Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to come together and give thanks for all we have in our lives. And what better way to celebrate than with some good Thanksgiving drinks? Thanksgiving cocktails and mocktails help bring the Thanksgiving feast to life, adding some extra flavor and festive cheer to the occasion. Whether it’s something seasonal, like a pumpkin martini or cranberry margarita, or just your go-to Thanksgiving wine pairing, Thanksgiving drinks add a touch of indulgence to the holiday spread. And don’t forget about Thanksgiving brunch. A bloody Mary or mimosa bar is always a hit before digging into that Thanksgiving feast. Here are some of Stalwart’s favorite Thanksgiving drink recipes for the upcoming celebration.
#1: The Pumpkin Martini
The first Thanksgiving drink is a fall classic. What reminds you of fall and thanksgiving more than pumpkin spice? This drink is pretty, tasty, easy to make, and the perfect starter to your family celebration.
- 2 ounce vanilla vodka
- 1/2 ounce cream liquor
- 1/2 ounce of pumpkin purée mixed with simple sugar
Shake well, garnish with a cinnamon stick, and enjoy.
#2: Cranberry Margarita
We all know that cranberry sauce gets mixed reviews around the dinner table. But absolutely no one will complain about a cranberry margarita. Another easy yet beautifully colored cocktail.
- 1 ½ cup of your favorite tequila
- 3 cups of cranberry juice (we recommend unsweetened)
- 1 ½ cup lime juice
- 1 cup orange liqueur
- Garnish with lime and fresh cranberries
Mix the ingredients, rim the glasses with salt, and pour over ice. This Thanksgiving drink idea is for the whole (21+) family, so be ready to share.
#3: Thanksgiving Punch (With Some Rum of Course)
Thanksgiving can be a busy and stressful day. So if you don’t have time to make Thanksgiving drinks all afternoon, nothing beats a big bowl of Thanksgiving punch people can serve themselves with. For this drink, we recommend cutting some of your favorite seasonal fruits to add to your punch bowl. We like to use apples and oranges in our recipe.
- 1 gallon of your favorite apple cider
- 2 cups of spiced rum
- 2 cups of fresh orange juice
- 6-8 cinnamon sticks
Put fruit and ice into a punch bowl and add in all ingredients and mix. This is an easy crowd pleaser and will make the host’s day just a bit easier.
#4: The Maple Old Fashioned
A perfect Thanksgiving drink idea for the whiskey drinkers in your family.
- Start with 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon
- 4 dashes of bitters
- ½ ounce of maple syrup
Combine all ingredients over ice and stir until the maple syrup is dissolved. Strain (to remove the melting ice) and pour it over fresh ice and enjoy with an orange peel. If you want to spice it up, you could also use fresh cranberries or apples to give the drink that nice fall look.
#5: Thanksgiving Mimosa Bar
We know some families like to meet earlier in the day, so maybe it’s too early for a cocktail. However, it’s never too early for a mimosa. A mimosa bar is another great Thanksgiving drink idea because it’s easy, quick, looks pretty, and allows everyone to customize their own. The ingredients for this one are pretty self explanatory, but here are our recommendations (and typically 3-4 oz of equal parts juice to champagne).
- Champagne (or substitute with sparkling cider for a kid’s and/or alcohol-free version)
- Apple cider
- Cranberry juice
- Grapefruit juice
This Thanksgiving drink idea lets the host and guests get as fancy and festive as desired. We also recommend giving different garnishes a try, like fresh cranberries, thyme, grapes, or apples. Mimosas are a great way to spice up Thanksgiving morning.
#6: The Most Basic of Them All: Create a Beer Bar
We all have beer drinkers in our family, and it’s a good safe fallback plan (or just a great Thanksgiving drink to have while you sit around watching a good football game). Most craft breweries at this time of year have some festive fall beers like pumpkin, banana bread, and different seasonal variety packs.
We recommend picking up a fall variety pack from your local grocery store to have on hand.
#7: Mulled Wine
One of our absolute favorites on this list is a classic mulled wine. If you’ve ever been to Europe in the winter, you will probably remember the lingering smell of this warm, delicious, red wine drink coming from the local pub or just strolling around the streets. This recipe can be made over the stovetop or in a slow cooker and again can be customized to the flavors you enjoy. But for our classic Thanksgiving mulled wine, we would use the following ingredients (PS – it also comes pre-made in many grocery stores, so you’d just have to heat it up!).
- Bottle of merlot
- ¼ cup brandy
- One orange, sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- If you like it extra sweet, add two tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
Mix all ingredients into a bowl or slow cooker and warm on low. When served, you do not surprise someone with lingering cloves or star anise, so make sure to strain them out. Then garnish with a fresh sliced orange and enjoy.
#8: Sparkling Apple Cider:
Martinelli, or a similar brand, has always been a staple in our Thanksgiving drink and Christmas drink tradition. It adds a festive touch with its bubbles, but it’s also non-alcoholic so everyone can enjoy it. Plus, apple cider has a warm and cozy flavor that compliments all those Thanksgiving dishes perfectly. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, add some cinnamon sticks or sliced apples for added flair.
#9: The Orange-Ginger Mocktail:
You want to cater to both those who are drinking alcohol and those who aren’t, without sacrificing flavor or creativity. That’s where mocktails come in. These non-alcoholic drinks offer just as much deliciousness and variety as their boozy counterparts, without any of the potential negative effects of alcohol.
Whether you’re serving up Thanksgiving mocktails for designated drivers, pregnant guests, minors, or simply anyone who prefers not to imbibe that day, there’s surely a mocktail option they’ll love. Thanksgiving mocktails can include seasonal flavors like apple cider or pumpkin spice, and can even be served in fun Thanksgiving-themed glasses or decorated with festive garnishes like cinnamon sticks or cranberries. One of our favorites is the Orange-Ginger. For this drink you will need:
- Orange juice (or try lemonade)
- Ginger Ale
- Pineapple juice
With this drink, you can either have a punch bowl already prepared or let guests pour their own and customize. We like to garnish with fresh orange slices and thinly sliced ginger.
After a large meal and dessert, a festive coffee bar is a great way to add cheer (and aid digestion) to the end of your meal. With this Thanksgiving drink idea, we recommend brewing a large pot of coffee (regular or decaf depending on the time) and then letting guests make their own. For our coffee bar, we typically have options of:
- Pumpkin or fall-inspired creamers
- Irish (whiskey)
- Whipped cream
- Pumpkin spice seasoning
- Cinnamon spice
- Caramel to drizzle
A cup of warm coffee with fresh pumpkin pie is one of the best ways to end a fun celebration and we always recommend having coffee as an option for your Thanksgiving drinks.