Thanksgiving Day Cocktails

Kathleen Esposito
Bloody Mary Punch
Bloody Mary Punch

With all the worry over the turkey, stuffing and gravy, there's no need to stress out about Thanksgiving cocktails. Instead, plan ahead and assemble all your ingredients. That way, all you have to do is mix and pour on the big day.

Afternoon Aperitifs

Before the big meal comes the crackers, cheese, and vegetables. This is a great time to mix up some savory drinks to complement their light flavors.

Bloody Mary Punch Recipe

Bloody Marys have always been a favorite drink for early in the day. This recipe is perfect for leaving in a bowl on the snack table, complete with ladle, of course.

Serves 6


  • Half gallon chilled tomato or vegetable juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ounces vodka per person
  • Can of Old Bay seasoning


  1. Fill a standard punch bowl with ice.
  2. Add the tomato and lime juices, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the punch bowl and stir until mixed.
  3. Allow guests to add vodka and Old Bay to their glasses, as desired.

Pumpkin Nog Recipe

Pumpkin Nog
Pumpkin Nog

Sweeter appetizers like soft cheeses and fruit calls for a less savory drink. This may be a better option for you.

Serves 12


  • 1 dozen egg whites
  • 1/2 pound raw sugar
  • 1 bottle white rum
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon; more for garnish if desired


  1. Beat egg whites in a mixing bowl until they thicken.
  2. Add in half the sugar and the additional ingredients while mixing on high.
  3. Chill the mixture for two hours.
  4. Mix again while adding in the remaining sugar.
  5. Pour into cocktail glasses.
  6. Garnish with cinnamon.

Cranberry Fizz

Cranberry Fizz
Cranberry Fizz

Want something a bit lighter, perhaps if you have appetizers like olives or meats? Try this cranberry concoction instead.

Serves 1


  • 1 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 ounce sparkling wine


  1. Pour cranberry juice into a champagne flute.
  2. Add wine to fill the glass.
  3. Garnish with a chilled cranberry or a lime wedge.

Drinks With Dinner

It's likely you're having a pretty big spread, so pair it with drinks that won't fill up your guests or overpower the flavor of the food. Fruit flavors work well, but skip the additional flavorings, like sour mix.

Turkey Tini Recipe

Turkey Tini
Turkey Tini

This cocktail has the perfect flavor to go with the bird, other seasoned meats, or even tofu dishes. It's basically a martini with seasoning.

Serves 1


  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce apricot brandy


  1. Add ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass.
  3. Add a cherry for garnish, if desired.

Jolly Gobbler Recipe

Jolly Gobbler
Jolly Gobbler

Another perfect drink to complement dinner, this cocktail has fruit flavors and a powerful punch.

Serves 1


  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 2 ounces Chambord
  • 2 ounces Amaretto
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice


  1. In a shaker with ice, combine all the ingredients and shake.
  2. When everything's mixed well, strain the drink into a highball or rocks glass.
  3. If you like, garnish your drink with a lime wedge.

Dessert Drinks

For dessert, you can go with sweeter and more potent drinks. These will taste good with typical offerings, like pumpkin and apple pie. Just make sure you have non-alcoholic beverages as well, such as tea and coffee, if visitors need to sober up.

Caramel Apple Martini Recipe

Caramel Apple Martini
Caramel Apple Martini

Whether you're a martini drinker or even if you dislike martinis because of their bitter flavor, you will likely enjoy this drink. Just keep it away from the kids.

Serves 1


  • 1 ounce of unflavored vodka
  • 2 ounces of sour apple Pucker or a similar liqueur
  • 2 ounces of butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 Werther's Original candy


  1. Put the Werther's Original in the bottom of a martini glass and make sure it falls to the center.
  2. In a shaker with ice, add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Shake until well mixed and strain into the glass.

The candy should start to dissolve and add its sweet flavor to the drink.

Gobble Gobble Shot Recipe

Gobble Gobble Shot
Gobble Gobble Shot

This yummy shot can be added as part of your festivities, perhaps toward the end of the evening when people begin watching football and socializing more.

Serves 1


  • 1/4 ounce of Amaretto
  • 1/4 ounce of butterscotch schnapps
  • Nondairy whipped topping or real whipped cream, optional


  1. In a shot glass, first add the Amaretto.
  2. Slowly add the schnapps to form a layer on top of it.
  3. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the glass, if desired.
  4. Down your delicious drink.

Gingersnap Highball Recipe

This drink combines two favorite holiday flavors: eggnog and gingersnap cookies.

Serves 1


  • 1/2 ounce brandy
  • 1 ounce any spiced rum
  • 4 ounces eggnog
  • 2 gingersnap cookies, 1 smashed into crumbs (using the blender works nicely)


  1. Using a highball glass, wet the rim and dip it into the gingersnap crumbs until it's coated.
  2. Pour the alcohol and eggnog into the glass and stir.
  3. Dip the remaining cookie into your drink as you enjoy it.

Good for the Entire Holiday Season

Note that these cocktails don't have to be reserved for turkey day festivities. You can enjoy them at any fall party, and they work equally well for Christmas celebrations. If you don't want to be stuck mixing these signature cocktails, you can always print out instructions where your guests can prominently see them so they can enjoy mixing their own drinks.

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Thanksgiving Day Cocktails