Thanksgiving cocktails – 5 festive takes on classic drinks for the holidays

Our favorite five Thanksgiving cocktails will have you feeling festive right on time for the Holidays. Whether you're into gin, bourbon or prosecco, and the list goes on...

beautiful Thanksgiving cocktails for the holidays, decorated with cranberries
(Image credit: Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash)

Getting your home perfect for Thanksgiving sure does take some elbow grease. From prepping everything on your delicious Thanksgiving menu to decorating your home for the holidays, it’s a big job! But, it’s so worth it, and what a way to reward yourself and to get the festivities going than with fun festive Thanksgiving cocktails to go round? 

To clarify, because they are Thanksgiving cocktails, this does not mean you should only enjoy them on Thanksgiving Day. Oh no, these are seasonally inspired and delicately balanced drinks that you can turn to on any cozy fall, winter evening or even as additions to your favorite Christmas cocktails list also – because they will warm your cockles for sure. 

Whether you’re into gin, bourbon, or a fancy bit of bubbly, we’ve rounded up our favorite five Thanksgiving cocktail recipes below for you to start enjoying on the lead up to this beautiful holiday. And, not only are they delicious, but they are, of course, vibrant in color and will add instant pizzaz to your Thanksgiving tablescape also. 

So, keep scrolling to broaden your cocktail-making horizons. A couple of these recipes only need a smooth stir, but otherwise a top cocktail shaker will always come in handy – and they are great fun too. 

You'll just need a few ingredients to get you started, many of which you probably have in your pantry already, or better yet, on your bar cart...

1. Spiced espresso martini 

festive spiced espresso martinis

(Image credit: Hungry Communications)

A seasonal take on the classic espresso martini recipe, the cinnamon infused vodka and sprinkling of nutmeg is what makes this Thanksgiving cocktail recipe super festive. Make sure you prep the vodka 24h in advance, or just overnight before happy hour! As the longer you leave the flavors to infuse, the spicier (and more delicious) it will get.

Serve this in a chilled martini glass with a grating (if possible) or sprinkling of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

Ingredients:

  • 50ml coffee liquor – Kahlua or Conker Cold Brew (decaf is fine)
  • 50ml cinnamon infused vodka (method below)
  • 50ml cooled espresso
  • ¼ ground nutmeg and a sprinkle to garnish
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • Ice

Method:

1. To make the cinnamon-infused vodka, add a stick of cinnamon and 1 tsp of sugar to 200ml vodka in a glass bowl or bottle. Cover it with clingfilm, or just ensure it's air tight and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to infuse. 

2. If you're able to grind coffee beans from scratch, then we'd recommend this. Either way, add the nutmeg to your ground coffee before making your espresso, then let it cool. 

3. Next, fill your cocktail shaker with ice, then your cinnamon-flavored vodka, coffee liquor of choice, the cooled espresso and sugar syrup. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds at least to create that lovely foam finish.

4. Pour the cocktail into a chilled martini glass, then garnish with nutmeg and small cinnamon stick.

Note that the vodka will keep for your next round there and then, or throughout the holidays. Ideal!

2. Sweet apple pie gin muddle

festive cocktail garnished with apple

(Image credit: Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash)

An Apple Gin a day keeps the doctor away right? This cocktail will certainly kick off the festivities. Serve this over ice in a tall glass, with a small piece of finely cut apple and a cinnamon stick.

Serves one.

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Apple Pie Gin
  • 25ml apple juice
  • 4 tbsp honey simple syrup (instructions below)
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • Ice
  • A little apple and a cinnamon stick

Method:

1. First to make the honey simple syrup, mix 2 tbsp of honey with 2 tbsp hot water and combine.

2. Then for the cocktail, add all the ingredients to your shaker and shake vigorously

3. Pour it into a tall tumbler with the apple pieces and cinnamon stick.

You can find Apple Pie Gin at the The Bottle Club.

3. Cranberry caipirinha

two cranberry Caipirinhas decorated with rosemary

(Image credit: Hungry communications)

Serve this in an old fashioned rocks class with a sprig of fresh rosemary, and lots of ice. 

Serves one.

Ingredients:

  • 40g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ fresh lime, cut into quarters
  • 2 heaped tsp light brown sugar
  • 50ml Abelha Cachaça Silver
  • Ice
  • A little rosemary

Method:

1. Muddle the cranberries, lime and sugar in your cocktail shaker or in a large glass.

2. Strain it into your glass and top it up with ice.

3. Pour in the Cachaça and stir gently.

4. Garnish and sip away!

4. Clementine royale 

orange clementine Thanksgiving cocktail

(Image credit: Hungry Communications)

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a little bubbly. This festive cocktail calls for prosecco but you can use a little champers if you are so inclined. Serve these colorful Thanksgiving cocktails in your favorite champagne flutes. 

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml fresh strained clementine juice (use orange if you can't get your hands on any)
  • 100ml raspberry liquor like White Heron British Framboise which you can find on Amazon
  • A 75cl bottle of dry prosecco

Method: 

1. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice, then pour in the strained citrus juice.

2. Add in the raspberry liquor, pop the lid on and shake it vigorously to combine it well.

3. Strain and chill this mixture until use.

4. To make the final cocktail, simply add 50ml of your raspberry/orange essence to a champagne flute and top it up with bubbly. Fancy indeed.

Note you won't use all the prosecco! So save it for the next round.

5. Maple-infused Old Fashioned

An Old Fashioned cocktail with a festive twist

(Image credit: Photo by Paige Ledford on Unsplash)

A festive twist on the all-time favorite Old Fashioned cocktail, the warm maple flavor is so on season. Swap the usual orange slice for a festive slither of orange peel, and happy holidays to ya.

Serves one.

Ingredients:

Method:

1. Muddle the ingredients together in a tumbler with a couple of ice cubes.

2. Stir with a cocktail spoon stirrer.

3. Garnish with the dried orange slice voilà.