Thanksgiving Cocktail Guide: The Best Drinks To Make For Your Fall Family Gathering


Thanksgiving Cocktail Guide: The Best Drinks To Make For Your Fall Family Gathering

Everyone knows Thanksgiving is all about the good eats-but what about the drinks?

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It's easy to get distracted by the turkey, potatoes, mac & cheese, and yams, forgetting about the importance of a signature cocktail for any good gathering. Check out some ideas down below to spice up your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday gathering this season.


1. Pecan Pie Martini


  • 1 Ounce Pecan Flavored Vodka

  • 1 Ounce Irish Cream Liqueur

  • .5 Ounce Vanilla Flavored Vodka

  • 2 Ounces Heavy Cream

Optional Garnishment

  • 1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup

  • 1/4 Cup Pecans

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar


Optional Garnishment

  1. First, in a food chopper or food processor, combine the pecans and brown sugar. Pulse the ingredients and put them in a bowl.

  2. Next, pour the maple on to a saucer a dip the top of the martini glass in the syrup.

  3. Last, gently dip the top of the martini glass into the brown sugar mixture. Give it a small twist.

Pecan Pie Martini

  1. First, add a handful of ice to a shaker.

  2. Next, measure out your ingredients and pour them into the shaker.

  3. Then, gently, mix the drink.

  4. Last, pour the pecan pie martini into a large martini glass and enjoy.

2. Apple Cider Mimosas


  • Gold and Silver Sprinkles

  • Apple Cider

  • Champagne

  • Apple Slices


  1. Dip the rim of each champagne flute into water, then dip in sprinkles to coat.

  2. Pour apple cider about halfway into each champagne glass.

  3. Top with champagne.

  4. Garnish with an apple slice.

  5. Enjoy!

3. Pomegranate Ginger Smash

Ingredients for a pitcher (makes about 5):

  • 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice

  • ? cup vodka

  • ? cup ginger beer

For rosemary ginger sugar:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


To make rosemary ginger sugar for the rims (optional):

  1. Finely chop fresh rosemary and grate fresh ginger. Mix with sugar and place on a small plate.

  2. Wet the rims of empty glasses and dip them into the sugar mixture.

  3. Fill glasses with ice.

For a pitcher:

  1. Add vodka and pomegranate juice to a pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  2. Stir in ginger beer just before serving.

4. Cranberry Apple Sangria


  • 2 apples such as Fuji or Gala, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 cup cranberry juice (100% juice is preferred, or cranberry juice cocktail)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  • 12 whole cloves

  • 1 bottle dry red wine

  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier)

  • 1 orange


1. Gently warm up the apples, juice, and spices:

Place the cloves in a small sachet of cheesecloth and tie it closed with butcher's twine. Add the apples, cranberry juice, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and cloves sachet to a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 7 minutes, until the apples begin to soften.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2. Combine the wine and Triple Sec with the orange:

Add the red wine and Triple Sec to a pitcher. Cut the orange into four quarters, slice them, and add the slices to the pitcher as well.

3. Make the sangria:

Add the apple-cranberry-spice mixture to the pitcher and stir. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours, preferably overnight, or up to 2 or 3 days in advance.

5. Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour

Ingredients (per cocktail)

  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) Bulleit bourbon or your bourbon of choice

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice

  • 2 to 4 teaspoons maple syrup, to taste (I like 3 teaspoons, which is the equivalent of ½ ounce or 1 tablespoon)

  • Pinch of ground cinnamon, optional


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mason jar about two-thirds full with ice. Pour in the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Securely fasten the lid and shake well.

  2. Pour fresh ice into your cocktail glass and strain the cold whiskey sour mixture into the glass. Enjoy!

6. Easy Cranberry Margarita


  • coarse sea salt (for rimming glass)

  • ice

  • 4.5 ounces cranberry juice (3 shots from standard size shot glass), or more to taste

  • 1.5 ounces blanco tequila (1 shot from standard size shot glass)

  • 1 ounce triple sec (2/3 shot from standard size shot glass)

  • 1/2 lime

  • fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs, for garnish *optional*


  1. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a glass and dip in salt. Fill the glass with ice.

  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add cranberry juice, tequila, triple sec and the juice of half a lime. Shake to combine.

