Top Seven Thanksgiving Cocktails to Try

Just hearing the words “Thanksgiving dinner” can be enough to make anyone feel stressed – especially those who are hosting one!

However, planning your Thanksgiving bash doesn’t need to be daunting, especially if you’re planning on serving some festive drinks shaken over ice.

Hot cocktail with apple, rosemary, cinnamon

Whether you’re planning a wintry brunch the morning of Thanksgiving, or you want to turn up the party and celebrate with some festive cocktails in the evening, this guide will talk you through the best Thanksgiving cocktails out there, as well as tips, tricks, and instructions on how to make them.

Besides giving you and your family the perfect excuse to toast to the festive season in style, these cocktails will be the perfect way to help get your guests relaxed and in the festive spirit.

So, ready to kick off the holiday season with some crowd-pleasing cocktails with a festive twist? Just read on!

1. Cinnamon Apple Margarita

Apple cider margarita with cinnamon and ice

What says “happy thanksgiving” more than a cinnamon apple-flavored cocktail? This delicious twist on the original margarita is sweet, spicy, and perfect for your Thanksgiving celebration.

To make it, all you’re going to need is orange juice, apple cider, cranberry juice, a dash of tequila, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. But, to make things easy as can be, follow the steps below and you won’t go wrong:

Cinnamon Apple Margarita – What You’ll Need:

  • Cinnamon
  • Apple
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Orange juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Tequila

Preparation Time – 5 Minutes

Cinnamon Apple Margarita – Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Take a small bowl and mix together brown sugar and granulated sugar, until both are mixed together.
  2. Then, take all of the cocktail glasses you’ll need and carefully dip each one with a little bit of water.
  3. After each glass has been dipped in water, immediately take the bowl or plate you have used to mix your brown and granulated sugar together, and then coat each cocktail glass’s rim with the sugar mixture until covered.
  4. Set your glasses aside for later on your kitchen counter.
  5. Take a cocktail shaker and add ice to it.
  6. Pour in your tequila, cranberry juice, apple cider, and orange juice. Shake together well, and then sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top (be careful not to pour too much, otherwise the cinnamon will overpower the other ingredients!).
  7. Fill your glasses with a few ice cubes, and then pour the cocktail into each glass. If you want, you could cut a few slices of apple to serve with the drink, if you would like to.

2. Pumpkin Spice White Russian

Hot pumpkin spice cocktail with marshmallow and pumpkin spices

If you’re looking for something with a little more upper echelon, then the pumpkin spice white Russian is sure to go down a treat!

A real crowd-pleaser, this moreish drink has its characterizing touch of classic vodka with a creamy elevation of pumpkin puree and creamer that fits perfectly with the theme of the Thanksgiving festivities.

Want to learn how to make this indulgent drink that is sure to warm you and your guests right from the inside out? Just follow the step-by-step instructions below:

Pumpkin Spice White Russian – What You’ll Need:

  • Kahlua
  • Pumpkin spice coffee creamer
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Vodka
  • Ice

Preparation Time – 5 Minutes

Pumpkin Spice White Russian – Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Take some brown sugar and pour it onto a plate large enough to be able to press the rim of your cocktail glass on.
  2. Dip all of the cocktail glasses you will need into some water, and then immediately press the rim of each glass firmly onto the plate with the brown sugar, and place to one side when evenly coated ready for later.
  3. Take a cocktail shaker and combine your vodka, pumpkin puree, Kahlua, and pumpkin spice coffee creamer. Then, shake well until combined!
  4. After you have created the cocktail mixture, set the cocktail shaker to one side and take each of your cocktail glasses. Pour your pumpkin spice white Russian over ice, and finish with a dash of pumpkin pie spice if you would like to.

3. Cranberry and Orange Mimosa

Cranberry and Orange Mimosa on a table

If you are planning a thanksgiving brunch, then we think your guests will absolutely love being greeted by a cranberry and orange mimosa!

This is one of the best cocktails for a wintery brunch and is made with cranberry, champagne, and orange juice. You can even enjoy this drink on Christmas morning! Here’s how to make it:

Cranberry and Orange Mimosa – What You’ll Need:

  • Champagne
  • Orange juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Orange curls for garnish
  • Rosemary for garnish
  • A dash of fresh lemon juice

Preparation Time – 7 minutes

Cranberry and Orange Mimosa – Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Start by taking your champagne flutes and lining them side by side. This will allow you to make your mimosas quickly.
  2. Start the juice layering process by carefully pouring cranberry juice into each flute first.
  3. After you have done this step, go ahead and swap your cranberry juice for orange juice and pour it into each flute until you have filled them to around three quarters.
  4. Once you have done that, take your champagne and fill each flute to the top.
  5. Finish by completing the drink with your choice of garnish/topping. We recommend using rosemary and orange curls, as these look beautiful.

4. Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumpkin martini cocktail with black salt rim

Everyone loves a martini, and what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with a pumpkin pie twist?

