Thanksgiving Cocktail Guide: The Best Drinks To Make For Your 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 cup 100% pomegranate juice
  • ⅔ cup vodka
  • ⅔ 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.
  • 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

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