  3. Strain the cocktail over the prepared glass and garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

7. Salted Caramel White Russian


  • Vodka

  • Kahlua

  • Caramel sauce

  • Sea salt


  1. Swirl a tall glass or mason jar with approximately half a tablespoon of caramel sauce. Set aside.

  2. Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Add the Kahlua, vodka, the rest of the caramel sauce and cream.

  3. Fill your cocktail glass to the top with ice.

  4. Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously and then pour over the ice in your glass.

  5. Drizzle a bit of extra caramel sauce over top, then sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.

  6. Add a straw, serve and sip!

 8. Clementine Whiskey Smash

Ingredients (makes 2 cocktails)

  • 3 clementines (plus more for garnish)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • ice

  • 2 shots whiskey

  • 2 cinnamon sticks


1. Peel the clementines and separate them into segments.

2. Place the clementine segments in a jar or glass, and add the sugar. Mash the clementines very thoroughly; you want to release as much juice from them as possible.

3. Fill two small glasses with ice, and pour a shot of whiskey into each glass. Strain the clementine mixture into the glasses, and serve with a cinnamon stick and more fresh clementine segments, if desired.

4. Peel the clementines and separate them into segments.

5. Place the clementine segments in a jar or glass, and add the sugar. Mash the clementines very thoroughly; you want to release as much juice from them as possible. It's worth taking your time over this, to ensure you end up with plenty of clementine juice (try to resist drinking it straight out of the jar!).

6. Fill two small glasses with ice, and pour a shot of whiskey into each glass. Strain the clementine mixture into the glasses, and serve with a cinnamon stick and more fresh clementine segments, if desired.

7. You can adjust the strength of your whiskey smash by adding more or less whiskey, to taste. Go easy for a fresher, sweeter drink, or add a bit more if you need warming up from the inside!


9. Wild Turkey Cocktail


  1. 4 cups apple juice

  2. 4 cinnamon sticks

  3. 1 tablespoon whole cloves

  4. Zest from half an orange

  5. 12 ounces Wild Turkey American Honey

  6. 8 teaspoons cranberry sauce

  7. 24 cranberries (for garnish)

  8. 8 orange slices (for garnish)


1. Bring apple juice to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Add cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, add 1 1/2 ounces Wild Turkey American Honey to each of 8 glasses.

3. Strain apple cider through a fine sieve into glasses. Add a teaspoon of cranberry sauce and stir.

4. Garnish with cranberries and an orange slice.

Bourbon + Spiced Pear Cocktail



1 1/2 ounces bourbon

1 1/2 ounces pear purée (recipe below)

1/4 ounce ginger liqueur

1/4 ounce agave nectar

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon allspice dram

Soda water to taste

2-3 dashes Hella Bitters Aromatic Bitters

Freshly cut thyme or sage sprigs for garnish


1. In a mixing tin or cocktail shaker, add the bourbon, pear purée, ginger liqueur, agave nectar, lemon juice, and allspice dram.

2. Fill with ice, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass, filled with fresh ice.

10. Pumpkin Martini


  • Vodka

  • Heavy cream (or coconut milk)

  • Pure maple syrup

  • Canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

  • Pumpkin pie spice (purchased or homemade)

  • Vanilla extract

  • Graham crackers, for the rim


Prepping the rim

  • Crush the graham crackers and add to a plate. You can simply use your fingers to crush them, or use the bottom of a jar or can.

  • Add a pool of maple syrup to another plate. It doesn't have to be much! This is the glue that will hold on the cracker crumbs.

  • Place the outer edge of the glass in the maple and rotate. Hold the position of the glass constant and just rotate the stem so you get an even coating.

  • Place the rim in the cracker crumbs and rotate. Then, do the same thing in the cracker crumbs! The maple syrup will glue the crumbs to the rim.

All you need to do to make a Pumpkin Pie Martini? Once you've got the glass rim prepared, it's so easy. Shake up those ingredients and pour them in the prepared glass! But here are a few tips to review before you jump to the recipe:

  • Customize the sweetness to taste. We like this Pumpkin Martini with ½ ounce maple syrup, which makes it a beautifully balanced drink. With the the graham cracker crust, it's sweet enough for us! But if you prefer sweet drinks, use either ¾ ounce (for a sweet drink) or 1 ounce (for a very sweet drink).

  • Don't have pure maple syrup? This recipe uses pure maple syrup, not the synthetic kind. You can substitute honey or simple syrup if you like: or even better, make a batch of Brown Sugar Syrup! It takes just 5 minutes and all you need is brown sugar.


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