Recipe Roundup: 12 Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Looking for drinks to serve a crowd this Thanksgiving? Or maybe just to toast a romantic dinner for two? Something traditional? Or perhaps something with a more modern twist? Here are 12 Thanksgiving cocktail ideas from The Kitchn’s archives that we hope will inspire you.

Looking for Something Using Fresh, Seasonal Ingredients?
Choose a culinarily inspired recipe, featuring rich, autumnal flavors such as spiced apple cider, pumpkin, or figs; fresh, tangy cranberry juice; or warming ginger:

  • Poinsettia (sparkling wine, cranberry juice, orange liqueur)
  • The Lazy Boy Cocktail (bourbon, dried figs, simple syrup, fresh ginger juice)
  • Fig Cocktail No. 1 (fresh figs, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup, vodka)
  • The Jack O’Lantern (whiskey, apple cider, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spices)
  • Hot Apple-Ginger Toddy (apple cider, honey, lemon, fresh ginger, mulling spices, and dark liquor of your choice)
  • The Stone Fence (bourbon and apple cider)

Serving a crowd?
Mix up a bowl of something festive such as:

  • Thieves’ Punch (rum, port, lime juice, sugar, bitters)
  • Homemade Egg Nog (whipping cream, egg, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, milk, rum) [Egg nog avoiders take note: You haven’t really tasted egg nog until you’ve tried the homemade stuff!]
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Want to Try an Old American Spirit?
How about something with Laird’s Applejack, an all-American spirit that dates back to colonial times? Use it to mix:

  • A Jack Rose (applejack, lemon or lime juice, grenadine syrup)
  • Or an Applecar (applejack, lemon juice, orange liqueur)

Or Maybe You’d Prefer Something Simple?
With multiple Thanksgiving dishes to make, maybe you’d rather skip the juicing and/or pureeing and keep the drink mixing as basic as possible. You could always just use some American whiskey (Kentucky bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, or rye) in some autumnal classics such as:

  • An Old Fashioned (whiskey, sugar, and bitters – and optional fruit garnishes)
  • Or a Manhattan (whiskey, red vermouth, bitters)

What will you be drinking this Thanksgiving?

Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC’s Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.

Related: Thanksgiving Wines: What’s On Your Table This Year?

(Images: Nora Maynard)

(Originally published November 19, 2010)