The Best Festive Thanksgiving Cocktails

35 Festive Fall Cocktails, Mixed Drink, and Punch Recipes

Blood and Sand Cocktail

The Spruce / Mateja Kobescak

Beer and wine are popularly enjoyed on Thanksgiving Day, but cocktails are a great fit too. From autumn-worthy spirits like bourbon and scotch to Champagne cocktails and big-batch punch recipes for a crowd, these recipes are perfect for the holiday. You'll find plenty of seasonal flavors like apple and a few hot alcoholic drinks as well. Whatever your taste or need, there's a Thanksgiving cocktail that will add spirit to your day.

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    Negroni Cocktail

    Negroni cocktail recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 

    When you put so much effort into creating a great Thanksgiving feast, it's only appropriate to serve it alongside the best dinner drinks. The Negroni is an impressive apéritif that simply requires gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.

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    The Boulevardier Cocktail

    The Boulevardier Cocktail

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

    For whiskey drinkers, there's the Boulevardier cocktail. This cocktail uses the Negroni's accent ingredients, but switches to bourbon. Equally satisfying, it's easy to offer guests a choice of these two classic dinner cocktails.

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    Pumpkin Pie Old Fashioned

    pumpkin old fashion

    The Spruce Eats/Julia Hartbeck

    When you're in the mood for a pumpkin whiskey drink, the pumpkin old-fashioned is sure to please. It's surprisingly simple, requires no muddling, and mixes up in minutes. Plus, unlike other pumpkin cocktails, there are no unusual or hard-to-find ingredients that you need to hunt down.

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    Pink Gin Cocktail

    Pink Gin: A Classic Cocktail for Gin Lovers

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    The pink gin mixes your favorite top-shelf gin with a few dashes of bitters for a no-fuss cocktail. Despite its simplicity, this drink is crisp and refreshing, and ideal for serving before and during dinner.

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    Whiskey Manhattan

    Classic Manhattan cocktail recipe

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    As the weather cools, many people gravitate toward whiskey cocktails. Splurge on a good bottle of whiskey and mix it with sweet vermouth and bitters for the iconic whiskey Manhattan.

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    Vieux Carré Cocktail

    Vieux carre cocktail recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Rye whiskey and cognac are a spectacular duo in the Vieux Carré. Sure to impress, it's like a complex Manhattan accented by two bitters and a splash of Bénédictine liqueur.

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    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe

    The Spruce

    Though this cocktail's name might be macabre, it's a phenomenal drink to pair with food. The tantalizing mix of gin, fortified wine, citrus, and a dash of absinthe, ensures the corpse reviver will go great with the flavorful dishes on your table.

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    The Champagne Cocktail

    Champagne Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce

    Light, refreshing, and perfectly balanced, the Champagne cocktail is an impressive beverage for any special occasion. Made with a sugar cube, aromatic bitters, and brandy, this drink can also cleanse the palate between bites.

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    Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

    Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

    For a seasonal sparkling wine drink, pick up cranberry juice and serve the lovely poinsettia. To simplify it, mix the orange liqueur and juice in a pitcher, keep it chilled, then top each glass with Champagne.

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    Black Velvet Cocktail

    Black Velvet Hero

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

    The black velvet will satisfy both beer and wine drinkers. This amazing cocktail of chilled Champagne and stout can be layered to create a showstopping and very tasty drink.

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    The Last Word Cocktail

    The Last Word Cocktail Recipe

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

    A sweeter apéritif and pleasant dinner cocktail, the last word is a surprising classic. The recipe combines two liqueurs with lime juice to create a gin cocktail you won't want to miss.

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    Blood and Sand Cocktail

    Blood and Sand Cocktail

    The Spruce / Mateja Kobescak

    Break out that good bottle of scotch and enjoy this cocktail before, during, or after dinner. The blood and sand's mix of whisky, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth, and orange juice is truly delightful.

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    Spiked Apple Cider

    Spiked Apple Cider Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    For a tasty twist, skip the hot apple cider. Club soda ensures this cold spiked cider drink is refreshing, while the rum and amaretto give it a nice kick. Make the caramelized oranges in advance and use the garnish for other drinks.

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    Godfather Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce

    After dinner, treat guests to the godfather. This scotch and amaretto drink may be incredibly simple, but its blend of flavors is unbelievably soothing.

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    Separator Cocktail

    Separator Cocktail With Brandy and Coffee Liqueur

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    An equally satisfying and simple sipper, the separator cocktail combines brandy and coffee liqueur. Add a splash of cream to turn it into a dessert-worthy delight.

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    John Collins

    John Collins Bourbon Whiskey Highball

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Tall cocktails are great for dinner or watching the day's football games. With a little lemon juice and simple syrup, the John Collins is an excellent sweet, sour, and bubbly choice that mixes up in minutes.

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    Old-Fashioned Cocktail

    Old fashioned cocktail recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Finish the holiday with the ideal nightcap. The old-fashioned is a great whiskey-forward sipper that accents the spirit with nothing more than sugar, bitters, and an orange peel.

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    Scotch Sour

    Classic Scotch Sour Cocktail

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

    An enjoyable evening drink, this basic scotch sour recipe needs just two ingredients. To accentuate the flavor of a good blended scotch whisky, all you need is fresh lemon juice.

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    Apple Cinnamon Mule

    Apple Cinnamon Mule cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    To put a seasonal spin on the Moscow mule, grab the best apple cider you can find. It's mixed with vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer to create the invigorating apple cinnamon mule.

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    Black Tea Hot Toddy

    Black tea hot toddy

    The Spruce

    Hot toddies are an ideal way to relax after a long day. With your choice of brandy, dark rum, or whiskey, this black tea hot toddy is a soothing spiced beverage that's sweetened with a bit of honey.

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    Coffee Sambuca

    Coffee Sambuca

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Thanksgiving can get a little crazy, so when you want to really take it easy, go for coffee sambuca. It's nothing more than a pour of sambuca with a few coffee beans, but it's spectacular both before or after dinner.

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    Brandy Alexander

    Brandy Alexander Cocktail

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    For the ultimate dessert cocktail, turn to the brandy Alexander. This classic is indulgent but oh-so-simple because all you need is brandy, chocolate liqueur, and cream.

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    Apple Pie Martini

    Apple Pie Martini

    The Spruce / Crystal Hughes

    Transform your fruity vodka martini into a seasonal treat with the apple pie martini recipe. Vanilla liqueur adds subtle sweetness while cinnamon gives it a delightful spice and lime juice marries the flavors wonderfully.

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    Homemade Amaretto Liqueur

    Homemade Amaretto Liqueur

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

    The holidays are a great opportunity to show off homemade goodies, but cookies and pies have nothing on amaretto liqueur! Made with just a few common ingredients, it can be enjoyed on the rocks after dinner or in your favorite amaretto cocktail.

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    Toasted Almond Cocktail

    Toasted almond cocktail recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Amaretto and coffee liqueur team up to create the deliciously sweet toasted almond cocktail. With a little cream, it's a fabulous dessert drink that can even handle a shot of vodka.

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    Fireball Eggnog

    Fireball Eggnog Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, so why not get a headstart with an amplified favorite? The Fireball eggnog recipe spikes prepared eggnog with cinnamon whiskey liqueur and amaretto. It's a simple and utterly delicious drink.

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    Rock and Rye Whiskey

    Rock and rye whiskey recipe

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Rock and rye is an old-fashioned liqueur made of rye whiskey, rock candy, and botanicals. It's an easy infusion that takes about a week to make, and fun to share when catching up with friends and family during the holiday.

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    Lambrusco Punch

    finished punch garnished with ice studded with cranberries, orange zest, and rosemary

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

    An effervescent dry Lambrusco wine is the base for this holiday punch. The added fall spices from star anise, cardamom, and rosemary, along with the bright bite of citrus rind make this a show stopper. This punch also includes Byrrh a fortified wine that has also been aromatized with quinine (the ingredient that gives tonic water its bitter edge). Beyond quinine, Byrrh is also flavored with orange and coffee, which add complexity and a distinct aroma. In this recipe, that subtle orange flavor is reinforced with orange liqueur.

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    Jim Beam Fruit Punch

    Jim Beam Fruit Punch

    The Spruce / Rachel Riesgraf

    Punch makes it easy to quench the thirst of your holiday guests. This whiskey fruit punch recipe is a brightly flavored sparkling option that takes just a few minutes to put together. To give it a seasonal flair, garnish it with fresh cranberries rather than strawberries.

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    Thanksgiving Punch

    Thanksgiving Punch for the Family

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Nonalcoholic punch drinks are great for the entire family. The Thanksgiving punch adds spiced syrup, blood orange juice, and sparkling grape juice to an apple cider base. Everyone will love it, and you can set a bottle of whiskey, vodka, or sparkling wine on the side so the adults can spike it as they please.

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    Sparkling Cranberry Punch

    Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Cranberry Punch

    The Spruce / Rachel Riesgraf

    Featuring frozen pink lemonade, this sparkling cranberry punch is super easy and always a hit. Keep it nonalcoholic, or mix in a cup or so of rum or vodka for a mature Thanksgiving crowd.

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    Autumn Spiced Tonic

    Autumn spiced tonic in a glass with apple slice garnish

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Tonic water is a perfect soda when you want a crisp, semi-dry mixed drink for dinner. In the autumn spiced tonic, it's the finishing touch that perfectly complements the homemade apple-pear-cinnamon-infused vodka.

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    Polish Hot Mulled Wine

    Polish hot mulled wine recipe

    The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

    Mulled wine is a classic warm holiday drink that's enjoyed worldwide. There are several variations to explore, including a basic mulled wine with brandy and red wine. In France, vin chaud prefers cognac and cardamom for the spiced punch, while a traditional Polish mulled wine keeps it nice and simple without any liquor and just five ingredients.

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    Rum Apple Cider Wassail

    Rum Apple Cider Wassail

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

    And then there is wassail! Another holiday favorite, the warm punch will put anyone in a festive mood. This rum apple cider wassail bridges the gap between autumn and winter flavors, so it's a perfect fit for Thanksgiving.

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    Whiskey Highball

    Classic highball cocktail recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Add ginger ale to your favorite whiskey for the spectacularly refreshing whiskey highball. Club soda is a great choice if you prefer a drink that's less sweet.