5 Thanksgiving Cocktails That Will Impress Your Guests

Prepping for Thanksgiving at the last minute? Cocktails are the easiest thing you’ll have to make all day. Whatever your taste buds prefer – apple, maple, pear, pumpkin, or even citrus – we’ve rounded up five great Thanksgiving cocktail recipes that’ll turn you into a convincing mixologist.

Photo by Shaun Sullivan.

Photo by Shaun Sullivan.

Apple Toddy

  • 1/2 orange, halved
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Brandy, to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Stud orange with cloves. Bring cider, cinnamon, and oranges to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add a shot of brandy to each cup. Ladle the hot cider over the brandy. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Makes 4 servings. See the recipe here

Maple Manhattan

  • 2 ounces rye
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 dashes bitter
  • Ice
  • Pickled cherries

Add rye, vermouth, maple syrup, and bitters to a shaker. Shake, pour over ice, and add skewered cherries.

Makes 1 serving. See the recipe here.


Photo by Eric Zepeda.

Photo by Eric Zepeda.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pear, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Ice

Chill martini glasses. Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce, heat, and simmer. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.

Add syrup, vodka, vermouth, lime juice, and pears to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into an ice-filled shaker, shake well, and pour into glasses. Garnish with pear slices and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. See the recipe here

Pumpkin Pie Martini

  • 1/2 ounce vanilla Stoli
  • 1 ounce pumpkin spice liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Kahlua
  • 1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 1/2 ounce half & half
  • Crushed graham crackers
  • Cinnamon stick

Rim glass with crushed graham crackers. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add liquid ingredients. Shake and strain into glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Makes 1 serving. See the recipe here

Sidecar Martini

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 10 ounces cognac
  • 4 ounces triple sec liqueur
  • 4 ounces sweet and sour mix
  • 4 ounces limoncello
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • Ice

Chill 4 martini glasses. Combine sugar and lime zest in a shallow dish. Rim glasses using the lime wedge and dip glass in sugar-zest mixture. Mix cognac, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, limoncello, lime juice, and ice in a shaker, shake, and serve.

Makes 4 servings. See the recipe here

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