The Best Thanksgiving Cocktails for the Most Festive Holiday Celebrations

All of the most cheerful and seasonal cocktails to serve at Thanksgiving this year.

Don’t forget about festive cocktails for Thanksgiving. Julia Cherruault for Observer

While turkey and pumpkin pie are two of the most talked-up Thanksgiving dishes, let’s not forget about the crucial cocktail portion of the meal. Stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes are lovely, but why not add a festive drink to amp up the celebrations? Whether it’s a pre-dinner aperitif, dessert treat or a mid-meal cocktail, a cheerful Thanksgiving-inspired drink is sure to elevate the menu and add a little something extra to the whole atmosphere.

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Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, so it’s time to finalize that menu and make sure you include a few festive cocktails for the special celebration. We spoke to the experts and found all the best recipes for the most delicious Thanksgiving cocktails that you’ll be *so* grateful for this year. Below, see our favorite concoctions to whip up for the holiday table.

Pumpkin Spice Margarita.

Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Recipe:

1 oz Cointreau
2 oz tequila
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp honey
Cinnamon stick

Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice and shake. Fine strain over ice into a glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Melbourne Apple Sour.

Melbourne Apple Sour

Recipe:

2 oz Starward Two-Fold Whisky
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
0.25 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz egg white
Apple cider

Combine all ingredients except for the apple cider into a shaker without ice. Shake vigorously to whip the egg whites. Add ice and shake again until very cold. Double strain into a coupe glass; top with apple cider.

Noilly Toddy.

Noilly Toddy 

Recipe:

1.25 oz Noilly Prat Rouge
0.5 oz D’usse VSOP
0.5 oz demerara syrup
0.5 oz lemon juice
3 oz black tea
2 dashes chocolate bitters
1 dash angostura bitters

Add all ingredients except for the tea into a glass. Top with hot tea and garnish with a cinnamon stick. 

Campari Boulevardier.

Campari Boulevardier

Recipe:

0.75 parts Campari
0.75 parts 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso
1.5 parts Russell’s Reserve 10-Year-Old Bourbon
Orange slice

Combine Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon, 1757 Vermouth di Torino and Campari in a glass, stir until combined. Pour over a large ice cube. Garnish with orange slice.

S’mores Martini.

S’mores Martini from the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California 

“The vanilla vodka, Kahlua, vanilla coffee syrup and Godiva chocolate liqueur perfectly complement each other to form the S’mores Martini,” said Jeff Baker, the Food and Beverage Outlets Manager for Covey Grill at Quail Lodge. “When served with a roasted marshmallow skewer, and the glass rimmed with graham cracker crumbs for extra pizazz, this fall cocktail is the perfect liquid manifestation of childhood holiday memories.”

Recipe:

1.5 oz barrel-aged vanilla vodka
0.5 oz kahlua
0.5 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
0.5 oz vanilla coffee syrup
Torched marshmallow skewer

Add all liquid ingredients into a shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with six to seven mini marshmallows on a wooden skewer. Briefly toast marshmallows with a lighter until golden brown. 

Pumpkin Patch.

Pumpkin Patch

Recipe:

1.5 oz Crystal Head Vodka
1 tsp honey
0.75 oz coffee liqueur
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
0.75 oz heavy cream (or non-dairy alternative)
2-3 ginger snap cookies

Crumble the ginger snap cookies; place crumbs on a plate. Rub the rim of a rocks glass with honey. Dip your glass in cookie crumbs to coat the rim. In a shaker, combine Crystal Head Vodka (or vodka of choice), coffee liqueur and pumpkin pie spice. Shake with ice. Place ice in a rocks glass, pour contents of shaker over ice and top with the heavy cream or non-dairy milk of choice. 

Grey Goose Apple Martini.

Grey Goose Apple Martini

Recipe:

1.5 oz Grey Goose La Poire Vodka
0.5 oz calvados
0.33 oz Ancho Reyes chilis
0.5 oz lime
1.5 oz fresh apple juice

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

The Botanist Blood Orange Negroni.

The Botanist Blood Orange Negroni  

Recipe: 

1.5 oz The Botanist Islay Dry Gin 
0.75 oz bianco vermouth  
0.5 oz Italian bitter aperitif  
0.25 oz blood orange bitters 
Blood orange slice

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir to incorporate. Strain over fresh ice into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with blood orange slice.

Bemelmans Bar’s Elaine’s Smoky Martini.

Bemelmans Bar’s Elaine’s Smoky Martini 

Recipe:

2.5 oz gin
0.5 oz Lagavulin 16 whiskey
0.5 oz Noilly Prat vermouth
lemon peel

Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice, stir and then strain into a martini glass. Finish with the essence of a lemon peel twist, and then garnish with lemon peel.

Giving Thanks Paloma.

Giving Thanks Paloma

Recipe:

1.5 oz Corralejo Reposado
0.25 oz simple syrup
0.75 oz lemon juice
1 oz passion fruit pureé
5 dashes cayenne tincture
3 drops angostura bitters
Grapefruit soda or grapefruit beer
Rim with Tajín

Combine all ingredients except for grapefruit beer or grapefruit soda into a cocktail shaker and shake. Rim the glass (preferably a Collins glass) with Tajín, then add fresh rocks ice. Strain the cocktail over rocks into the glass. Top with grapefruit beer or grapefruit soda. Garnish with dried blood orange wheel and a torched grapefruit half-moon.

BC Affogato.

Montage Deer Valley’s BC Affogato 

Recipe:

0.5 oz Frangelico
1 oz espresso
1 medium scoop bourbon caramel ice cream
Caramel sauce

Drizzle caramel sauce in stripes inside a chilled martini glass. Add the medium scoop of Bourbon caramel ice cream. Pour over the espresso and Frangelico. 

Maple Oak Sour.

The Beverly Hilton’s Maple Oak Sour

“The Maple Oak Sour is a festive drink to serve during Thanksgiving, with notes of apple and pomegranate,” said Piero Procida, the Beverly Hilton’s Director of Food and Beverage.

Recipe:

1 oz George Dickel No 12
1 oz Lairds Applejack Brandy
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz pomegranate grenadine
0.5 oz egg whites
Apple slices

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin, add ice, shake and fine strain into a coup glass. Garnish with three apple slices. 

Far East.

Far East

Recipe:

1.5 oz D’Usse VSOP Cognac
0.5 oz amaretto liqueur
3 oz chai tea
0.5 oz vanilla syrup
0.5 oz almond milk
2 dashes cardamom bitters

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and then strain into a highball glass filled with ice.  The Best Thanksgiving Cocktails for the Most Festive Holiday Celebrations