The Best Thanksgiving Cocktails For a Festive Feast

September 08, 2022 by Sonja Edridge

Everyone has their own Thanksgiving traditions that evoke special memories. Generally, they involve lingering get-togethers with family and friends, always centered around a feast of tasty food. This year, why not shake up some fabulous Thanksgiving cocktails to express your gratitude and give thanks? If you’re a newbie to hosting the celebration this year and don’t quite know where to start, here’s our go-to guide for the best Thanksgiving cocktails to make new traditions.

1. Kir Royale

Kir Royal close up in a flute

This French Champagne cocktail (aka Kir Royale) is a New York City favorite and an incredibly simple cocktail to master. You’ll wonder why you’ve waited all this time to try one! To make, pour a dash of crème de cassis into a flute glass and top up with an imperatively dry Champagne to deliver a crisp bubbly sip that’s laced with jammy blackberry. We give thanks to Canon Félix Kir, the priest who’s mastered this marvel in the mid 19th century in Dijon, France. Salut!

2. Apple Cider Margarita

two apple cider margaritas with cinnamon

Put a spin on your favorite Margarita to give it all the fall feels. It’s apple cider season, after all, so make apples an obvious ingredient to add to all your fave fall cocktails. To make an Apple Cider Margarita, pour your best tequila into a glass and top it up with tasty apple cider. Up the ante with your garnish and add a cinnamon sugar rim. Time to snuggle up around a crackling fire with friends and family and a glass of this winter warmer.

3. Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum with a cinnamon stick

Looking for a perfect fireside sip to enjoy with family before the Thanksgiving feast? The irresistibly warm and sweet Hot Buttered Rum cocktail has been one of the favorite traditional thanksgiving drinks for decades. To make one, mix a simple batter of butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and top it up with rum and hot water for the ultimate comfort sip. It’s the perfect reward after a chilly hike.

4. Pumpkin Spice White Russian

Pumkin spice White russian in a glass

If you’re unfamiliar with a White Russian, it’s a delicious mix of coffee liqueur, and vodka swirled with heavy cream. Add a fall twist of pumpkin spice creamer and a graham cracker rim to make an indulgent and decadent drink. This dessert sip is bound to become one of your best thanksgiving cocktails to serve throughout the entire festive season. Finish with a little whipped cream and indulge!

5. Mulled Wine

two mulled wines with star anise from above

We all need simple thanksgiving cocktails that are easy to ladle into mugs when guests arrive. For something that’ll warm you from the inside out, mulled wine is the answer! This spiced cocktail is so easy to serve a crowd and is a super popular sip across Europe in the winter. Simmer red wine, spices, brandy, fresh oranges, and little sugar in a pot for up to 3 hours, and then serve in mugs.

6. Hot Toddy

Hot toddy on a dark background wiht sliced lemon

Looking for warming thanksgiving drinks that are easy to make? A Hot Toddy is an ideal drink as you can let the crockpot do all the work. To make a batch, simmer a good bourbon with festive spices, along with a squeeze of lemon juice and keep it warm in a crockpot until your guests arrive. Another thing you can tick off the to-do list.

7. Maple Old Fashioned

Two maple old fashioned stacked on books

Our favorite Old Fashioned gets a fall twist of sweet maple syrup. Pair it with Wild Turkey Bourbon, it is jam packed with vanilla, pear and spice notes that blend beautifully with the rich golden maple to give this cocktail all fall flavors. For extra apple pie vibes, add a cinnamon sugar rim.

8. Apple Martini

Close up of an apple martini

As fall is the season for all things apple, you need to try an Appletini! Shake up equal measures of vodka and cloudy apple juice with a dash of lemon juice for a sweet and sour cocktail. It’s a delightful antidote to any over indulgence Thanksgiving may bring.

9. Aviation

Three aviation cocktails on a light background

Serving up all the glamor of a bygone era, an Aviation cocktail is so hot right now and perfect for those discerning gin lovers who are always on the hunt for something different. This turn of the century cocktail delivers unusual floral notes with a crème de violette liqueur. A unique and tasty blend of gin, violets, cherry and lemon, this lavender colored cocktail is sure to impress the guests.

10. Boulevardier

Boulevardier cocktail in a glass mixing jug with a spoon

Another cocktail of the roaring twenties, the Boulevardier is a whiskey warmer that makes a perfect serve for Thanksgiving get-togethers. Just saying Boulevardier (in your best French accent) gives you all the Gatsby feels. It’s an unusual but fabulous combination of whiskey and Campari that’s sweetened with a dash of Cinzano Vermouth Rosso. This sophisticated sip is a must try!

11. Irish Coffee

Irish coffee on a wooden table with whipped cream

Calling caffeine lovers! An Irish Coffee is an easy holiday favorite loved by all! Who doesn’t love whiskey and coffee? Add a splash of whiskey (we’re partial to Wild Turkey) to your favorite cup of coffee. It’s especially good when sweetened with brown sugar and topped with cream. This is a perfect nightcap to enjoy on a chilly fall night after all the spoils of Thanksgiving.


The best thanksgiving cocktails are the drinks that are easy to serve when hosting a crowd. The kitchen gets busy, so choose Thanksgiving cocktails that suit your time frame. Whiskey, bourbon and rum are ideal Thanksgiving drinks that make a perfect warming sip on Thanksgiving when it’s chilly outdoors. 

You’ll find that traditional thanksgiving drinks vary depending on where your region. An all American classic holiday cocktail has to be a Hot Butter Rum but a good old Irish coffee is a popular sip on chilly nights. You’ll have to work on our list from top to bottom and find out which ones are your best Thanksgiving cocktails. 

Looking for the best Thanksgiving cocktails to serve with a turkey? Something sparkly is always delicious with a roast so pour a few Kir Royales for your guests over the main meal. 

Look at your menu and think about which Thanksgiving cocktails will suit your celebration the best. There are a few on our list that are a perfect serve before a meal, especially to warm and welcome your guests. Others make a perfect digestif to enjoy after dinner. If you’re wanting to skip dessert, choose an indulgent cocktail like the Pumpkin Spice White Russian or a Hot Buttered Rum. If you’re overwhelmed by hosting a celebration, choose simple thanksgiving cocktails like a Hot Toddy or a Mulled Wine that you can heat easily in a crockpot. 

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