5 Delicious Thanksgiving Cocktails

Great Drink Recipes to Get You Through the Holiday

  • 5 Drink
  • Updated: May 20, 2016

Thanksgiving is a bit of an orphan holiday when it comes to cocktails. You’ve got all kinds of spooky drinks for Halloween less than a month before, and it seems like as soon as November hits everyone starts talking about peppermint-flavored syrups and egg nog as the winter holidays approach. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie to edge their way into the mix, but we want to rectify that.

In fact, we can’t imagine a holiday where more people need a drink to get through it. The kids are home with their weird boyfriends and girlfriends, mom’s shouting at football on the TV, and grandpa simply doesn’t get that nobody wants to talk about politics with him after what happened last year. Who could blame you for wanting a bit of a seasonal pick-me-up?

These five Thanksgiving cocktails are some of our favorites from around the web, and they cover all the bases: fresh cranberries, spiced pumpkin butter, crisp apples, and even a bit of turkey. You can thank us come Black Friday.

  • Aperol, Lillet Blanc, Hard Cider, Cranberries, Ginger
    The Cranberry-Spice Cocktail is a recipe from Brad Thomas Parsons (author of one of my favorite books, Bitters) that I came across on Food & Wine. Great for Thanksgiving or any other fall get-together, it's a delicious, pretty low-alcohol treat for the holidays.
  • Gin, Sherry, Cranberries, Orange, Mint, Lemon, Sugar
    This Cranberry Cobbler requires a bit of preparation, but the results are worth it. It's a great recipe for entertaining over the holidays, since you can prepare it ahead of time and not need to worry about hand-mixing a bunch of cocktails every time someone needs a refill. This recipe makes enough for six servings, so adjust as needed!
  • Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate, Apple Brandy, Hard Apple Cider, Lemon Juice
    Nothing says fall quite like apples, and the Apple Elixir cocktail has plenty of 'em. Combining a homemade spiced apple cider concentrate (recipe below), apple brandy, and hard apple cider, this is a celebration of everything that makes autumn my favorite season for creative drinks.
  • Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Pumpkin Butter, Lemon Juice, Bitters, Sage Leaves
    While there's not actually any turkey in this cocktail (I'd probably have to drink a few too many of something else before I tried that), the name and the pumpkin butter (recipe here) scream Thanksgiving. This is a fun recipe for entertaining over the holidays, but I love it all year round!
  • Mezcal Joven, Orange Juice, Pumpkin Butter, Lime Juice
    The Great Calabaza is a delicious Thanksgiving riff on the Margarita from Autumn Giles (perhaps the most appropriate name in history) at Serious Eats. You can use this pumpkin butter recipe, or simply buy some at the store. The five-spice salt rim is optional, but it goes great with the citrus and really adds to the presentation as well.

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