30 Tasty Cocktails to Serve on Thanksgiving

updated Oct 21, 2022
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Two coupe glasses with harvest cocktail, cinnamon sugar rim and apple garnishes.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

A festive celebration like Thanksgiving deserves a festive drink. While beer and wine is all well and good, there’s just something about a cocktail that feels extra special.

Pick one of these 30 recipes and make it the signature Thanksgiving cocktail for your holiday dinner. It’s just the thing to get the evening underway before you head to the table to feast or to bring along to the table with you to sip as you dig in. Whether it’s a bubbly Champagne cocktail or warming mug of mulled cider, you’re sure to find a favorite among this collection of drinks. And pro tip: if you’re a drinking that calls for simple syrup, remember that it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks, so go ahead and get a head start.

Classic Cocktails, New and Old

Whether it’s a timeless drink like an old-fashioned or martini or something entirely unique and new, these cocktails are sure to please.

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Cosmopolitan Cocktail
A simple cosmopolitan is sweet and tangy, and deserving of a spot on the roster of classic cocktails.
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2 / 11
Apple Martini
Also known as “appletinis”, apple martinis are quite easy to shake up at home and only require a handful of ingredients.
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3 / 11
Cranberry Margarita
The tartness of the cranberries pairs beautifully with the classic margarita trifecta: tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.
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4 / 11
The Best Moscow Mules
This classic cocktail full of spicy ginger sweetness is always a crowd-pleaser.
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5 / 11
The Gold Rush
Honey, bourbon, and lemon juice join forces in this simple and refreshing drink.
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6 / 11
The Best Classic Martini
For some, it's the only cocktail out there.
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7 / 11
White Noise
This low alcohol sipper is a great choice if you're looking for something not too strong but still special.
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8 / 11
Rosé Champagne Cocktail
If there is ever a time to break open a bottle of Champagne, it's Thanksgiving.
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The Best Classic Old-Fashioned Cocktail
This bourbon cocktail is simply timeless for good reason.
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10 / 11
Arnaud's French 75
A splash of cognac add richness and depth to this sparkling cocktail.
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Pomegranate Storm
Blood orange liqueur joins forces with tart pomegranate molasses, spicy ginger beer, and rum for a balanced cocktail that will have your guests guessing its ingredients.
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Pitcher Cocktails

What’s great about pitcher cocktails is it’s easy for your guests to help themselves at their own leisure while you’re putting the final touches on dinner.

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Holiday Sangria Recipe

A sweet glass of holiday sangria can make any holiday gathering extra merry and bright.

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2 / 13
Sparkling Rosemary Cider
This easy, 3-ingredient recipe calls for just vodka, sparkling apple cider, and fresh rosemary.
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3 / 13
Spiced Pear & Ginger Pitcher Cocktail
Made with fresh pear and lemon juice, pear vodka, and ginger liqueur, this is a drinks that's sweet, spicy, and refreshing.
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4 / 13
The Rye & Honey
A simple honey syrup, spiced with star anise, ginger, and orange peels, is the secret to this fall-inspired whiskey cocktail.
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Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
This fun, seasonal twist on sangria calls for just five ingredients: cognac, apple cider, sparkling wine, sliced apples, and pomegranate seeds.
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Red Wine, Spiced Apple & Bourbon Pitcher Cocktail
This may look like a pitcher cocktail with the usual fall players, but the surprise ingredient is a sage simple syrup, which adds complexity with its earthy notes.
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White Wine, Rum & Apple Cider Pitcher Cocktail
Aged rum gives what may look like a white wine spritzer depth and intrigue. This is one both wine drinkers and cocktails fans will love.
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Cranberry Pitcher Margaritas
This quick 4-ingredient recipe for pitcher margaritas is flavored with cranberry juice, making it perfect for the Thanksgiving season.
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Sparkling Cranberry & St. Germain Pitcher Cocktail
This cocktail starts off as a simple cranberry vodka but becomes a whole lot more interesting, thanks to St. Germain elderflower liqueur and club soda.
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Rosé, Gin & Pink Peppercorn Pitcher Cocktail
This of this drink as a crisp, tart, slightly spiced twist on a gin and tonic, all dressed up in holiday colors and topped off with a sugared cranberry garnish.
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3-2-1 Pitcher Margaritas
These easy pitcher margaritas that serve a crowd and are made with just tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.
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Sparkling White Cranberry Sangria
Not-too-tart white cranberry juice often gets forgotten about, but here it gets the attention it deserves in this festive sangria.
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Budget Pitcher Sangria
This easy recipe is proof that you don't have to break the bank on Thanksgiving to serve something fun and festive.
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Warm Cocktails

With the cooler weather comes the need for drinks that warm you from the inside out. These festive drinks definitely fit the bill.

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Tea Hot Toddy
Ginger tea is spicy and soothing in this warm, whiskey-spiked cocktail.
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2 / 6
Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
Learn the basics of mulling wine and how to make and serve it from a slow cooker.
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Slow Cooker Wassail Punch
Slow-cook apple cider, orange juice, mulling spices, and spicy ginger together into a warming wassail punch.
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Hot Brown-Buttered Rum Cocktail
A traditional Hot Buttered Rum calls for a pat of butter to be added to each mug, but this version uses nutty browned butter.
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Slow-Cooker Spiked Mulled Cider
If you’re serving mulled cider to some who don’t want alcohol, a spike-it-yourself mulled cider station is your best bet to make the drink friendly to all.
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The Bourbon Hot Toddy
When the temperature dips, there’s nothing like a hot toddy to lift your spirits and warm your insides.
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