Thanksgiving is the time to gather with family and friends, eat a spread of amazing food, and ring in the official start to the holiday season. It's also a great time to say cheers with a seasonal cocktail in the comfort of your home.
This year, why not experiment with some new flavors? To inspire your tastiest Thanksgiving yet, we've gathered some autumn-inspired cocktail recipes that will keep you warm and cozy through the holiday, and we're quite sure these sips will get you feeling merry and bright in no time.
See Also: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
Pumpkin Spice Colada
Hosting a tropical Thanksgiving feast? Add this recipe from SelvaRey rum to the menu.
- 2 oz SelvaRey white rum
- 1 oz coconut cream
- 1½ oz fresh pineapple juice
- ½ tbsp McCormick's pumpkin pie spice
Directions: Colada is shaken and strained over crushed ice into a poco grande with a pineapple wedge dusted in pumpkin spice.
With corn being an essential side during Thanksgiving, why not incorporate it into a fun cocktail? Start with a base of El Tequileño tequila, add some citrus, sweetness and top it off with Nixta's corn-based liquer.
- 2 oz El Tequileño Platinum
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz agave syrup
- 1 oz Nixta Corn Liqueur
Add all ingredients to a shaker over cubed ice. Shake until ice cold. Fine strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a flame charred baby corn.
Pumpkin Spice Hot Toddy
This recipe from El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila requires you to first make a pumpkin spice syrup, but it’s worth the extra step. Plus, that syrup will come in handy for other divine cocktail creations—or even your morning-after coffee!
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin Spice Seasoning Blend
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 oz EBY Reposado Tequila
- 1 oz Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Dashes Orange Bitters
- 8 oz Boiling Water
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer until mixture is reduced by about half. Cool and then fine strain using either muslin, or a nut milk bag. Bottle and store. Should keep refrigerated for about 3 weeks.
Combine EBY Reposado, pumpkin spice syrup, and lemon juice in a mug. Fill with hot water. Top off with a couple dashes of orange bitters. Garnish with cinnamon stick and dried lemon wheel.
1796 Pumpkin Smash
This sweet cocktail will get you in the holiday spirit with pumpkin puree, cinnamon and apple cider—courtesy of Santa Teresa Rum 1796.
- 2 oz Santa Teresa 1796
- 1 oz pumpkin puree
- ½ oz cinnamon syrup
- ½ oz lemon juice
Add all ingredients into a mixing tin, add ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into Collins glass, top with soda water or apple cider and garnish with a dehydrated apple slice and sugar rim.
One more for our rum-loving friends. This seasonal sip blends apple cider and cinnamon syrup with bright lime juice to create a delightful flavor profile that’s easy to build. Thank Papa’s Pilar Rum for this recipe.
- 2 oz Papa's Pilar Dark Rum
- 2 oz apple cider
- ¾ oz Monin cinnamon syrup
- ½ oz lime juice
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail glass and stir. Garnish with a cinnamon dusted apple stirrer. Can be served warm or cold.
Holiday Rum Cider
This spiced-up cider is a great drink to share with family during Thanksgiving and the holiday season. It also comes courtesy of Santa Teresa 1796, but you can replace with any spiced rum of your choosing.
- 1 gallon apple cider filtered/cold pressed is best
- 16 oz Santa Teresa 1796
- ¼ to ½ cup of brown sugar (depending on how sweet the apple cider is)
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 2 to 3 tsp. whole cloves
- 2 small oranges
- 6” Ceylon cinnamon
Combine all in a punch bowl. Stir vigorously. Serve in a teacup garnished with a cinnamon stick and dehydrated apple slice.
The cocktail name says it all. This comfort cocktail from Dewar's features the rich flavor of fine Scotch with the sweetness of lime juice and peach liqueur.
- 2 oz Dewar's 12 Scotch
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ½ oz peach liqueur
- Pinch of Mint
Add all ingredients to a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain over ice in a double old-fashioned glass and garnish with a mint sprig.
Grey Goose Apple Martini
This Grey Goose martini features a sweet and spicy mix, with apple juice, pear-flavored vodka, brandy, lime and chile liqueur.
- 1½ oz Grey Goose La Poire Vodka
- ½ oz Calvados
- ⅓ oz Ancho Reyes chile
- ½ oz Lime
- 1½ oz Fresh Apple Juice
Shake over ice, strain into a chilled martini glass, serve with a little cocktail shimmer, and enjoy!
This comforting cocktail features chai tea with almond milk, and cognac with amaretto liqueur. Hat tip to D'ussé for the recipe!
- 1½ oz D'ussé VSOP Cognac
- ½ oz Amaretto Liqueur
- 3 oz Chai Tea
- ½ oz Vanilla Syrup
- ½ oz Almond Milk
- 2 Dashes Cardamom Bitters
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass.
This sweet and citrusy cocktail comes courtesy of NYC mixologist Ben Rojo. Here, he mixes the candied flavors of Don Papa Rum rum with the fruity bite of cranberry, pomegranate, grapefruit and lemon. You could recreate it with your choice of rum, if needed.
- 1½ oz Don Papa Rum
- ½ oz spiced cranberry-pomegranate honey syrup
- 1 oz grapefruit juice
- ¼ oz lemon juice
Combine all ingredients with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint sprig.
Teremana's small batch tequila is perfect for this bright and cheerful cocktail.
- 2 oz Teremana Blanco
- 1 oz pomegranate juice
- ¾ oz fresh lime juice
- ½ oz agave nectar
- Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and then strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Take a bit of the edge off with this coffee-infused digestif from Abasolo Whisky, Mr Black Coffee Liquor and Nixta’s corn liquor.
Add all ingredients to a rocks glass, add ice, stir. Garnish with an orange twist.
Spiced Merry Mandarin Cider
You know those adorable little Wonderful Halos mandarins you get from the store? They offer this hot, spiced cider cocktail that is just divine, and it can be made into a mocktail for the kids and those who don't drink.
- 1½ cup Wonderful Halos mandarins, juiced
- 1½ cups apple juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp whole allspice
- Thinly-sliced Wonderful Halos mandarins for garnish
Juice Wonderful Halos mandarins and lemons. Strain out pulp and set aside. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until honey has dissolved and juices are hot. Serve garnished with a thinly-sliced Wonderful Halos mandarin.
For adults: Add a shot of run, bourbon, whiskey or brandy.
Now that you're all set with a festive drink menu, spice up your food feast with this recipe for a magnificent butternut squash and apple bisque, or maybe one of celebrity food writer Gail Simmon's fall favorites.