Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Thanksgiving

30 Cocktails to Make for Thanksgiving

They might just upstage the turkey.

Francophile cocktail / Tim Nusog

A good bottle of wine may be the traditional accompaniment to a Thanksgiving feast, but these cocktails—before, after, or during your big meal—will make your day even more special. Impress your guests with holiday classics like Mulled Wine, warming nightcaps such as Hot Toddies, and low-ABV drinks you can sip over starters and (multiple) servings of turkey.

  • Americano

    Americano cocktail / Tim Nusog

    You’ve got a long day of eating and drinking ahead of you, so take it easy for the pre-dinner drinks: This precursor to the Negroni combines Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water to produce a low-ABV and flavorful cocktail. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Hot Toddy

    Hot Toddy / Tim Nusog

    Make your guests feel cozy with a round of Toddies, which have warmed Americans for centuries. For this lightly spiced version, bar pro Jacques Bezuidenhout combines whiskey, boiling water, demerara or brown sugar, a clove-studded lemon peel, and lemon juice.

    Get the recipe.

  • Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    Last Minute Mulled Wine / Tim Nusog

    Put leftover wine to use with this simple and festive punch: Red wine, bourbon or brandy, star anise pods, lemon or orange peels, and sugar come together quickly in a saucepan. Divide into six mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick.

    Get the recipe.

  • Thanksgiving Margarita

    Thanksgiving Margarita / Tim Nusog

    Margaritas aren’t just for the warmer months, as bar pro Naren Young proves with this rich pumpkin spice twist. He uses a base of reposado tequila instead of the classic blanco and combines it with allspice dram, amaretto, pumpkin puree, lime juice, and agave nectar.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 30 below.
  • Spiced Apple Cider

    Spiced Apple Cider / Tim Nusog

    Few drinks evoke the season more than warm cider. Prepare a batch for a crowd with fresh apple cider, cinnamon, allspice berries, whole cloves, star anise, and an orange peel in a saucepan or slow cooker. If you’re making both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions, you can spike individual servings with a shot of bourbon or Calvados. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Apples & Pears

    Apples & Pears cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Why choose between the two fall fruits? Bartending pro Charlotte Voisey combines apple-flavored vodka, pear juice, vanilla-nutmeg syrup, lime juice, and Angostura bitters, then tops the mixture with hard cider to produce a crowd-pleasing autumn drink.

    Get the recipe.

  • Pumpkin Spiced Latte

    Pumpkin Spiced Latte cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Avoid the line at Starbucks and try this boozy and big-batch version of the beloved seasonal drink. Our warming version makes an ideal nightcap, thanks to a mix of freshly brewed coffee, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, milk and heavy cream, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice—plus your choice of bourbon, rum, or Frangelico.

    Get the recipe.

  • Bourbon Cider Slushie

    Bourbon Cider Slushie / Tim Nusog

    Don’t retire your blender just yet. A fall gathering is the perfect time to make this refreshing blend of bourbon, cinnamon vanilla syrup, lemon juice, and apple cider.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 30 below.
  • Sherry Cobbler

    Sherry Cobbler / Tim Nusog

    Your Thanksgiving shopping list is probably long enough as it is. Keep things simple with a bottle of amontillado sherry. Shake three ounces with simple syrup, an orange, and lots of ice, and you have a refreshing and low-ABV drink. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Breakfast Martini

    Breakfast Martini / Tim Nusog

    You might start drinking well before noon on Thanksgiving Day. This delicious combination of gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and orange marmalade will make the task easy. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Autumn Rickey

    Bourbon Rickey cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This Bourbon Rickey riff is easy to mix up for your guests on the spot. Just add maple syrup to the classic combination of bourbon, lime juice, and club soda.

    Get the recipe.

  • Pumpkin Nog

    Pumpkin Nog cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Don’t wait until December to embrace Eggnog. For this fall variation, bar pro Tony Abou-Ganim adds pumpkin puree to a rich mixture of eggs, light rum, whole milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 13 of 30 below.
  • Apple Toddy

    Apple Toddy / Tim Nusog

    If you have leftover apples from holiday baking, put them to use in this old-school recipe. Presidents Madison and Monroe were rumored to have enjoyed the classic drink, which calls for baking apples and muddling them with sugar, then adding applejack, cognac, bourbon, and boiling water to the mix. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Maple Old Fashioned

    Maple Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    You can’t go wrong with the classics on Thanksgiving Day. But Old Fashioned fans might just find a new holiday favorite in this recipe from bar pro Allen Katz, which combines rum, maple syrup, and Angostura bitters. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Pear & Elderflower Collins

