Thanksgiving is upon us and it’s fair to say that we’ve earned it this year. It’s going to look and feel a bit different in 2020 but the prevailing spirit remains untouched. This is a holiday about gratefulness, generosity, heaping portions, and the sweet buzz of alcohol.
We’ve already set you up with go-to’s in the wine department and seasonal beers you should sip on during the holiday and beyond. But what about Thanksgiving cocktails? A mixed drink is a great way to buy some time away from your bubble, exhale, and engineer some liquid magic that will take some of the 2020 edge off. Even better, these cocktails can reflect the holiday itself, with seasonal ingredients and a cheery demeanor.
Related Thanksgiving Guides
Ruffino Jack of Spades
- 2 parts Ruffino Prosecco
- .5 parts cognac
- 1 part apple cider
- .75 parts lemon juice
- .5 part honey syrup (2:1 honey to water)
- Apple slices
Method: Shake the cognac, lemon, apple cider, and honey syrup. Strain into a lowball glass with ice and top with Ruffino Prosecco. Garnish with an apple slice.
The Howdy’s Dram
- 750 ml Craigellachie 13 Year Old
- 300 ml Palo Cortado sherry
- 250 ml herbal liqueur
- 400 ml spearmint tea (or favorite tea flavor)
- 10 dashes of Angostura bitters
Method: Steep tea bags in boiling water. Let cool before using. Combine all ingredients together in a punch bowl. Garnish with a healthy bouquet of mint and as big of an ice cube* as you can find to fit your punch bowl. Dust the mint leaves with a bit of powdered sugar to add some pizzazz.
*Note: If you’re using smaller cubes, wait to add until just before your least fashionably late guest arrives.
- 2 oz Bendt No. 5 American Blended Whiskey
- 3 oz apple juice (fresh juiced apples recommended)
- 1 oz 100% pure cranberry juice
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Orange bitters
Method: Half-fill shaker tin with ice. Add all ingredients except bitters. Gently shake for 5-7 seconds. Strain into old fashioned glass over fresh ice. Top with orange
Fernet Egg Cream Soda
(Created by Jessica Braasch, Bible Club, Portland)
- 1 oz Fernet-Branca
- .5 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
- 1 oz ginger syrup
- 4 drops salt tincture
- 1 whole egg
Method: Build/shake like a Ramos gin fizz. Pour into fizz appropriate glass, top with soda, creating frothy “head” rest straw, mint sprig, and grated nutmeg on top.
Vegan Buttered Rum
(Created by Ky Belk, Bar Director, Vital Root, Denver, Colorado)
- 1.5 oz aged rum
- 5 oz strong spicy chai tea, heated
- 2 oz cashew milk, heated *For non-vegans, use whole milk*
- 1 tbsp Coconut or MCT oil
- Cinnamon stick
Method: In a blender, combine all ingredients until oil is fully incorporated. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- 1.5 oz Beefeater Pink
- 1 oz cranberry sauce
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz orange juice
Method: Build in tin. Add ice. Shake and strain.
- 1.5 parts Bacardí Cuatro
- .75 parts Martini & Rossi Rosso
- .25 parts dry Curacao
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Method: Stir all ingredients with plenty of ice until very cold, strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel.
East Indian Gimlet
- 1.5 oz Jaisalmer Gin
- .25 oz St. Germain
- 1.5 oz lime juice
- .75 oz ginger simple syrup*
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Method: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the gin, lime juice, and ginger syrup. Shake until well chilled. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
*Ginger simple syrup: Bring .75 cup sugar, .25 cup chopped peeled ginger, and .75 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let sit 20 minutes. Strain into a jar, cover, and chill.
Honey I Shrunk the Fig
- 1.5 oz The Botanist Gin
- 1 oz fino sherry
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz burnt honey fig syrup (figs included)*
Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Fine strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with fig.
*Burnt honey fig syrup: Bring honey in a saucepan to medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Add 3 sliced figs and reduce heat to low until the honey turns to a deep amber color. Remove from heat and let cool before serving. Use figs in shake to reduce waste and to add more flavor.
