Skip to main content

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


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


  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


  • 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)


  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


  • 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


  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


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


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


  • 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


  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…
How to open a beer bottle without an opener – you have lots of options
Don't worry, you will get that bottle open
Opening a bottle with a lighter

The crisis? You want to enjoy a beer, but you have no bottle opener. Don't panic, because we're going to get through this thing. After all, it's surprisingly easy to open a beer bottle without an opener. All the bottle opener does is use a bit of leverage to bend the cap, anyway. So let's create some leverage, and then let's drink some beer.

A quick note before we get started: It's easy to open beer bottles using rings, but the potential for damaging your ring or your metacarpal is very high, so we've left that one out.
How to open a beer bottle with a lighter

Read more
These unique summer cocktails each offer a refreshing twist you’ll love
Need a great cocktail for the core of summer? Here are some ideal options
Summer cocktails

Summer stands for fun, from vacations to meandering Vespa rides. If you want to keep the carefree and celebratory spirit alive all season long, may we suggest some quality cocktails?

The merits of summer cocktails are many. First, they cool you off during the hottest portion of the year. Secondly, they tend to incorporate seasonal ingredients that taste their best right that instant. Lastly, they're just fun to make, whether you're hosting a backyard party or just looking to tip a cap to happy hour on your lonesome.

Read more
The best spritz cocktail recipes to drink this spring
Spring is the perfect time to mix it up with spritz cocktails. Let us show you how to make some tasty ones
Grapefruit sprtiz cocktail

The spritz is liquid springtime, using the power of sparkling wine and the floral nature of this time of year. The classic involves prosecco and Aperol, but that's merely one of countless permutations to make and enjoy this iconic sipper. Think of it as a fizzy cooler, a drinkable bouquet cut to your liking based on your favorite accents, aromatics, and mixers.

While we advise you to go with the Italian classic and use the famous bitter apéritif at least some of the time, we also want you to be curious and inventive. Like the Old Fashioned or a classic Negroni, the spritz is so much more than one thing, and it's very much worth plunging into and fully exploring. And there's no better time to do so than the thawing, rejuvenating, increasingly thirsty days of spring.

Read more