11 Best Thanksgiving Drink Recipes

Karen Frazier
Thanksgiving cocktails

Finding the right drink recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner doesn't need to be difficult; take inspiration from your meal's flavors as well as from traditional fall ingredients. These Thanksgiving drink recipes are sure to please your guests and complement your meal.

1. Sparkling Pomegranate Thanksgiving Apéritif

Pomegranates are in season around Thanksgiving, and they make a wonderful addition to any dinner. Serve these with the appetizers to get people in the mood for the main course.

Sparkling Pomegranate drink

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine the wine, pomegranate, and lime juices in Champagne flutes.
  2. Garnish with pomegranate arils.

2. Lemon and Sage Thanksgiving Mocktail

This refreshing cocktail pairs beautifully with the stuffing, and is safe for the kids to have, too. Serve it during the main course for those that want to keep their drinking to a minimum.

Fresh lemonade with sage in jar

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • 12 ounces club soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 quartered Meyer or regular lemons

Instructions

  1. Place sage leaves, simple syrup, lemons, and salt in a pitcher.
  2. Muddle or press them together well to release the flavor from the lemons and sage.
  3. Add club soda right before serving.
  4. Serve on the rocks.

3. Vodka Ginger Cranberry Fizz

You can't have turkey and dressing without the cranberry sauce. Cranberry also makes a tasty, tart flavoring for a cocktail. Serve these along with the turkey at dinner.

Vodka ginger cranberry drink

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Cranberry juice, approximately 6 ounces
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • Ginger ale
  • Fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a rocks glass half-full with ice.
  2. Add the cranberry juice, vodka, and ginger ale. Stir.
  3. Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

4. Maple Pumpkin Spiced Old-Fashioned

If you like the old-fashioned cocktail, then you're sure to enjoy this pumpkin twist on the classic.

Preparing Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail on bar counter

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, combine the pumpkin spice syrup, orange peel, and cardamom bitters. Muddle.
  2. Add the maple bourbon, water, and an ice cube. Stir.

5. Hot Spiced Thanksgiving Cider With Rum

Hot spiced cider is a classic autumn treat. Make up a full batch to serve a crowd before or after the main meal. This makes 16 servings.

hot spiced apple cider

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup demerara rum
  • Clove-studded orange slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour the cider into a large slow cooker along with the cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, star anise, brown sugar, lemon zest, and rum.
  2. Cover and simmer on low for four hours. Reduce heat to keep warm.
  3. Serve garnished with clove studded orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

6. Thanksgiving Maple Ginger Hot Toddy

Warm up with this simple and delicious hot toddy made even warmer with Thanksgiving spices.

Hot whiskey toddy drink with lemon, honey, cinnamon, and ginger

Ingredients

  • 4 slices fresh ginger root
  • 8 ounces hot water
  • 1 ginger spice tea bag
  • 2 ounces maple bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce maple syrup
  • Squeeze of fresh orange juice

Instructions

  1. Place the ginger root in a mug and pour hot water over the top. Add the teabag and steep for two minutes. Remove the teabag.
  2. Add the bourbon, maple syrup, and a squeeze of orange juice. Stir to mix.

7. Thanksgiving Sangria Wine Punch

Sangria is a fruity summer wine punch made with either red wine or white wine. This Thanksgiving sangria uses classic fall flavors. Beaujolais Nouveau wine is recommended because it releases in the grocery stores in the United States on the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 750 mL bottle Beaujolais Nouveau wine
  • 1/3 cup Armagnac
  • 1/3 cup amaretto
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 4 slices fresh ginger root
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Ginger ale, chilled

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, combine the Beaujolais Nouveau, Armagnac, amaretto, cranberry juice, orange juice, simple syrup, ginger root, cinnamon sticks, and fresh cranberries. Stir to blend.
  2. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
  3. Add the ginger ale to fill the pitcher and stir.

8. Cranberry Mule

This fall twist on the classic Moscow mule is the perfect combination of warm and gingery and fruity.

Cranberry mule

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 6 ounces ginger beer
  • Fresh cranberries, lime wedges, and mint sprigs for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice, add the lime juice, cranberry juice, and vodka.
  2. Shake to chill and blend.
  3. Strain into a mule cup or rocks glass half filled with ice.
  4. Add the ginger beer and stir.
  5. Garnish with fresh cranberries, lime wedges, and mint sprigs

9. Pumpkin Spice Cocktail

One of the first flavors that comes to mind at Thanksgiving is pumpkin. It's not a traditional ingredient for a cocktail, but it's possible to make one that tastes just like grandma's pumpkin pie.

Baileys liqueur in glass on golden background

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mixture
  • 1 shot Kahlua
  • 1 shot Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 shot Vodka

Instructions

  1. Combine a shot each of kahlua, Bailey's, and vodka with 1/2 teaspoon spice mixture.
  2. Shake well with ice to combine.
  3. Strain into a glass.

10. Pumpkin Purée Dessert Cocktail

This sweet ice cream cocktail is perfect for dessert alongside or in place of pumpkin pie.

Cocktail with Pumpkin Pie Spices and Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • 1 shot vanilla vodka
  • 1 cup milk
  • Ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place the pumpkin purée, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, milk, and a shot of vodka into a blender.

  2. Blend on high for 30 seconds and pour into a frosted glass.
  3. Garnish with ground cinnamon.

11. Apple Pie Dessert Shooter

Serve these shooters alongside the apple pie for dessert. Even people that don't typically like pie will enjoy the flavor of this shot.

Apple Pie with nuts and autumn spices

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons apple brandy
  • Whipped cream, to taste
  • Dash of ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Pour apple cider and apple brandy into a shot glass.
  2. Top with whipped cream and a little grated cinnamon.

Tips for Serving Thanksgiving Drinks

It's not easy to play bartender and serve a multi-course meal at once. Follow these tips to help you coordinate your efforts:

  • Mix up cocktails in advance so that assembly is easy; simply pour and serve.
  • Designate a friend or relative to be the cocktail maker for the evening.
  • Set up a "do it yourself" bar area on your counter. Invite your guests to blend up their own cocktails. Give them a few options of Thanksgiving drinks by printing small recipe cards and placing them nearby.
  • Serve drinks in colorful glassware to make them look extra festive.
  • Keep your cocktail menu simple by deciding on one special cocktail and a few types of wine or beer. Serve the cocktail before dinner or as a dessert drink.
  • Offer a "signature" Thanksgiving cocktails along with appropriate Thanksgiving wine selections.

Thanksgiving Dinner and Drinks

When deciding on which Thanksgiving drinks you plan to serve, think about your menu and what would pair best with the flavors of the food. Apple, pumpkin, maple, cranberry, and warm spices like ginger and cinnamon are all seasonally appropriate flavors that translate well into delicious cocktails. Don't get overwhelmed by serving drinks that are too fancy; after all, the point is to enjoy the holiday with people that you love.

11 Best Thanksgiving Drink Recipes