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Forget the wine this Thanksgiving: 5 batch cocktails that just might be better for your group dinner

Batch cocktails are better than wine - here's why

Crowd of people toasting with cocktails
Helena Yankovska / Unsplash

If we’re completely honest with ourselves, alcohol on Thanksgiving is every bit as important as the turkey. Maybe you’re the sole cook in the kitchen, upon whom the entire culinary burden is placed, and you need a little stress relief. Maybe your single, child-free lifestyle is something that, for some reason, is up for debate between every member of your family. Or maybe you just really need something to get you through dinner with Uncle Steve yammering on about his rifle collection. Whatever the reason, on Thanksgiving, booze is a necessity.

In many families, the social lubricant of choice with Thanksgiving dinner is wine, which makes sense. For many, wine feels like the correct, most sophisticated choice for what may be the most elegant meal of the year. But the truth is, not everyone likes wine, and it’s nice to have other options available for those who would prefer to douse their familial frustrations in mezcal or whiskey and not pinot noir.

Cynicism aside, cocktails on Thanksgiving are a wonderfully fun way to celebrate being together and feeling festive. It’s also a good plan to have cocktails in addition to wine. Serve large batch cocktails as guests are arriving and appetizers are passed around, then switch to wine with dinner if you prefer. There’s no wrong way to do it, so long as everyone gets through the day without an argument.

Surprisingly, many classic cocktails are actually quite easy to make in large quantities, no cocktail shakers required. These are a few of our favorite batch cocktails that can be served directly from a large (or extra large, depending on your relatives) pitcher. Just mix, pour over ice, garnish, and enjoy.

Nosotros Tequila cocktails

Skinny Margarita with Tequila Blanco

We are in love with this margarita recipe from Nosotros. The beautiful tequila absolutely sings in this simple cocktail made from just three ingredients. Feel free to mix up an extra large batch of this one, as it’s sweetened with agave syrup and not sugar. On a day like Thanksgiving, a waistline-friendly cocktail probably isn’t a bad idea.
Makes approximately 10 cocktails

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Nosotros Tequila Blanco (25oz)
  • 12 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 6 ounces agave syrup

Method:

  1. In a pitcher, add the Nosotros Blanco, the lime juice, the agave nectar, and ice. Stir well to mix. Serve drinks over fresh ice.
Nosotros Espresso martini

Espresso Martini with Tequila Reposado

Nosotros does it again with their absolutely delicious recipe for large-batch espresso martinis. This cocktail is best served after dinner, with a large serving of Thanksgiving dessert. Keep in mind that while Nosotros is a great choice for these cocktails, any quality tequila will do.
Makes approximately 12 cocktails

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Nosotros Tequila Reposado (25oz)
  • 12 ounces espresso – can be fresh or refrigerated
  • 6 ounces Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 6 ounces agave syrup
  • 36 coffee beans (3 beans per cocktail for garnish)

Method:

  1. In a pitcher, add the Nosotros Reposado, the espresso, the coffee liqueur, the agave syrup, and ice. Stir well to mix. Garnish each glass with 3 coffee beans.
Whiskey sour
Ralf Roletschek/Wikimedia

Large batch whiskey sours

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love a good whiskey sour. This classic cocktail is not only a crowd-pleaser but also extremely easy to make and a refreshingly sweet pairing to heavily rich and savory Thanksgiving dishes. Have fun with the fruity garnishes on this one, and feel free to add some Thanksgiving spices like cinnamon sticks.

Makes approximately 16 cocktails

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 cups Cointreau or other orange liquor
  • 5 cups whiskey
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • Splash of cherry syrup or Grenadine to each glass
  • Maraschino cherries and orange slices, to garnish

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir to combine. Serve each individual cocktail over ice with a splash of cherry syrup or real Grenadine. Garnish each glass with a cherry and an orange wedge.
Hands toasting with moscow mules
Gary Meulemans / Unsplash

Large batch Moscow mules

Always popular Moscow mules have been enjoying their day in the sun for a while now. This deliciously refreshing, trendy cocktail is perfect for Thanksgiving, thanks to its refreshingly cool zest and popularity. Everyone is going to want a couple of these, so make a huge batch.

Makes approximately 12 cocktails

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vodka
  • 1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 6–8 limes)
  • 8 cups ginger beer
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir to combine. Serve cocktails over ice in copper mugs with lime wedges.
Mojito
Tata Zaremba/Unsplash

Large batch mojitos

There’s something about a mojito that feels special. This hot-weather favorite is somehow an absolutely perfect balance to Thanksgiving’s wintery dishes. It’s also an absolute breeze to make in large quantities, so mix up a big batch before carving the turkey for a fun and refreshing tropical twist to the day.

Makes approximately 12 cocktails

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large bunch (about 100 leaves) of mint
  • 6 limes, quartered
  • 2 cups rum
  • 2 liters club soda
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir to combine. Serve cocktails over ice with lime wedges and mint.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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