Because Thanksgiving is more than just turkey.
When you think of Thanksgiving food, classics like turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes likely come to mind. And with everything that’s going on in the kitchen, it can be easy to forget about all of the delicious Thanksgiving cocktails you can enjoy before, during, and after the holiday meal.
However, we’re here to change that with this roundup of Turkey Day cocktails to drink with your celebratory spread. Think libations such as Spiced Apple Kombucha and Bourbon-Campari Punch, which is so festive you’d be remiss not to include it as part of your Thanksgiving menu. Cheers!
If you’re hosting a large Thanksgiving gathering, you can’t go wrong with this boozy punch. Made with bourbon, Campari, and a trio of fruit juices—pomegranate, orange, and lime—this drink practically screams Thanksgiving thanks to a retro ice ring studded with pomegranate arils.
White Grapefruit-Ginger Spritz Punch
Who says spritzes are only a summer drink? This fizzy prosecco-based drink, which can be served as a punch to accommodate a crowd, utilizes classic fall flavors such as ginger and sprigs of thyme, which make a great garnish here and for your turkey.
Boozy Apple Cider Slushie
If you’re an apple cider fan, this boozy apple cider slushie is a must-try. Here, apple cider is joined by bourbon, brown sugar-cinnamon simple syrup, lemon juice, and hard cider to craft a partially frozen cocktail that is refreshing and delicious.
Pomegranate Royale Champagne Cocktail
This libation, which can also be made into a batch cocktail, includes pomegranate juice, vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a splash of Champagne. Add Chambord or St. Germain—an elderflower liqueur—depending on your personal preference.
Minty Moscow Mule Punch
If your Turkey Day crew loves a Moscow mule, give this punch a whirl. It takes a classic Moscow mule recipe and adds some mint flavor, courtesy of a ginger-mint simple syrup and some fresh mint as a garnish. For a spicier mule, pick a bold, flavorful ginger beer.
This Caribbean-inspired punch recipe packs just the right amount of sweetness, and is the perfect way to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. In this recipe, sweet pineapple juice and zesty lime juice are joined by three types of alcohol. You’ve got dark rum, which plays off the simple syrup, Campari, which adds a bitter touch for balance, and prosecco, which supplies a fun fizz.
Bookend your Thanksgiving feast with pumpkin by starting with this pumpkin libation and ending with pumpkin pie. This drink is made with vodka, canned pumpkin, and half-and-half, as well as a handful of pantry staples such as pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. It’s basically a boozy slice of pumpkin pie.
Apple Cinnamon-Spiced Cocktail
If you’ve always got an Aperol spritz in hand during the summer months, you might want to consider this cocktail, which also calls for the popular Italian apéritif. In this autumnal drink, Aperol mingles with vodka, apple cider, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. To really deliver on those fall vibes, garnish each drink with cinnamon sticks and star anise, and create a festive turbinado sugar rim.
Kombucha Blood Orange Mule
What do you get when you add kombucha to a classic Moscow mule recipe? The resulting drink is fizzy, flavorful, and something you can enjoy all season long. If you can’t find blood oranges, which are typically in season from December to April, go ahead and substitute freshly-squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice instead.
Spicy Mulled Wine
If there’s one alcoholic beverage that signals the start of the cozy holiday season, it’s mulled wine. While you can make mulled wine with, well, wine and an array of your favorite spices, it’s important to achieve a good balance of flavors. This recipe calls for a hearty dose of black peppercorns and spicy fresh ginger, which prevents the final result from being too sweet.
Spiced Apple Kombucha
This fall cocktail calls for just four ingredients, plus some optional garnishes that you likely already have at home. The star here is spiced rum, which is joined by apple cider, fresh lemon juice, and apple kombucha. If you’d like to try your hand at making your own spiced rum instead of buying it, all you have to do is combine a bottle of rum with whole spices such as cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, black peppercorns, and star anise.
Traditionally, a Negroni is made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, but this festive take kicks things up a notch. While the gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari remain, they’re joined by pungent spices such as star anise, cinnamon, pink peppercorns, and cloves.
Campari and Cranberry Jello Shots
If you’re opting for a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving celebration, consider making these bright and festive Jello shots for your crew. And if there are any skeptics in the bunch, you can assure them that these aren’t the Jello shots you whipped up in college. Instead, this recipe features Campari mixed with cranberry juice and a bit of sugar to balance out the bitterness. Garnish each shot glass with some orange zest and drink up!
Molasses-Spiced Spiked Cider
Though this spiked cider might seem basic, it’s the perfect accompaniment to your Turkey Day dinner. The molasses adds some dark undertones to the cider, while freshly peeled ginger brings the warmth and a touch of heat. Rum is a perfect match for those aforementioned ingredients, but bourbon also works. If you want a zero-proof batch, simply omit the alcohol.
Frozen Spiced Apple Snowball
A grown up slushie made with fresh snow? Yes, please! This libation is a fun take on the Japanese "Kakigori" cocktail, which uses shaved ice as a base. Here, apple brandy, Bénédictine D.O.M., and angostura bitters mingle with lemon juice, a homemade cinnamon clove syrup, and that freshly fallen snow for a drink your holiday guests won’t soon forget.
Coffee Old Fashioned
Finish your feast with this twist on a classic old fashioned, which is made with bourbon, dark rum, Turkish coffee, and, of course, a sugar cube. Garnish with a classic orange twist and enjoy!
Spiced Hot Toddy
A classic hot toddy consists of whiskey, sugar, and hot water, and while that’s a suitable drink in its own right, why not kick things up a notch in celebration of Thanksgiving? This spiced version of a hot toddy includes the standard trio of ingredients plus cardamom pods, star anise, fresh lemon juice, and honey.
If you need a drink before the festivities begin, this one might just do the trick. Instead of the peach purée you’ll find in a standard bellini, this seasonal offering calls for apple cider. Need to prepare drinks for a crowd? Go ahead and adjust the recipe so you can make a batch of bellinis instead.
When you’re grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, don’t just stock up on canned cranberries. Swing by the beverage aisle and pick up some cranberry juice so you can make this seasonal spritz, which also features fresh lemon juice, vodka, club soda, and a dash of sugar to balance out the tart cranberries.
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