    Pear and Elderflower Collins / Tim Nusog

    Give the classic Tom Collins a fall outfit with this fruity and floral twist from Young. He combines vodka or gin, elderflower and pear liqueurs, pear puree, lemon juice, honey syrup, and club soda. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Bamboo

    Bamboo cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Commonly served as an aperitif, this light and low-ABV cocktail will whet guests’ appetites for the meal ahead. It’s simple, to boot: Just combine sherry, dry vermouth, and dashes of Angostura and orange bitters. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 17 of 30 below.
  • Spiced Pumpkin Flip

    Spiced Pumpkin Flip cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Keep the festivities going and serve this cocktail as a nightcap. Young combines pumpkin ale, bourbon, amaretto, agave nectar, pumpkin butter, and one whole egg to produce a rich drink that doubles as dessert. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Forbidden Sour

    Forbidden Sour cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This Whiskey Sour variation adds pomegranate liqueur to the classic combination of bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The result: a festive and fruity sipper that will get your feast started off right.

    Get the recipe.

  • Cider Delighter

    Cider Delighter cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This refreshing apple drink will indeed delight your guests. Bar pro Meaghan Dorman combines vodka, allspice liqueur, apple cider, lemon juice, and apple bitters to produce a crowd-pleasing fall cocktail. 

    Get the recipe.

  • The Dead Rabbit Coffee Cocktail

    The Dead Rabbit Coffee Cocktail / Tim Nusog

    There’s no actual coffee in this rich Coffee Cocktail riff from New York City bartender Jack McGarry. But the ingredients—Irish whiskey, Irish cream liqueur, port, a whole egg, simple syrup, and bitters—work together to produce a richly delicious drink. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 21 of 30 below.
  • Pumpkin Toddy

    Pumpkin Toddy / Tim Nusog

    This warming cocktail is fall in a mug. Apple brandy, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and Angostura bitters join the classic mix of rye whiskey, lemon juice, and boiling water. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Adonis

    Adonis cocktail / Tim Nusog

    First crafted in the 1880s at the legendary Waldorf-Astoria hotel to honor the Broadway musical of the same name, this two-part low-ABV cocktail will make your gathering feel special with minimal effort. Simply combine equal parts fino sherry and sweet vermouth.

    Get the recipe.

  • Hey, Gourdgeous

    Hey Gourdgeous cocktail

    Céline Bossart

    Use your gourds as glassware: Served in mini pumpkins brushed with a spiced butter, this mixture of apple brandy, amaro Montenegro, maple syrup, lemon juice, and plenty of fall spices will double as tabletop decor. 

    Get the recipe.

  • The Spice Is Right

    The Spice Is Right cocktail
    Mackenzie Dawes

    Kick up homemade or store-bought Eggnog with pineapple rum, rye whiskey, allspice dram, ancho chile liqueur, and cinnamon simple syrup. The result will please all kinds of spice lovers.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 25 of 30 below.
  • Pumpkin Sazerac

    Pumpkin Sazerac / Tim Nusog

    The classic Sazerac combines cognac, rye whiskey, and a sugar cube in an absinthe-rinsed glass. This autumnal version employs cognac or rye whiskey and a spiced pumpkin syrup for holiday-appropriate flavors.

    Get the recipe.

  • Spiced Apple Fizz

    Spiced Apple Fizz cocktail / Tim Nusog

    While you might associate fall with darker spirits, Young played off the almond and vanilla notes of Żubrówka bison grass vodka, which is often served with apple juice, to create this autumnal drink. He combines the spirit with pear brandy, hard apple cider, lemon juice, and honey syrup.

    Get the recipe.

  • The Lookout

    The Lookout cocktail / Tim Nusog

    What happens when you cross Hot Buttered Rum and Mulled Cider? This festive and inventive drink, which adds rum, a PX sherry-infused butter, and Chinese five-spice powder to store-bought or homemade mulled cider. You just might find a new holiday classic in the warming drink. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Hearts of Pom

    Hearts of Pom cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This fruity drink adds the flavors of in-season pomegranates to a classic Margarita template. Shake one up with silver tequila, Cointreau, and pomegranate and lime juices. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 29 of 30 below.
  • Colony Records

    Colony Records cocktail / Tim Nusog

    When it comes to seasonal drinks, cranberries often don’t get as much attention as pumpkin or apples. Correct the oversight with this sweet-tart recipe from Katz: He adds a homemade cranberry syrup to a bracing mix of rum, grapefruit juice, and Angostura bitters.

    Get the recipe.

  • Francophile

    Francophile cocktail / Tim Nusog

    If you’ve already perfected your Mulled Wine recipe, try a new twist. Despite its name, this warming drink from bar pro Alex Day calls for a Spanish Rioja red wine, which he combines with Calvados, hot water, lemon juice, and cinnamon simple syrup. 

    Get the recipe.