This creamy martini recipe is ideal for celebrations while you are preparing dessert, and isn’t so heavy that your guests won’t be able to enjoy it after eating the main Thanksgiving meal.

What’s more, this delicious pumpkin and spice drink can be enjoyed all throughout the fall season – not just on Thanksgiving night! Read on for the recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Martini – What You’ll Need:

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Vanilla vodka
  • Syrup
  • Bailey’s Irish cream liquor
  • Pumpkin pie spice

Preparation Time – 5 Minutes

Pumpkin Pie Martini – Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Take a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice.
  2. Leaving enough room to add all of the ingredients, then go ahead and add the syrup, vodka, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree, and give it all a good shake for around 25-30 seconds.
  3. After you have finished giving the pumpkin pie martini a good shake-up, carefully set the pumpkin pie cocktail aside (still in the cocktail shaker) so that you can prepare the glasses.
  4. Take all of the martini glasses you’ll need for your guests, and then place them carefully on your kitchen counter. Then, pour the shaken cocktail mixture directly into each martini glass – keeping in mind that you may need to do this more than once if you do not have enough cocktail mixture the first time round!
  5. After all of the martinis have been poured, finish with a little sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice and then complete the drink with a yummy cinnamon stick. Serve and enjoy!

5. Cranberry and Cinnamon Moscow Mule

Cranberry and cinnamon moscow mule in a copper mug

Moscow mules always go down well, so if you’re stuck on what type of cocktails to make on Thanksgiving night, then you can’t go wrong with this Moscow mule recipe with a festive twist.

With hints of cranberry and cinnamon, this punchy cocktail has a delicious kick and is sure to go down a treat further into the night. Check out the recipe below:

Cranberry and Cinnamon Moscow Mules: What You’ll Need:

  • Vodka
  • Ginger beer
  • Cranberry juice
  • Cinnamon stick

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cranberry and Cinnamon Moscow Mules: Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Take your copper mugs (or similar type of glass) and carefully fill with ice – making sure to leave enough space in the glass for the cocktail to be poured without any spilling.
  2. Pour the vodka into your Moscow glass and then add in the cranberry juice. Allow the two to settle in the glass.
  3. Then, fill the remaining cup with ginger beer, stir it all together with a spoon, pop in the cinnamon stick, and enjoy!

6. Pecan Pie Bourbon Cocktail

Got a sweet tooth? If you answered yes to that question, then you simply have to add this delicious pecan pie bourbon cocktail to your Thanksgiving drinks menu! This sugary-sweet cocktail takes all of the best parts about a pecan pie and transforms it into a boozy treat.

What’s more, if some of your guests happen to be too full from the main course and don’t have enough room for dessert, you can give them one of these instead! Check out the recipe below:

Pecan Pie Bourbon Cocktail – What You’ll Need:

  • Maker’s Mark bourbon (or your bourbon of choice)
  • Pecan praline liqueur
  • Crushed pecans
  • Maple syrup
  • Heavy/thick cream
  • Whipped cream for garnish

Preparation Time – 7 minutes

Pecan Pie Bourbon Cocktail – Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Take a small plate and spread all of your crushed pecans on the plate. Then, on a separate plate, spread some maple syrup.
  2. Take all of the glasses you will need and dip each one of their rims into the maple syrup, before proceeding to dip each of the maple syrup-dipped glasses into the crushed maple pecans. Fill each glass with ice, and then set it aside on your kitchen counter for later.
  3. Grab your cocktail shaker and carefully set it on your kitchen counter. Then, pour in all of your pecan pie cocktail ingredients, including your bourbon, pecan praline liqueur, and shake vigorously for around 30 seconds. This will ensure that all of the liquids have been mixed together properly.
  4. Set your cocktail shaker aside, and then grab your cocktail glasses. We recommend laying them side by side on your kitchen counter, as this will help you to evenly pour each glass.
  5. Once you have poured all of the cocktails you will need, garnish with whipped cream for a true pecan pie effect, and then serve to your guests! It’s guaranteed to go down a treat.

7. Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum cocktail in a glass with cinnamon

As a mellow alternative to some of the other types of Thanksgiving cocktail ideas we have recommended, buttered rum cocktails are super easy to make and ideal for creating a more cozy and relaxed ambiance.

It’s also very versatile and can be enjoyed throughout the Christmas period, too. Check out how to make the below:

Buttered Rum Cocktails – What You’ll Need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice
  • Dark rum
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish

Preparation Time – 7 minutes

Buttered Rum Cocktails – Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Using an Irish coffee glass (or something similar) take all of the spices, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract and stir together with a spoon.
  2. Pour in the rum.
  3. Add hot water, stir and allow to cool.
  4. Place your cinnamon stick either across the top of the glass or inside (so your guests can use it as a stirring stick) and then serve! It’s a cozy and relaxing drink that can be enjoyed at the end of the evening’s festivities.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has been an influencer in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. He not only loves to eat and drink at restaurants on a regular basis, he also knows the business inside and out.