18 Best Thanksgiving Cocktails To Serve at Your Holiday Gathering
There are many important components to a Thanksgiving dinner: the main course of turkey or ham, the sides, appetizers, dessert, and the drinks. And while crafting the perfect holiday drinks may not be quite as important as cooking something like the turkey, having some festive beverages on hand can take your feast up a few notches. Some people opt for wine or beer to pair with their meal, but going the extra mile by making some tasty Thanksgiving cocktails for your guests either before or during dinner can make all the difference.
If you're comfortable with making drinks for people, you may go for cocktail recipes that are a bit more complex and nuanced, or if you're just dipping your toes into at-home bartending, you may benefit from a classic recipe that uses only a few ingredients. Or, if you simply want cocktails at your dinner by don't have the time or energy to make them yourself, you can benefit from the rising popularity of pre-made bottled cocktails.
Whether you're looking for simple recipes, more complex ones, or brands of bottled cocktails that we love, you'll find something you enjoy from our list of best Thanksgiving cocktails. Read on, and for more holiday hosting tips, check out 40 Thanksgiving Sides That Will Have Everyone Raving.
Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes
You'll find mezcal, gin, rum, whiskey, and vodka cocktails listed below that can get you and your guests in the holiday spirit with just one sip!
Mulled Cupreata (Mulled Wine & Mezcal)
The Mulled Cupreata is a festive cocktail that pairs perfectly with the signature warming spices of Thanksgiving dinner. Crafted with mulled Mexican red wine that's simmered with spices like nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise, this cocktail's complex flavors are enhanced by the addition of smoky mezcal. The unique blend of ingredients creates a cocktail that makes for an exciting choice to shake up your Thanksgiving celebration with a touch of Mexican flair.
While any mezcal can work in this recipe, Mezcal Amaras Cupreata (cupreata is a type of agave from which mezcal is made) features aromas of leather, cocoa, and toasted pumpkin seeds with peppery, spicy flavors that work beautifully in this mulled wine.
- 1.5 oz Mezcal Amarás Cupreata
- 2 oz mulled Mexican red wine
- 0.5 Cups of water
- 1 Orange
- Piloncillo (raw cane sugar)
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 Teaspoon cardamom
- 5 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 pieces of star anise
- Bring the wine, water, orange, piloncillo, ground nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise to a boil over medium heat. Stir slowly with a spoon for about 20-25 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand.
- In a snifter-type glass, add large ice and pour the previous mixture, add the Mezcal Amarás Cupreata, and stir carefully with a muddling spoon.
- Add a cinnamon stick as a garnish on the rim of the glass and carefully burn it a little, so that it releases its aroma and enhances the notes of the wine and Cupreata.
Mezcal Amarás Bitter Love
The Bitter Love, a recipe courtesy of Mezcal Amarás, makes for a captivating addition to your Thanksgiving dinner, especially since passion fruit is at its peak during the winter months. Layers of smokiness from the mezcal, sweetness from the passion fruit, herbaceousness from the basil honey, bitterness from the orange bitters, and acidity from the lemon juice all come together to create a well-balanced cocktail that adds a touch of passion to your Thanksgiving festivities.
- 1.5 oz Mezcal Amarás Reposado
- 0.75 oz basil honey
- 2 oz Passion fruit
- 0.5 oz Lemon juice
- 2 Dashes of orange bitters
- Top with tonic
- Garnish: Rosemary sprig
- In a small glass add the passion fruit juice, the basil honey, and the lemon juice, let the ingredients mix and, without shaking, serve them on the low side of your shaker.
- Add the Amarás Reposado Mezcal, place a large ice cube on the other side of your shaker, add your mixture, and shake for a few seconds.
- Take an old-fashioned glass, add a couple of ice cubes, and serve your mixture.
- With the help of the strainer of your shaker and a fine strainer, add the tonic water, and the drops of orange bitters and decorate with a sprig of rosemary.
Ketel One Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini
This next dessert cocktail—crafted by Mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer for Ketel One—uses a homemade pumpkin allspice syrup that will have your guests talking and coming back for a second (or third) drink.
- 1.5 oz of Ketel One Vodka
- 0.5 oz of coffee liqueur
- 0.75 oz of Pumpkin Allspice Syrup*
- 1 oz of coffee concentrate**
- Garnish: Pumpkin Spice and Espresso Powder
Combine the vodka, coffee liqueur, pumpkin spice syrup, and coffee concentrate in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. For a fancy touch, garnish half of the cocktail with some pumpkin spice and espresso powder.
