10 Thanksgiving Cocktails to Fill Your Glass with Fall Flavor

four cocktails toasting on new years eye
Photo: David Tsay

Step aside, wine and beer. We're thinking cocktail hour is in order this Thanksgiving! Whether you pair these Thanksgiving drink recipes with your menu or enjoy them before or after the big meal, these Thanksgiving cocktails are sure to get the party started. (Not doing booze? Skip the alcohol and replace it with club soda, juice, or another no-ABV mixer for a Thanksgiving mocktail recipe that's fun and festive, too.)

01 of 10

Pomegranate Cider Sangria

pomegranate-cider sangria with cinnamon sticks
Brie Passano

Apple cider exudes a fall feeling all on its own. Once you add warm spices like cinnamon and star anise and brighten things up with pomegranate, it's all dressed up for the holiday! Especially if you spike your sangria with brandy for the 21+ crowd.

02 of 10

Snickerdoodle Cider Mimosa

snickerdoodle-style cider mimosa in glass
Brie Passano

Speaking of cider, why not start the Thanksgiving festivities at brunch with a cider mimosa? This sparkling wine cocktail is all autumn, all the time, thanks to that cider, cinnamon, vanilla-scented cream soda, and apple slices. Pair it with a cinnamon roll or piece of quiche and everyone will be in good spirits from the moment they wake up on Thanksgiving.

03 of 10

Orange-Ginger Pomegranate Punch

Orange-Ginger Pomegranate Punch
Blaine Moats

Pomegranate juice is packed with vitamins and sweet-tart flavor to complement the zesty ginger, earthy rosemary, and tangy orange liqueur in this festive punch. Fizzy Italian sparkling wine (aka Prosecco) makes it feel even more fitting for a holiday. Garnish each glass with a rosemary sprig, orange slice, and a few pomegranate arils for a showy, celebratory finish.

04 of 10

Apple-Cinnamon Winter Sangria

Apple-Cinnamon Winter Sangria
Kritsada Panichgul

You'll never go wrong with the classic autumnal duo of apples and cinnamon. Here, that dream team joins forces with a variety of sweet dried fruits and spicy Spanish red wine. Finish the pitcher cocktail with a splash of club soda and all of your Thanksgiving guests will be bubbling over with excitement.

05 of 10

Cider Moscow Mule

Cider Moscow Mule
Brie Passano

Crowd-pleasing Moscow mules are bound to be a hit as part of your Thanksgiving menu. The only extra step you need to take to turn the classic vodka cocktail into a fall sip? Add a splash of apple cider in with the ginger beer, liquor, and lime.

06 of 10

Cardamom Sidecar

Cardamom Sidecar

Cozy cardamom is common in chai recipes and fall-spiced baked goods. Add it to this classic cocktail for a lovely warm element to balance out the rich cognac, tangy lemon juice, and sweet clementine syrup.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you anticipate being crunched for time on Thanksgiving, stir together the syrup up to 2 days ahead. Once guests arrive, it takes less than 10 minutes to shake up a batch of sidecars.

07 of 10

Cider Mulled Wine

cider mulled wine with apples and cinnamon
Brie Passano

You might be familiar with mulling red wine around Christmas, but make it white wine-based and mulled wine makes for a surprisingly brilliant pairing for Thanksgiving dinner! Baking spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice meet honey, apple cider, and white wine in this party-starting Thanksgiving cocktail. Up the ante with a glug of rum, brandy, or bourbon.

08 of 10

Bourbon Citrus Sipper

Bourbon Citrus Sipper
Andy Lyons

Keep that bottle of bourbon handy for this cozy slow cooker Thanksgiving cocktail, too. Think of the whiskey recipe like a fall-flavored take on the hot toddy with apple cider instead of tea or hot water. Set your slow cooker ($25, Target) on "keep warm" and keep it toasty all holiday gathering long.

09 of 10

Cranberry Cider Sangria

Cranberry Cider Sangria in glass pitcher

We're suckers for a make-ahead Thanksgiving recipe. And this Thanksgiving cocktail can be made up to 5(!) days ahead. Pomegranate molasses is key to its unique tangy flavor. Brandy, apple cider, orange slices, and warm spices complete the good-warm-or-chilled beverage.

10 of 10

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Are you lucky enough to have an extra few ounces of red wine left after the big feast? Put it to delicious use in this 10-minute hot chocolate recipe. The rich and luscious Thanksgiving cocktail is the ideal way to cap off one truly epic holiday.

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