Orchestrating a Thanksgiving meal to satisfy every palate takes vigorous brainstorming and precise planning. The center of attention, the turkey, needs supporting dishes that will make its debut even more scrumptious.
What gravy, herbed or fruity, will best complement the turkey? What cranberry sauce, tart or sweet, will make everyone’s mouths water? Will there be mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or both? And what about the bread basket – will it be a cornucopia of rolls, buns, and biscuits or a more minimalistic approach with just one type of bread?
That’s a lot to plan, right? And what gets missed in all the commotion surrounding the main event is what will be served to drink. So, what libations will grace the table and get everyone in the holiday spirit? Here are a few of our favorite cocktails to help make your Thanksgiving feast complete.
If you have a wine lover in your life, this sangria will be the highlight of their night. It’s made with rose wine, cranberry juice, pomegranate seeds, and orange slices.
The cranberry juice and pomegranate seeds give the drink a festive holiday feel, and the orange slices add a bit of refreshment. For an added sweet flavor, you can add a fruity liqueur to the mix. If you’re not sure where to get one, the Pigeon Forge winery specializes in fruity, sweet wines that would be perfect for this sangria.
Pumpkin Spice from the Past
Forget the pumpkin spice latte; this year, it’s all about old-fashioned pumpkin spice. This delicious twist on a classic cocktail is made with bourbon, pumpkin puree, Angostura bitters, and an orange peel garnish. The pumpkin puree adds a lovely sweetness to the drink, while the Angostura bitters give it a warm, spiced flavor. Your bourbon-loving guests will be delighted with this choice.
The Cranberry Mule
A festive twist on the Moscow mule, this cocktail is made with cranberry juice, ginger beer, vodka, and a lime wedge garnish. The ginger beer’s sweetness perfectly balances the cranberry juice’s tartness. The lime wedge adds a bit of zest and ties the whole drink together. This one goes perfectly well with all the savory dishes on the Thanksgiving table. But be warned, it’s pretty strong, so drink responsibly!
The Spiced Pear Martini
Have you ever had a martini made with pear nectar? If not, you’re in for a real treat. Mix your best vodka with pear nectar, cinnamon dash, and lemon squeeze. Then, rim your martini glass with sugar, and you’re all set. The cinnamon and lemon complement the sweetness of the pear nectar for a delightful fall cocktail. It’s refreshing, light, and perfect for sipping before or after dinner.
Margaritas are considered a summertime drink, but with the hint of pomegranate, they’re perfect for fall. Lace your drink with maple syrup for a touch of sweetness, and garnish with a lime wedge. The tart pomegranate juice is perfectly balanced by the lime and triple sec in this twist on a classic margarita. Whether you’re serving it frozen or on the rocks, this margarita will please everyone at the table.
Concord Grape Royal
The plum and concord grapes are in season, so take advantage of them while you can. This royal cocktail is a divine co-mingling of these two luscious fruits. Muddle some grapes in the bottom of your glass, add some grape juice and Prosecco, and garnish with a slice of plum. The sweetness of the grapes is enhanced by the effervescence of the Prosecco for a delightful fall treat. It’s a perfect pairing for any dessert, especially a fruit pie. And if you top it with the bitter orange peels, you can serve it with your finger-licking turkey.
Apple Cider Sangria
Apple cider, the kiddie drink of fall, gets a grown-up makeover in this tasty sangria. To make this glass of deliciousness, mix hard apple cider, brandy, and your favorite red wine. Add some thinly sliced apples and cinnamon sticks for garnish. The result is a potent potable perfect for sipping by the fire. Additionally, it’s an excellent drink to serve a crowd, as it gets better with time, and you can prepare it in advance. So, make a pitcher (or two) the day before Thanksgiving.
Welcome home the festive spirit with a toast of a bubbly, flavorful cocktail. French 75 is all things champagne in a glass – sparkling, crisp, and refreshing. All it takes is champagne, gin, and sugar syrup. And don’t forget the all-important garnish of a lemon twist. It’s the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving feast or enjoy coffee and dessert after dinner. Dating back to the First World War, this classic cocktail will surely bring a touch of sophistication to your holiday table.
Cocktails can be served warm, and this one is perfect for a chilly night. The hot toddy is a classic cold-weather drink that will warm you from the inside out. Turn your stove on, and let’s get started. You’ll need water, honey, lemon, whiskey, and a cinnamon stick. If you’re feeling under the weather, add a dash of cayenne pepper for some sinus-clearing power. Just heat everything on the stove (don’t let it boil) and pour it into mugs. Star anise and a few whole cloves add a festive touch.
Cranberry Thyme Gin and Tonic
We have just the perfect use for your leftover cranberries and thyme sprigs. This Cranberry Thyme Gin and Tonic is refreshing, slightly sweet, and easy to make. This beautifully handcrafted cocktail will delight all senses with each sip. The earthy gin flavor, the sweetness of cranberries, and the zing of lemon come together for a delightful fall drink. Throw in the leftover cranberries for a touch of color and flavor.
The cocktails you pick for your festive dinner spread shouldn’t be just any old drinks. Unafraid of the caramel touch of whiskey, the overpowering apple cider, and the bubbly French 75, each cocktail has been designed to complement your Thanksgiving feast perfectly. So, raise a glass and give thanks for good food, drink, and company. Cheers!