The turkey and potatoes get the most attention on Thanksgiving Day. We want to highlight the unrecognized hero of Thanksgiving cocktails. These boozy drinks have soul-soothing seasonal ingredients such as apples and cranberries. Our editors have shared their top autumnal cocktails. Think punches with layers of apple flavor, a mezcal-fig tart, and a hard cider sangria. Do you need something warm to combat the cold weather? Hot mulled cider and coffee drinks are also available. These are just a few of the many Thanksgiving drinks and cocktails you can enjoy.
Hard Cider Sangria
This refreshing sangria uses hard cider instead of wine. It is flavored with apple brandy and lemon juice.
Pu-erh Tea Digestif
The tea’s sweet, earthy flavor complements barrel-aged cognac and makes for a refreshingly smooth drink.
This Old-Fashioned variation has a rich warmth from applejack and lets fresh apple flavors shine through without being overpowered. Combine ingredients in a heatproof container with 2 oz boiling water to make a hot beverage.
Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies
Hot toddy is simply a shot of any potent spirit mixed with a cup hot water. Suzanne Bozarth, a bartender, puts a French twist on this warming drink by adding a splash of apple brandy (such as Calvados).
Richard Boccato learned this White Russian variety from Sasha Petraske, a great mixologist when Boccato worked at Milk & Honey. Boccato uses Caffe Lolita coffee liquor.
Sparkling Cranberry Ginger Punch with Toasted Spices
For a strong punch of flavor, this low-alcohol punch uses tart cranberry juice with spicy ginger ale. Frozen cranberries can be used as a punch ring to keep this fizzy drink cold. Keep an extra bottle cold sparkling wine for your guests so they can top off their cups.
Cava and Pomegranate Cocktail
It can be difficult to remove seeds from a Pomegranate. It is not difficult, but it is possible. chef Jose Andres says. His method was to cut the pomegranate in half, but not through the stem. Wrap each half in cheesecloth, then hit the ground with a spoon or rolling iron. It was easy! It was really hit! Andres urges. Next, open the package and take out the seeds. They should almost pop out.
Young Irish whiskeys are best for hot punches. Older whiskeys are more tannic than younger ones, while young whiskeys remain smooth.
Chris Hannah, a Spirited Award-winning bartender, loves to serve this drink in the fall or winter. He especially enjoys it during Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the carnival season in New Orleans from January through March.
Cocktail with Rum and Orange
This bitter cocktail is made with Amaro Montenegro (an Italian digestif). It brings strong orange flavors to the drink. Warm, the drink begins with a light, molassesy sweetness that is evident from the first sip. However, it packs a pleasant bitter taste. It is a bit smoky, but it’s delightfully strong. Add a little grapefruit bitters to the mixture and garnish it with a grapefruit peel twist.
Far from the Tree
Ivy Mix, a Brooklyn bartender and co-owner of Leyenda, Brooklyn shares this holiday punch with cardamom scent. The punch has a autumnal vibe thanks to layers of apple flavor (from apple brandy, cold-pressed juice, hard cider, fresh apple slices)
Concord Grape Gin Fizz
This refreshing, vibrant cocktail is made with Concord grapes and gin.
Smoky Mezcal-Fig Sour
The spicy-sweet fig ginger syrup and bright lemon juice round out this cocktail. The drink needs to be sweeter to allow the autumnal mezcal shine through.
Hot Buttered Spiked Cider
This spiked cider recipe has the perfect amount of spiced golden rum. It is warm, sweet, and warming. The pumpkin pie spice is a great way to add fall flavor. Butter adds richness to the drink and makes it velvety. This cider is great for autumn and winter, especially when you entertain outdoors or deal with cold weather.
Mott & Mulberry
Leo Robitschek, bar director, uses maple syrup and fresh apple cider in his perfect cold weather cocktail.
To give this warm alcoholic drink, a riff of a Gin and Tonic, a little hot water is all it takes. The botanicals in gin behave like mulled spice when heated. Tonic syrup is preferred over tonic water. Hot water performs the same trick as effervescent bubbles to transport the aromas in the syrup and gin right up to your nose. This warm cocktail is perfect for winter days.
This spiked coffee cocktail has a splash of cream, just enough sweetness to balance the bitterness and herbal notes of the mezcal and is balanced and fortifying. Make piloncillo syrup by simmering an eight-ounce cone piloncillo in 1 cup water in a small saucepan for 10 minutes.