Sure, Thanksgiving is all about the food, but the right Thanksgiving cocktail can give your friends and family something else to be thankful for. The ingredients available this time of year should ignite your Thanksgiving creativity and allow you to let your imagination to run wild matching those ingredients with your favorite wine and spirits (or mix them up virgin-style for those younger guests). Finding a way to mix up red, orange, green and more to mimic the colors of the falling leaves makes your fall get-together even warmer and your Thanksgiving even more festive.
So, here is a collection of some of the best Thanksgiving cocktails 2017. Most of them can be drinks for one or two or Thanksgiving cocktails for a crowd. Whether you are looking to focus on cranberry, pumpkin, apple or ginger, and whether you like a martini, a mule, or even a cold weather Sangria, there is a Thanksgiving cocktail (or Thanksgiving cocktails) for you and your Thanksgiving holiday crowd.
Thanksgiving should be about family, friends, and togetherness, so don’t stress. Thanksgiving cocktails can be as simple or as complex as you want to make them, with ingredients from your local supermarket, farm market or special order source. Serve them in Mason jars or fine crystal but have fun and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.
Cranberry Sauce Gin & Tonic
Make your plain old gin and tonic into a festive Thanksgiving cranberry colored gin and tonic in a tall, cold glass.
From Jimmy at the James, New York City
2 oz Botanist Gin
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz lemon juice
1 heaping bar spoon (equivalent to a standard teaspoon)
In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and cranberry sauce. Shake with ice for ten seconds, then strain into tall glass with ice. Stir in tonic water and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Serve this dark cherry-colored Thanksgiving cocktail in a champagne coupe glass.
From Blyth & Burrows in Portland, Maine
1.25 oz Paddy Irish Whiskey
.5 oz cherry syrup *
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz cold brew coffee
Maraschino cherry garnish
Shake the first five ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain and serve. Garnish with cherries.
*Cherry syrup recipe (this will make enough for several drinks, store in a covered jar):
1 cup cherry juice
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
7 grams pepper
Mix all of the ingredients together in a pot. Heat to boiling (just enough to melt the sugar) then remove from the heat. The syrup will keep for six weeks in the refrigerator.
Pumpkin Maple Fizz
This Thanksgiving pumpkin inspired cocktail is served in a tall glass, dusted with cinnamon.
From Margeaux Brasserie, Chicago, Illinois
1.5 oz Citadelle Gin
.25 oz pumpkin puree
.25 oz lemon juice
.05 oz egg white
.25 oz orange juice
.75 oz maple syrup
2 dashes pumpkin spice bitters
2 dashes roasted banana bitters
Combine ingredients and shake in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a highball glass and dust lightly with cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
Serve this creamy, nutty pumpkin Thanksgiving cocktail in a champagne coupe glass.
From Hub 51, Chicago, Illinois
1.5 oz Hanks Vodka
.75 oz heavy cream
.75 oz pumpkin syrup (Torani or another brand)
Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake and double strain into the coupe glass. Garnish the drink with pumpkin spice mix.
Bringing an herbed tequila cocktail to your Thanksgiving dinner
1 rosemary sprig
.5 oz Raw Brown Sugar Syrup (or agave syrup can be used)
2 oz Hornitos Reposado Tequila
2 oz pomegranate juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into a low glass and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
Orange Cinnamon Blossom Wine
If you want to add a bit of sparkle to your holiday, try this cocktail from Santa Margherita as a welcome cocktail, or serve it with your meal.
1 bottle of Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
Rinse lemon and orange and thinly slice them, discarding seeds; quarter the orange slices. Put fruit in a 4- to 5-quart pan. Add honey, sugar (use the smaller amount if you prefer drinks on the tart side, the larger if you want a sweeter flavor), cloves and allspice. With a knife, cut the cinnamon sticks lengthwise into thinner strips. Add cinnamon and 2 cups water to pan; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Pour Prosecco into hot citrus base and heat until steaming, about 8 minutes. Keep warm over low heat. Carefully ladle into heatproof cups or wine glasses. For a buffet, consider putting this is a crockpot on low.
Happy Thanksgiving To You And Yours!
[Featured Image by Josh Reynolds/AP Images]