25 Thanksgiving Cocktails That'll Make You Grateful

Thanksgiving Cocktails

Thanksgiving is a great time to enjoy all those delectable foods, the ones you don't typically serve year-round. It's also the ideal time to whip up some unusual cocktails that feature rosemary or thyme, or maybe some riffs on cranberry cocktails. Regardless of the reason, Thanksgiving cocktails are just as important as the spread.

Afternoon Aperol Spritz

Afternoon Aperol Spritz

Aperol is an apéritif, perfect for sipping while having some light snacks, smartly leaving room for the main course. This recipe adds an extra splash of orange.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Aperol
  • 2 ounces sparkling wine
  • ¼ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Orange slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a wine glass, add ice, Aperol, sparkling wine, and orange liqueur.
  2. Top off with club soda.
  3. Garnish with orange slices.

Negroni

Negroni

The classic Negroni is a timeless pre-dinner cocktail. This recipe makes two, making it great to pass the spare to your favorite cousin as you make your way to the couch.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glasses over king cubes.
  4. Express one orange peel over the drink by twisting the peel between your fingers, then run outside of peel along rim. Repeat with second glass.
  5. Garnish with second orange peel. Repeat with second glass.

Campari Citrus Spritzer

Campari Citrus Spritzer

The bitter flavor of Campari, a familiar apéritif, is balanced with the citrus ingredients and sparkling wine.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Campari
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • Ice
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Lemon wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, Campari, lemon juice, and elderflower.
  2. Stir to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with prosecco.
  5. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig.

Plane Ride

Plane Ride

A riff on the paper plane cocktail, this is a reminder that your harrowing journey to the table is at least half-over.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 1¼ ounce bourbon
  • 1½ ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • 1 ounce prosecco
  • Orange slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Aperol, bourbon, lemon juice, and orange liqueur.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with prosecco.
  5. Garnish with orange slice.

The Sister's Sparkling Cider

The Sister's Sparkling Cider

Easily made in larger batches, this recipe is for one, so it's up to you if you want to share with the family.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces apple cider
  • 1¾ ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce cinnamon schnapps
  • Ice
  • Prosecco or seltzer
  • Apple slice and cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, apple cider, bourbon, and cinnamon schnapps.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with prosecco or seltzer.
  5. Garnish with apple slice and cinnamon stick.

Raspberry Sidecar

Raspberry Sidecar

Sure to please any member of the family, no one's touched that bottle of cognac since Thanksgiving years ago.

Ingredients

  • Lemon wedge and sugar for rim
  • 1½ ounces cognac
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¾ ounce raspberry liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Raspberry for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lemon wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, ad ice, cognac, orange liqueur, raspberry liqueur, and lemon juice.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with raspberry.

Cranberry Cosmopolitan

Cranberry Cosmopolitan

A classic cosmopolitan cocktail but punched up with a little extra cranberry taste-- perfect to get excited for the cranberry sauce later.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces cranberry vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ ounce tart cherry juice
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, cranberry vodka, and juices.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lime wedge.

Thankful Martini

Thankful Martini

Sometimes, you're most thankful for something to sip while the family chatters away. This martini uses a splash of citrus.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth
  • ¼ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Orange peel coin for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, gin, dry vermouth, and orange liqueur.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Autumn Breeze

Autumn Breeze

With Thanksgiving amid the changing seasons, it's lucky when you can leave a window open as the family wanders between throwing a football and getting more snacks.

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and sugar for rim
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • ¼ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lime wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add vodka, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, and orange liqueur.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wheel.

Herbed Bourbon

Herbed Bourbon

Some of the best Thanksgiving flavors work beautifully in a cocktail, bourbon ties it all together.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce apple pie liqueur
  • ½ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Rosemary sprig and apple slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add bourbon, apple pie liqueur, and rosemary simple syrup.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with rosemary sprig and apple slice.

Apple Cinnamon Old-Fashioned

Apple Cinnamon Old-Fashioned

Nothing brings people together like a classic cocktail, or at least it's an introduction to your aunt's new partner.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce apple cider
  • ¾ ounce cinnamon simple syrup
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, bourbon, apple cider, cinnamon simple syrup, and bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Sparkling Grapefruit Martini

Sparkling Grapefruit Martini

Once the bottle of sparkling wine is open, there's no reason to let it go flat before the dinner starts.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Rosemary sprig and grapefruit wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a champagne flute or coupe, add grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Top off with prosecco.
  3. Garnish with rosemary sprig and grapefruit wedge.

Fig Deal

Fig Deal

A fizzy figgy delight, this will change conversations quickly and seamlessly.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce fig simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Thyme sprig and sliced fig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add bourbon and fig simple syrup.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with prosecco.
  4. Garnish with thyme sprig and sliced fig.

Berry Smash

Berry Smash

If you're ready for dessert or need to satisfy the sweet tooth while you wait, shake this up.

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and sugar for rim
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce elderflower
  • 6 raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  • Ice
  • Thyme sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lime wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, muddle berries with splash of lemon juice.
  4. Add ice, vodka, lemon juice, and elderflower.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Pour into prepared glass without straining.
  7. Garnish with thyme sprig.

Citrus Tonic

Citrus Tonic

When someone inevitably says they only drink gin, this will delight and surprise all imbibers.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • Tonic to top off
  • Orange slice and rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a coupe, add gin, orange juice, and rosemary simple syrup.
  2. Top off with tonic.
  3. Garnish with orange slice and rosemary sprig.

Lion's Tail

Lion's Tail

This bourbon forward cocktail is great for showing your family there's more to bourbon than old-fashioneds and Manhattans.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ½ ounce allspice dram
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, bourbon, allspice dram, lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Toronto

Toronto cocktail

A bitter riff on the Manhattan, take the moment to unwind as you listen to the same stories.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • ¼ ounce fernet
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add rye whiskey, fernet, simple syrup, and orange bitters.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Not Your Grandma's Whiskey Sour

Not Your Grandma's Whiskey Sour

Shake up this new whiskey sour to impress everyone.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce limoncello
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • Bitters and dehydrated orange for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add bourbon, lemon juice, limoncello, and egg white.
  3. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  4. Add ice to shaker.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Strain into chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with dehydrated orange and drops of bitters, creating a design by running a toothpick through the drops.

Frosty Cranberry Martini

Frosty Cranberry Martini

A chilled martini with a slightly tart taste, sip slowly so you aren't napping during dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1¼ ounces cranberry vodka
  • ¾ ounce lime vodka
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Cranberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, vodkas, and orange liqueur.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with cranberries.

Citrus Prosecco Punch

Citrus Prosecco Punch

If you're feeling generous, you can make this in a pitcher by multiplying the ingredients for however many punches you're looking to share. Or you can quietly stir yours.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • Ice
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Citrus slices to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add juices and elderflower liqueur.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with prosecco.
  4. Garnish with citrus slices.

Mama B's Espresso Martini

Mama B's Espresso Martin

The espresso martini needs no improvement, but it's fun to play with the flavors to make a new martini. Be thankful for the dessert that's soon to follow the first sip.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce coffee liqueur
  • ¾ ounce espresso
  • ½ ounce crème de cacao
  • Ice
  • Whole coffee beans for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, bourbon, coffee liqueur, espresso, and crème de cacao.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with three whole coffee beans.

Pumpkin Pie, Kids!

Pumpkin Pie Martini

If your grandma is rallying the troops to enjoy more pie and you don't have the space, try this cocktail instead.

Ingredients

  • Crushed graham crackers and honey for rim
  • 2 ounces whipped cream vodka
  • 1½ ounce pumpkin pie cream liqueur
  • ¾ ounce vanilla schnapps
  • Ice
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe in a saucer with honey.
  2. With the crushed graham crackers on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the crumbs to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, whipped cream vodka, pumpkin pie cream liqueur, and vanilla schnapps.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Almond Martini

Almond Martini

Considered a digestif, you can tell yourself that the amaretto will help settle your stomach. Maybe in time for another slice of pie.

Ingredients

  • 1¼ ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1½ ounces amaretto
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vanilla vodka, amaretto, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Creamsicle Delight

Creamsicle Delight

Popsicles may not be a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, but if you're lucky enough to celebrate someplace warm, then this cocktail fits the bill.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces whipped cream vodka
  • 1½ ounce cream
  • ¾ ounce amaretto
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add orange juice, whipped cream vodka, cream, and amaretto.
  2. Shake well to chill and create froth.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange peel.

Chocolate Pie Martini

Chocolate Pie Martini

Thanksgiving dessert is one of the best parts of the day, it means a selection of your favorite desserts, all on one plate. If you don't have space for another slice, this chocolate martini will help you out.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate cream liqueur
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • ¾ ounce brown crème de cacao
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, dark chocolate cream liqueur, vodka, brown crème de cacao, and orange liqueur.
  3. Shake well to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

With so many incredible flavors packed into one day, Thanksgiving cocktails can be a saving grace. You can shake up cocktails with herbs, smash berries, and swirl your way into a dessert. So when you're inevitably too full for one more forkful of food, opt for a liquid treat.

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25 Thanksgiving Cocktails That'll Make You Grateful