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5 Delicious Thanksgiving Cocktails To Enjoy on Turkey Day

November 9, 2020

Thanksgiving this year is set to look a little different than we're used to, but that doesn't mean you still can't celebrate. However challenging 2020 has been, there's still so much to be thankful for. Whether you're keeping your Turkey Day gathering small or doing a long-distance get-together via Zoom, here are a few delicious cocktails to enjoy with your Thanksgiving dinner or as a little boozy treat with dessert.

Cranberry Gin & Tonic

Cranberry brings plenty of festive flavor to this fall take on the G&T. Using a flavored tonic like Fever Tree's clementine tonic water adds a little extra complexity to this cocktail while offering a lovely hint of flavor that blends seamlessly with the botanicals of the gin and the sweet-tart taste of cranberry juice.


  • 1 ½ oz gin
  • 1 ½ oz cranberry juice
  • Fever Tree Clementine tonic water
  • Orange peel for garnish

Pour the ingredients over ice. Stir to mix, then garnish with an orange peel.

Apple Cider Moscow Mule

Moscow mules are serious crowd-pleasers as far as cocktails go. You can put a fall-friendly twist on this classic tipple by adding apple cider to the recipe. The result is just as refreshing as the original, but with the perfect amount of that crisp apple flavor (which goes beautifully with ginger). You could make a boozier version of this drink by swapping the ginger beer or apple cider for their alcoholic counterparts or make a larger batch for punch.


  • 2 oz ginger beer
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz non-alcoholic apple cider
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • Sliced apple to garnish

Add lime and ice to a mug. Pour apple cider, vodka, and ginger beer over ice. Stir gently, garnish, and enjoy.

Pumpkin White Russian

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin and this Pumpkin White Russian makes a great after-dinner cocktail once you've polished off your Thanksgiving plate – especially if you're too full to consider dessert.


  • 2 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz whole milk or cream
  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 3 tsp pumpkin puree
  • Generous dash of pumpkin spice mix

Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Add a sprinkle more of pumpkin spice mix to garnish, if desired. 

Pear & Bourbon Cocktail

Bourbon is a killer cocktail base regardless of the season, but there's something about it that is so wonderfully suited to the colder months. A hint of ginger brings some spicy to this delicious cocktail, while the mellow ripeness of pear complements the sweeter notes in your bourbon. You can use fresh pears for this cocktail, but for the sake of simplicity, we recommend picking up some pear juice. Serve it after your Thanksgiving feast if you're in the mood for something with just a touch of sweetness to it.


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 oz pear juice
  • 1 oz honey
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Ginger ale

Optional: crystalized ginger for garnish

Pour bourbon, pear juice, honey, lemon, and grated ginger into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with ginger ale, stir, and garnish if desired.

Hot Buttered Applejack

If you are able to have a few family members over, whip up a batch of hot buttered applejack, hot buttered rum's more autumnal cousin. Applejack has a long history in the US, with its popularity peaking during the colonial era. This is a great warming tipple to help keep the cold at bay throughout winter, but it's a real treat on Thanksgiving, especially while everyone's waiting for dinner to finish cooking. This recipe serves six, but it's easy to double or even triple if you want to serve up a round or two.


For the butter:

  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3 dashes of orange bitters
  • 1 cup applejack
  • 3 cups sweet apple cider, non-alcoholic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Combine butter, sugar, zest, and bitters in a small bowl. In a large pot, heat the applejack, lemon, cinnamon sticks, and cider over medium heat so that it's steaming but not simmering. Put about 1 tsp of the butter into each mug, then top with the applejack-cider mix. Stir, and enjoy while hot.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Written by Camille Berry for Knockaround.

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