The best Thanksgiving cocktail recipes to whip up at home

Lisa Brown
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Thanksgiving may be a time for family and friends, but it's also a perfect opportunity to indulge in endless plates of food, sweets, and of course, cocktails.

For those playing host, we've rounded up some inventive Thanksgiving cocktail recipes to try out on your guests. From Pumpkin Spice Toddys to cinnamon-infused whiskey, these signature recipes from bars and restaurants across the country can be made right at home. Ideal if you're bored of the usual punch and wine doing the rounds...

For a holiday twist on cranberry: Cosecha Arandano

Cosecha Arandando cocktail (Añejo)

From Añejo (New York City)


1 oz Tapatio 110

1 oz Pimm's No. 1

1 oz fresh cranberry puree

.75 oz thyme syrup

.5 oz fresh lime

Egg white


Combine all ingredients in a shaker without ice. Shake vigorously. Add ice and shake briefly just to chill. Double strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and skewered cranberries.

For squash lovers: Pumpkin Spice Toddy

Pumpkin Spice Hot Toddy (Headquarters Beercade )

From Reindeer Games, Christmas pop-up at Headquarters Beercade (Nashville)


1.5 oz spiced rum (Far North Alander is fantastic, but Sailor Jerry is probably sufficient)

.75 oz chai pumpkin syrup

.25 oz lemon (be careful to not add too much, gets overpowering quickly)

3-5 oz hot water

Butternut squash


Half and de-seed butternut squash, roast on 425 until soft. Mash squash together 6:1 with white sugar (more sugar than squash). Incorporate 3 bags of loose chai tea. Let rest for 2+ hours (this can rest overnight for the best effect). Heat mixture slowly and add water until all the sugar is dissolved. Strain and cool. Keep refrigerated with a four-week shelf life. Serve hot in a mug.

For a big crowd: Glühwein (recipe makes 1 gallon)

Mulled wine (Industry Kitchen)

From Industry Kitchen (New York City)


5L red wine

15 pieces star anise

18 cloves

7 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp nutmeg

4 sliced oranges

2 sliced limes

2 2/3 cup sugar

1 oz Bourbon


Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and heat on medium for 20 minutes without allowing to simmer. Remove from heat, pour through a strainer into mugs. Garnish with an orange peel

For an update on a classic: Cinnamon and Almond Spiced Old Fashioned

Cinnamon and Almond Spiced Old Fashioned (Louie Bossi's Ristorante Bar Pizzeria)

From Louie Bossi's Ristorante Bar Pizzeria (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)




Orange peel

Almond extract

Michigan Orchard cherries

2 oz single barrelled Bourbon

1/2 oz orchard cherry liqueur


Smoke cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peels and leave sitting for 24 hours with two ounces of single barrel Bourbon. Add 1/2 an ounce of orchard cherry liqueur. Finish it with almond extract and Michigan Orchard cherries.

For a Fall twist on a summer favorite: The Julep

The Julep (Dante )

From Dante (New York City)


1.5 oz Monkey Shoulder whiskey (infused with freeze-dried cranberries)

1/2 oz Becherovka

1/2 oz cranberry syrup

Mint leaves


Muddle torn mint leaves in crushed ice. Shake whiskey and Becherovka with crushed ice and pour over more ice. Garnish with large mint sprig, three cranberries and confectioner’s sugar.

For anyone with a sweet tooth: Bubbles & Butter

Bubbles & Butter (Jack Rose Restaurant)

From Jack Rose Restaurant (New Orleans, Louisiana)


1.5 oz brown butter bourbon

0.5 oz Cardamaro

1 oz lemon juice

0.5 oz simple syrup

Sparkling wine


Shake and strain bourbon, Cardamaro, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist

For a new seasonal staple: Apple of My Rye

Apple of My Rye (The Wild Son )

From The Wild Son (New York City)


2 oz Rye Whiskey

1.5 oz freshly-pressed apple juice

3⁄4 oz cinnamon syrup

3⁄4 oz fresh lemon juice


Simple syrup is infused with cinnamon sticks in a hot saucepan to create a cinnamon syrup. Shake and strain into a Collins glass. Garnish by stabbing three apple slices with a bamboo stick forming a “set of stairs”. Add a very touch of cinnamon powder on top.

For total holiday cheer: 'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season (Death or Glory)

From Death or Glory (Delray Beach, Florida)


1.5 oz vodka (any brand)

1/2 oz rosemary-infused Aperol

1/2 oz lime juice

1/2 oz syrup



Mix all ingredients together and top off with Prosecco. Garnish with rosemary.

For whiskey fans: Edging Autumn

Edging Autumn (Loosie’s Kitchen)

From Loosie’s Kitchen (Brooklyn, New York)


2 oz Irish Whiskey

3/4 oz St. Agrestis Amaro

3/4 oz honey syrup (1:1 honey and water)

3 dashes Angostura Bitters


Shake all ingredients and strain into a glass of ice. Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.

For a nutty treat: Walnut Sazerac

Walnut Sazerac (FOHNYC)

From JIMMY at The James (New York City)


2 oz Ragtime rye whiskey

1 oz Vicario walnut liquor

4 dashes Absinthe

3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters



In a mixing glass add the rye whiskey, walnut liquor, absinthe and Peychaud's Bitters. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass, then twist the lemon peel over the drink to release the oils. Garnish the glass with a slice of lemon peel and enjoy.

For family celebrations: Back to Your Roots

Back to Your Roots (Mulholland Distilling)

From Mulholland Distilling (Los Angeles)


1.5 oz Mulholland Gin

.75 oz Beet Syrup

.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice


Shake together and strain over ice. Garnish with a dill sprig. The bright scent of dill helps balance the earthiness of the beet flavor.