With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s a great time to add a touch of flavor and sophistication to your holiday gathering. While the feast is undoubtedly the star of the show, don’t overlook the opportunity to complement it with some delightful Thanksgiving cocktails. Not only will these drinks bring a festive vibe to your celebration, but they can also serve as a great conversation starter among guests.
We’ve called in expert bartenders and mixologists to craft four delightful Thanksgiving cocktail recipes, each offering a unique twist to elevate your holiday experience. And for those looking to enjoy the festivities without the alcohol, these Thanksgiving mocktails are the perfect zero-proof alternative.
From fresh citrus bursts to smoky mezcal, explore a world of flavors with these four handpicked Thanksgiving cocktails.
1. Blood Wolf Moon
Crafted by Mary Palac, Campari Group’s Mexican spirits portfolio ambassador
“The Blood Wolf Moon brings an unexpected twist to traditional Thanksgiving cocktails and is a must-serve for upcoming celebrations due to its bold, fall-forward flavors. The cocktail uses one of the most popular seasonal ingredients—cinnamon—which perfectly complements Montelobos Espadín, a complex yet balanced expression that has tasting notes of nuts, smoke and cooked agave. It also contains Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur to add some heat along with acidity from the blood orange juice, giving this cocktail a unique flavor profile of citrus, spice and smoke.” —Mary Palac
0.5 oz cinnamon
1 oz Montelobos Espadín
1 oz Ancho Reyes
0.5 oz lemon juice
1 oz blood orange juice
- Combine and shake all ingredients.
- Serve in a rocks glass.
- Garnish with dehydrated blood orange and grated cinnamon.
2. Campfire Apple Picking
Crafted by Sam McCauley, bar manager at Soby’s New South Cuisine
“Campfire meets apple picking in this festive fall cocktail. The balance of smoky Montelobos Mezcal, Ancho Reyes Chile liqueur and sweet apple cider tastes just like fall. The subtle notes of smoke come from Montelobos mezcal, a spirit on the rise. Ancho Reyes Chile liqueur adds the perfect amount of heat to balance those sweet apple fall flavors we have been waiting for all year. A cozy cocktail to enjoy on Thanksgiving even if you’ve burnt the turkey.” —Sam McCauley
1.5 oz Montelobos Mezcal
0.5 oz Ancho Reyes Chile
1 oz apple cider
0.75 oz lime
0.5 oz agave
Cinnamon sugar, dehydrated apple and star anise for garnish
- Combine all ingredients.
- Shake and strain over ice in a glass with a cinnamon sugar rim.
- Garnish and enjoy!
3. Berry Thankful
Crafted by Joseph Neau, head mixologist at Distillery 98
“Berry Thankful is a fresh alternative to the heavy, cream-based cocktails that are usually filling your cup around the holiday season. Fill up instead on mashed potatoes and turkey, and let Berry Thankful provide you with a fresh, citrus burst!” —Joseph Neau
2 oz Distillery 98 Half Shell Vodka
1.5 oz cranberry juice
0.25 oz lime juice
0.25 oz ginger syrup*
*Ginger Simple Syrup:
- Combine 1-part sugar to 1-part water in a saucepan, and stir until dissolved.
- Peel and slice ginger and add to the mixture.
- Bring mixture to a light boil for 20 minutes.
- Strain out ginger.
- Transfer syrup to a container and let cool before refrigerating.
- In a shaker, fill with ice and add the vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and ginger syrup.
- Shake vigorously.
- Fill a Collins cocktail glass with ice and pour in the ingredients.
- Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.
4. Sweater Weather
Crafted by Chris Leavitt, bartender and content creator
“I composed this recipe for the first time last year during the fall, inspired to make the fan-favorite Whiskey Sour template much more layered with seasonal ingredients like maple, cinnamon and chocolate. WhistlePig’s 6 Year Rye is a perfect match for this recipe, given it sits at 96+ proof, which helps deliver a powerful and a seasonally spicey finish. This cocktail pairs well with both savory and sweet dishes during Thanksgiving—in particular roasted ham, yams and pumpkin pie.” —Chris Leavitt
0.25 oz maple syrup
0.25 oz cinnamon syrup*
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.25 oz White Creme de Cacao
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1.75 oz WhistlePig 6 Year PiggyBack Rye
- Bring 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 3 cinnamon sticks to simmer in a small pot, stirring to completely dissolve the sugar.
- Once dissolved, shut off heat, and leave cinnamon to steep for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove cinnamon, and store syrup in the refrigerator between uses for up to 1 month.
- Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin, add ice and shake.
- Double strain into a chilled coupe glass.
- Garnish with shaved nutmeg and an expressed grapefruit peel.
Feature image by Goskova Tatiana/Shutterstock.com