For the Pumpkin Allspice Syrup:
Boil two cups of water with one tablespoon of pumpkin spice and stir for 5-7 minutes. Then, let simmer for 5 minutes, measure out the reduced liquid, and mix with equal parts sugar.
For the Coffee Concentrate:
Mix one cup of cold brew and one tablespoon of espresso powder.
Ketel One Autumn Appletini
Another fall cocktail by Ketel One Mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer, this Autumn Appletini should be added to your Thanksgiving menu. With only a few ingredients that can all be combined into one shaker, Thanksgiving cocktails don't get much easier than this.
- 1.5 oz of Ketel One Vodka
- .25 oz of fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz of Cinnamon Syrup
- .75 oz of apple cider
- Apples for garnish
Combine all of your ingredients into a shaker with ice and then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a green apple fan.
You've just finished off your last plate of Thanksgiving feast, and now it's time to cozy up with drinks and dessert. For those who love a hot and cozy cocktail, this Fall-Time Tea by Ketel One is a no-brainer.
- 1.5 oz of Ketel One Vodka
- 3 oz of Earl Grey tea
- 0.5 oz of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 0.25 oz of lemon juice
- 1 oz of Dark Brown Sugar Syrup
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- Garnish: lemon wheels and orange peels
Start by heating your tea. For every 12 ounces of water, use two tea bags. Then, combine all of your ingredients into a pot and let it sit on low heat for 5-10 minutes until hot. Serve in a mug and garnish with lemon and orange.
For the Dark Brown Sugar Syrup:
Combine one cup of brown sugar and one cup of hot water. Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.
Dos Maderes Hot Buttered Rum
Warm cocktails are the perfect drink for your Thanksgiving festivities because they will quickly put anyone in the holiday spirit. For an easy and delicious warm cocktail, try the Hot Buttered Rum recipe using Dos Maderes Triple-Aged Rum.
- 1.5 oz. Dos Maderas 5+5 Rum
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1 tsp of Demerara sugar
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
You'll want to use a heated mug or toddy glass, which you'll fill with butter, sugar, and spices. Then fill your glass halfway with boiling water, and add the rum on top. Finish it off with a bit more hot water, and garnish with an orange peel and freshly grated nutmeg.
The Hive Fashioned
For a classic, boozy drink that will warm everyone up, try a simple old fashioned. This "Hive Fashioned" recipe is made with Hive Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and is perfect for serving a room of guests because it only requires a few ingredients.
- 60 ml of The Hive Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
- 10 ml of sugar syrup
- 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
- Orange zest to garnish
Grab a mixing glass and stir in your scotch, sugar syrup, and bitters over ice. Then pour it into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with fresh mint and a twist of orange zest.
Aviation Gin Espresso Martini
Espresso martinis are yummy year-round, but the creamy coffee flavors feel extra cozy around the holidays. Aviation Gin has a recipe for a super simple Gin Espresso Martini, which will work well as a pre-dinner drink or one to enjoy with dessert.
- 1.5 oz of Aviation American Gin
- 0.75 oz of coffee liqueur
- 0.75 oz of espresso
- 0.5 oz of simple syrup (optional)
- Coffee beans or nutmeg
Grab a cocktail shaker and add all of your ingredients over ice. Shake and then strain into a chilled Martini glass. You can garnish with a couple of coffee beans or a pinch of nutmeg.
Aviation Gin Negroni Upgrade
Serving your guests a beautiful red cocktail can be fun for holiday festivities, and a Negroni is an easy way to do so. This cocktail is another one on our list that uses only a few ingredients, making it an easy and affordable addition to your Thanksgiving menu.
- 1.5 oz Aviation American Gin
- 0.75 oz Bitter Aperitivo Liqueur
- 0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
- Orange Twist
Simply combine the ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir everything together, and then strain into a rocks glass (or your glass of choice) with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Mezcal Amarás Índigo
Blending Mezcal Amarás Espadín with blue curaçao (a type of orange liqueur), the Índigo cocktail not only captivates the eye with its deep blue hue but also tantalizes the taste buds with a smoky and citrusy profile from the mezcal, cranberry juice, and lemon juice. This mezcal-infused creation promises to elevate your Thanksgiving celebration and wow your guests.
- 1.5 oz Mezcal Amarás Espadín
- 1oz Blue Curaçao
- 0.75 oz Cranberry juice
- 0.75 oz Lemon juice
- Sugar rim
- Garnish: Yellow lemon
- Pour the cranberry juice and the lemon juice into the shaker, then add the Mezcal Amarás Espadín and the Curaçao.
