Thanksgiving Cocktail

Thanksgiving cocktail recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
140 Calories
1g Fat
18g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 140
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 3g
Calcium 12mg 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 dry vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce apricot brandy
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients for the cocktail
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour all of the ingredients.

    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.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Serve and enjoy!

    Thanksgiving cocktail
    ​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 to two bottles in stock, give some of these recipes a try: