Skip to main content

These delicious Thanksgiving cocktails just might help your family get along

Thanksgiving is a time for appreciating life, enjoying the finer things, and toasting to loved ones. If you’re preparing a Thanksgiving meal for your family and friends, complete with appetizers, sides, and festive Thanksgiving desserts, make sure you don’t forget about cocktail hour. Whether your guests are waiting for the meal to be ready or letting their full bellies rest after dinner, we’ve got some great Thanksgiving-themed cocktails that they’ll love.

Fall flavors to include in Thanksgiving cocktails

What makes a cocktail Thanksgiving-themed? You’ve probably guessed that it’s all in the signature fall ingredients. Here are the best fall flavors to include in your holiday-themed drinks at your Thanksgiving cocktail hour.


A signature fall fruit, apples get a lot of attention around Thanksgiving for good reason. They are the key ingredients in some of our favorite fall treats, like apple pie and cider. Adding a crisp and sweet apple flavor to your cocktail will simply hit the festive spot on those taste buds.


Another classic fall taste, cranberries are known as the signature fruit of Thanksgiving, but we don’t think they get all the attention they deserve. The tartness of these underrated berries pair so well with both the bite of liquor and the sweetness of a fruity cocktail mixer.


No Thanksgiving food list would be complete without pumpkin, and your cocktail list for the holiday shouldn’t go without it either. Perfect for cocktails that double as desserts, pumpkin adds that hint of fall spice we all love so much.

Ideas for Thanksgiving cocktails

For a holiday party your guests will remember for years, we’ve got some unique, fall-flavored Thanksgiving cocktails you can serve that are actually more like holiday twists on beloved classics.

Hot caramel apple cider cocktail

If you adore the tart and warm sweetness of hot apple cider, you’ll love this boozy twist on a classic comfort beverage. Your guests can curl up on the couch after dinner and cozy up to this warm and flavorful cocktail.

What you’ll need:

  • Apple cider
  • Caramel apple vodka
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce
  • Cinnamon sticks

How to make it:

  1. Heat up the apple cider on the stovetop in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Pour one part vodka and four parts warmed cider into a heat-safe mug.
  3. Top each drink with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel.
  4. Add a cinnamon stick as a garnish.

Cranberry Jell-O shots

Are you hosting Friendsgiving? Your guests will have a good old time at your after-dinner cocktail hour when Jell-O shots are on the menu. This classic party shooter is given a Thanksgiving holiday twist with the addition of that signature cranberry flavor.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 6 ounces gelatin (you can use plain or a flavored gelatin like orange, cranberry, or cherry)
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Orange twists

How to make it:

  1. Whisk cranberry sauce and water together in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in the gelatin and use the whisk to mix until it’s dissolved.
  3. Add in the vodka and give the mixture one last whisk.
  4. Use a mesh sieve to strain.
  5. Carefully pour the hot mixture into plastic shooter cups.
  6. Cover the cups with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for 4 hours minimum before serving.

Pumpkin Spice White Russian

White Russians are generally loved for their delightful combination of the powerful punch of vodka, the sweet, flavorful taste of Kahlua, and the velvety goodness of fresh cream. Add a Thanksgiving twist to this delicious classic by adding some sweet fall flavors.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1.5 ounces Kahlua
  • 3 ounces pumpkin spice coffee creamer
  • Whipped cream
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs

How to make it:

  1. Mix one teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with sugar and graham crackers.
  2. Dip the rim of the shot glasses in water before dipping them in the mixture to garnish the rim.
  3. Pour vodka, coffee creamer, and Kahlua into an ice-filled martini mixer and shake until chilled.
  4. Pour the mixture into the shot glasses.
  5. Top shot glasses with whipped cream and garnish with the remaining pumpkin pie spice.

While Thanksgiving is a holiday known for its food and its feelings of gratefulness, that doesn’t mean you and your dinner guests can’t enjoy a tasty holiday cocktail hour. With one of the signature Thanksgiving drinks on our list, you’ll be able to level up your Thanksgiving cocktail game and keep your guests full of joy and bliss for the holiday season.

Editors' Recommendations