- Add two ice cubes, close tightly, and shake for a few seconds.
- Frost a low glass with sugar and add a couple more ice cubes before pouring the cocktail.
Amante 1530 Moonracker
Amaro is an Italian Apertivo that is becoming more popular in bars across the U.S., and this bold, slightly bitter liqueur goes well in a variety of different holiday cocktails. For an Amar0-based Thanksgiving drink that is on the lighter and more refreshing side, try something like the Amante 1530 Moonracker.
- 1 1⁄2 oz of Gin
- 3⁄4 oz of Amante 1530
- 3⁄4 oz of fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄2 oz of green tea simple syrup*
- (3) 1⁄4" cucumber rounds
Take the cucumber rounds and muddle them with lemon juice inside a shaker. You can then add the other ingredients and shake everything together with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass (or any glass of your choosing). Garnish with the remaining cucumber.
For the Green Tea Syrup
This syrup is equal parts green tea and white sugar. Shake well, let sit, and then shake again until fully dissolved.
Amante 1530 Campi Cooler
For an amaro-based drink that is light, rich, and floral, try this recipe from Amante 1530. The Campi Cooler uses a refreshing combination of ingredients like amaro, dry vermouth, lemon juice, bitters, and balsamic vinegar to make a crowd-pleasing cocktail.
- 1 1⁄2 oz of Amante 1530
- 1 oz of Italian Dry Vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
- 1⁄2 oz of fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 oz of simple syrup
- 2 bar spoons of organic Italian balsamic vinegar (Kirkland)
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 3 oz of soda water
Take a Collins glass, add ice, and add all of the ingredients except for the soda water. Then add the soda water last. Garnish with lemon and a Luxardo cherry.
Proper Apple Pie Martini
For a rich and creamy dessert cocktail that will impress your Thanksgiving guests with very little effort, this Apple Pie Martini from Proper Irish Apple is the perfect way to go.
- 2 oz of Proper Irish Apple Whiskey
- 2 oz of Irish Cream Liqueur
- 2 Dashes of cinnamon
- Graham cracker rim
Pour the Irish Cream Liqueur, the Proper Irish Apple Whiskey, and cinnamon into a shaker. Add ice and shake until well mixed. Then strain into a martini glass or glass of choice. Garnish with a graham cracker rim.
Ketel One Mule
For a classicly refreshing cocktail that will pair well with appetizers for your pre-dinner mingling, try whipping up a simple mule like the Ketel One Mule.
- 1.5 oz of Ketel One Vodka
- 5 oz of Ginger Beer
- 0.5 oz of lime juice
- ⅛ oz of local honey
- Garnish: Lemon or mint
Add all of your ingredients to a cup of your choosing filled with ice—but if you have a copper mug, that is best for this drink! Then stir and garnish with lemon or mint.
Pre-Made Cocktails to Try for Thanksgiving
Not everyone has the time or energy to throw a cocktail recipe into their already elaborate holiday menu, and if this is the case for you but you still want to provide delicious cocktails for your guests, buying premade bottles may be the way to go.
Via Carota Craft Cocktails
If you're lucky enough to live near Via Carota, you can treat yourself to one of their cocktails whenever you'd like. But if you're preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year and need a perfect cocktail to go along with the evening's festivities, you can enjoy one of Via Carota's Bottled Craft Cocktails.
Their Craft Cocktails are divided into three categories:
- Martini Family: Signature Martini (18% ABV) and Espresso Martini (19.2% ABV)
- Negroni Family: Classic Negroni (21% ABV) and White Negroni (20.7% ABV)
- Bourbon Family: Signature Manhattan (27.5 % ABV) and Old Fashioned (33.5% ABV)
Not only are these a tasty addition to your holiday feast, but they also make great Christmas gifts as well.
The Cocktail Collection
Another option for bottled cocktails, The Cocktail Collection specializes in "Premium, pre-mixed cocktails made with the world's most iconic spirits brands."
Founded by Blake Lively, Betty Booze makes cocktails by pairing "the freshest fruits, spices, herbs and more with real spirits and just the right amount of bubbles."
These are the only sparkling pre-made cocktail options on the list, so for those looking for lighter, more refreshing options to serve before dinner begins, these are for you.
On The Rocks Cocktails
On The Rocks is a company that is "Delivering all the complexity and craftsmanship you would find at your local bar, in a convenient bottle." You can choose from classic offerings like an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, White Negroni, or a Cosmopolitan.
For a pre-dinner cocktail, serve up the Manhattan, or for a dessert cocktail after your feast, shake up their Espresso Martini with ice.