberry juice in a mixing glass and stir.
- Pour the drink mixture in a glass filled with ice.
Garnish with fresh cranberries and slices of orange and enjoy your gin Thanksgiving cocktail!
Thanksgiving Vodka Cocktails
Vodka is such a versatile liquor and available in many different varieties. These Thanksgiving vodka drinks get their seasonal flavor from hints of vanilla and caramel.
Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like a little pumpkin pie. So why not take it in liquid form, too?
- 2 oz vanilla vodka
- 2 oz white creme de cacao
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1.5 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- Crushed graham crackers (for the rim)
- Garnish: Dash of ground nutmeg
- Rim two martini glasses with the crushed graham crackers.
- Pour the pumpkin puree into a cocktail shaker with a couple of ice cubes. Shake vigorously to break up the puree.
- Add more ice and the vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, and cream. Shake some more.
Strain into the martini glasses and garnish your Thanksgiving vodka drinks with ground nutmeg.
If you like Thanksgiving drinks that will warm you from the inside, this mulled wine recipe is for you. Plus, it’s easy to prepare for a crowd!
- Red wine
- Caramel-flavored vodka
- Pure maple syrup
- Cinnamon sticks
- Star Anise
- Pour the red wine into a large pot. Add caramel vodka and freshly squeezed juice of one orange. Stir to combine.
- Add the cranberries along with the orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves.
- Warm the wine mixture over medium-high heat. Once you see steam, reduce the heat to low, or transfer the drink to a warmed slow cooker.
- Serve hot or warm.
Cranberry Thanksgiving drinks are sure to be a hit with your guests, and this seasonal take on the Moscow Mule is no exception.
2 oz vodka
1 oz cran-apple juice
1/4 oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
Ginger beer, chilled, to top
- Garnish: Apple slice, cranberries
Pour the vodka, cran-apple juice, and lime juice into a mule mug, highball glass, or a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir briefly.
- Top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with an apple slice and fresh cranberries.
Tequila Thanksgiving Drinks
Nothing says “party” like a margarita. For a fall-themed take on this summer staple, all you need is some pumpkin spice or apple cider.
Who says pumpkin puree is only for pies? If you prefer your treats in liquid form, you can have your cake and drink it, too!
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 2 oz Tequila
- 3/4 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp Pumpkin puree
- 1 Tsp Pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- Add cointreau, tequila, lime juice, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and honey into a cocktail shaker and shake until smooth.
- Strain over ice into a glass.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
With the perfect balance of sweet and tart, this adult beverage is the perfect accompaniment to your holiday meal.
- 100% apple juice or apple cider (without added sugar)
- Agave tequila
- Orange liquor (Grand Mariner, Triple Sec)
- Cinnamon sugar (optional for glass rim)
- Garnish: Apple slice, cinnamon sticks
- Prepare your glass by rimming it with water or apple juice, then dipping into cinnamon sugar.
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a glass with ice and garnish with a slice of apple and a cinnamon stick.
Thanksgiving Whiskey Drinks
Do you have whiskey lovers among your party guests? These whiskey cocktails for Thanksgiving are as smooth as it gets!
Why choose between two favorites when you can combine them? Don’t let the two-step process scare you, this fall cocktail takes only a few minutes to prepare.
To make cinnamon simple syrup
- 3/4 Cup water
- 3/4 Cup sugar
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
To make whiskey drink
- 3 oz Apple cider (adjust to your desired level of sweetness)
- 2 oz Whiskey
- 3/4 oz Cinnamon simple syrup
- 1 oz Lemon juice
- Garnish: Cinnamon stick
- Add the ingredients for the cinnamon simple syrup to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove the cinnamon sticks and let cool.
- Add the apple cider, whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well.
- Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
This sweet and nutty recipe makes a perfect cocktail for those who prefer pecan over pumpkin pie. It’s a wonderful treat before or after Thanksgiving dinner.
- 2 Tbsp Toasted pecan halves, crushed
- 1 ½ Tbsp Pure maple syrup
- Ice (optional)
- 2 oz Bourbon
- 2 oz Maple-pecan liqueur
- 3 Tbsp Heavy cream
- Garnish: Whipped cream and pecan halves
- Rim two cocktail glasses with the maple syrup and then dip into the crushed pecans to coat. Fill the glasses with ice (optional).
- Combine bourbon, maple-pecan liqueur, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously.
- Fill the prepared glasses with the cocktail mixture and garnish with whipped cream and pecan halves.
As promised, I’ve got some recipes for non-alcoholic cocktails for you as well. They’re great for anyone who’s avoiding booze, or to trick those who’ve already had too much booze but want to keep drinking the fun stuff. You can even serve them to your kids to make them feel included!
The distinct flavors of cranberry and apple make this alcohol-free drink an ideal addition to your Thanksgiving bar for sober and underage guests.
- Pour the apple cider into a glass of your choice.
- Add the cranberry juice.
- Top off with ginger ale for a fruity tang, or with cream soda for a sweet, vanilla flavor.
Of course, we had to include a pumpkin spice drink for the non-drinkers. This sweet indulgence is basically dessert in a glass, but no one will judge you if you get seconds (or thirds)!
- 1 Tbsp canned pumpkin pie filling
- 1 oz simple syrup
- Splash of sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup half and half
- Crushed graham crackers (optional)
- Whipped cream (optional)
There you have it, my 11 Thanksgiving cocktail recommendations that are sure to please anyone on your invite list. But don’t worry, these seasonal sips taste great beyond Turkey Day. Take your time and play around with these recipes to make them your own. Who knows, maybe you’ll even come up with your own signature drink for next year’s Thanksgiving cocktail party.
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake until well-mixed.
- Top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and whipped cream.