Thanksgiving Cocktail

Thanksgiving cocktail recipe

​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
152 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 152
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 49mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The classic Thanksgiving cocktail is a delightful gin martini that is perfect for the holiday. Whether you are waiting for the turkey to finish or sitting down and enjoying your Thanksgiving Day feast, it's a wonderful drink that's easy to mix up.

The recipe adds apricot brandy and lemon juice to the martini base, giving it a subtle flavor of sweet fruits. It's a nice touch that will prepare your taste buds for the mouthwatering bird you've been cooking all day.


  • 3/4 ounce gin

  • 3/4 ounce apricot brandy

  • 3/4 ounce dry vermouth

  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice

  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients for the cocktail
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the gin, apricot brandy, dry vermouth, and lemon juice. Fill with ice.

    Cocktail shaker
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Shake well.

    Shake well
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Strain into a chilled old-fashioned or cocktail glass.

    Pour into glass
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • Choosing quality ingredients will make a better Thanksgiving cocktail. That begins with the gin, so choose a top-shelf brand that you would pour into any other martini. London dry gins will work very nicely, as will any juniper-forward gin.
  • Your dry vermouth should be fresh: less than three months old and refrigerated once opened. If it's been a while since you picked up a bottle, add it to your shopping list.
  • For the apricot brandy, don't be afraid to pay a little more for a quality bottle. Many of the inexpensive options are too sweet for cocktails that are this simple. If you can find a true apricot brandy, that would be preferred. There are a few sweetened liqueur versions that are worthy as well; look for brands like Bols and Luxardo.
  • Though it's just an accent, fresh lemon juice will also create a better cocktail. One lemon should yield about 1 3/4 ounce of juice, which is plenty for a few Thanksgiving cocktails.
  • While you may not give much thought to the cherry garnish, you probably should (especially if you like to nibble on it). Those neon red maraschinos that are so popular and easy to find are anything but natural. A better bet is to seek out natural cherries without artificial colorings or dyes.

How Strong Is a Thanksgiving Cocktail?

The Thanksgiving cocktail is a pretty strong drink, but it's right in line with similar gin cocktails. Generally, you can expect this one to have an alcohol content in the 21 percent ABV (42 proof) range. It's definitely not a glass of wine, so be sure you don't drink too many before the family shows up!

Recipe Variations

There are a number of other classic cocktails that pair gin and apricot brandy. While you have the two bottles in stock, give these recipes a try: