Recipe Roundup: Thanksgiving Cocktails

Kris and I are hosting our first Thanksgiving in a few weeks. After 12 years of being together, and nearly as many living together, the day I didn’t think would ever come has. We’ve never even considered hosting. Our first apartment in Bennington was too tiny. Then we were out in Ann Arbor where we either went to Friendsgiving, with other transplants, or just hung out at home enjoying nothing but sides. We got into the habit of solo Thanksgivings and the last two years that’s been our jam. But being back with family is awesome and, let’s face it, we finally have the perfect space, and are in the right location, to host. In addition to a non-traditional menu we’re also going non-traditional by serving up pitcher drink cocktails in addition to wine. Want to do the same? Check out these # awesome Thanksgiving cocktails.

The 5 Best Thanksgiving Cocktails

I curated this list using a few criteria. Here’s what you can expect. All recipes on this list are:

  • Easy. No crazy exotic ingredients. Minimal preparation involved.
  • Pitcher drinks. I’ve modified several of these to guarantee that every recipe on the list is a pitcher drink. That means you only have to make it once and then just pour and garnish. Want things to be even easier? Set up a station with the pitcher, glasses and garni set out so everyone can self serve.
  • Perfectly paired. If you’re going traditional with your Thanksgiving you won’t have to think twice about flavor clashes. If you’re making Italian (Long Island friends raise your hands!), these should probably not make an appearance until dessert.

The Boozy Maple Orchard

The Boozy Maple Orchard | The Fitchen

Yields: 6
Modified from: The Fitchn


9 oz. boubon
12 oz. apple puree
3 oz. each: lemon juice & maple syrup
6 pinches cinnamon
Fresh apple slices & cinnaomon for garnish


  • Core, peel and chop apples.
  • Add bourbon, lemon huice, maple syrup and cinnamon to blender. Pulse to combine.
  • Pour over reusable icecubes and garnish with apple slice and cinnamon stick.

Hacks & Notes & Tips & Stuff

  • Puree the apples ahead of time for an easier go.
  • You can use real maple syrup or the fake stuff. If you use the fake stuff consider a mix of apples that includes tart ones to balance the flavors.
  • Highball glasses, stemless wine glasses and mason jars work well with this Thanksgiving drink.

Evening in Kingston

Recipe & Image: Bon Apetit

This delish concoction from Bon Apetit is already set up for 12 servings. And the color is perfect for your holiday table!

Spiced Cranberry Sangria

Recipe & Image: Chowhound

Chowhound has an incredible sangria recipe that requires a bit of prep but doing that the night before makes this perfect for Thanksgiving. If you love Sangria don’t forget my Summer’s Last Stand Sangria, a white sangria perfect for Thanksgiving.

Red Nose Punch

Thanksgiving is going to be awesome with this cranberry beer bourbon punch at the table.
Recipe & Image: Saveur

Beer and bourbon both appear in this cranberry punch that is named after everyone’s favorite reindeer. The recipe makes about 3 quarts which is perfect for an evening of revelry with friends, family or whomever!

Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies


Food & Wine shared this twist on the toddy back in 2006 but it’s still perfect for Thanksgiving 11 years later. The recipe yields 8 and is easy to half or double (or triple) depending on your needs.

You’ve got a few weeks until the big day so take some time to enjoy each of these – there’s no better way to decide what to make (or bring!) for Thanksgiving.

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