Whitley Neill Blood Orange Spritz
- 1 oz Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin
- 2 oz sparkling wine
Method: Top with soda water and garnish with a blood orange wheel
- 1.5 oz Cascade Blonde American Whiskey
- 3 oz apple cider
- Orange wedge
- Cinnamon stick
Method: Shake whiskey and cider over ice. Strain into cup with fresh ice. Squeeze a small orange wedge into the drink and drop into cup. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Belvedere Champagne Punch
- 1 oz Belvedere Vodka
- .75 oz Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut
- .5 oz Averna
- .75 oz pineapple juice
- .25 oz Vanilla Simple Syrup (1:1 vanilla extract to simple syrup)
Method: Add all ingredients, except Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut, to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass mug, add ice and top with Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut. Garnish with a dusting of fresh nutmeg.
Autumn Gin and Soda
- 1.5 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
- Persimmon Slices
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Fresh Thyme Sprigs
Method: Pour gin over ice, top with soda water, and garnish then enjoy.
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz espresso
- .5 oz Galliano Ristretto
- 1/3 oz simple syrup
- Garnish: 3 coffee beans
Method: Shake all ingredients and fine strain into a pre-chilled glass.
- 1.5 oz Don Papa Rum
- 1 oz grapefruit juice
- .5 oz spiced cranberry-pomegranate honey syrup
- .25 oz lemon juice
Method: Combine all ingredients with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint sprig.
- 1.5 oz Russell’s Reserve 10-Year-Old Bourbon
- 0.75 oz Campari
- 0.75 oz 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso
- Garnish: Orange slice
Method: Combine bourbon, vermouth, and Campari in a glass, stir until combined. Pour over large ice cube, garnish with orange slide and enjoy.
The Broken Wing
- 3 oz Craisins-Infused and Duck-Fat Washed Broken Shed Vodka*
- 1 oz Mezcal Pechuga
- .5 oz Quinquina
- 4 Dashes Celery Bitters
- Orange peel and fresh cranberry for garnish
Method: Stir all the ingredients over ice and pour into a pre-chilled stem glass. Express orange peel over the cocktail and rub around the rim of the glass.
*Duck-fat washed vodka: Infuse 1 part duck fat, 1 part craisins and 3 parts Broken Shed Vodka at room temperature for 3 hours in a wide lipped jar. Place the jar in the freezer until fat fully congeals. Remove from the freezer and immediately poke a hole in the fat and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Bird Across the Bay
(Created by Jeff Josenhans, Garibaldi, San Diego)
- 2 oz Volcan Tequila
- 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
- .75 oz lime juice
- Ginger beer
- Angostura bitters
Method: “Whip” the tequila, pineapple, and lime (shake with small amount of crushed ice until melted, leading to a “dry” shake at the end). Pour into parrot or tiki mug (here’s a great option on Amazon). Add ginger beer to top glass and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with two dashes of
(Created by Loews Hotel, Los Angeles)
- 2 oz Pisco
- .75 oz lime juice
- .75 oz matcha tea
- 1 egg white
- Splashes of bitters
Method: Pour all ingredients into a shaker and shake to mix. Pour mixture over ice into a high ball glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.
The Inferno Punch
(Created by Josue Romeo)
- 8 oz white rum
- 4 oz pear syrup
- 6 oz lemon juice
- 4 oz whole milk
- 4 oz Apothic Inferno wine
- 1.5 oz pineapple juice
- 1 oz orange liqueur
Method: Place all the ingredients (except the Apothic wine and milk) into a glass container, and stir until all the ingredients are fully combined. In a separate container, heat up the milk until almost boiling, and slowly pour the cocktail mix into the milk (it will slowly curdle) and let it rest for a couple of hours. Stir for a few minutes, then run the mix through a cheesecloth a couple of times. Store the mix in the fridge. Serve the cocktail over ice, float Apothic wine over it, and garnish with a dehydrated pear slice.
Wild Hibiscus Daiquiri
(Created by Shane McClean)
- 1.5 oz white rum
- .75 oz fresh lime juice
- .75 oz wild hibiscus syrup
Method: Add ingredients to a mixing glass and add one scoop of ice. Vigorously and strain into your favorite cocktail glass. Add a cocktail umbrella or your favorite fruit on the side to welcome the island vibes and enjoy.
- 1 bottle of red wine (Rioja or Syrah, 750mL)
- 8 oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
- 4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
- 4 oz part 1757 Vermouth Di Torino Rosso
- 4 oz part fresh Lemon Juice
- 4 oz part fresh Orange Juice
- 1 Orange, thinly sliced
Method: Add all ingredients in a punch bowl or pitcher. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving. Serve in a wine glass over ice.
Article originally published November 17, 2017 by Sam Slaughter.
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