Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas and More!

Thanksgiving is usually all about the food. You might only use family heirloom recipes, or you prefer changing it up every year. Whether you choose the traditional route or a gourmet feast what you are drinking may become an afterthought. Deciding upon the perfect drink to accompany your carefully prepared dishes will add another layer of flavor and bump your dinner up to the next level.

We have included a variety of recipes including a soothing warm concoction, a cold spiced cocktail, and a twist on a Thanksgiving staple.

Get Festive this Fall with a Pumpkin Sour

pumpkin sour festival wine and spirits

Most folks cannot get enough pumpkin-infused foods and drinks during the short Autumn season, and this cocktail will not disappoint. It is the right tang of pumpkin to balance the deep rich Bourbon. It is sure to please every generation.


  • 8 oz. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
  • 4 oz. Freshly squeezed Orange Juice
  • 2 oz. Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 oz. Maple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Dark Rum
  • 2 Tablespoons Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Orange peel for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake vigorously
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
  3. Garnish with a twisted orange peel.

Serves 4

Warm Up with a Hot Apple Toddy

hot apple toddy recipe

Warm apples and cinnamon warm the body and mind. As the temperatures start to fall, these flavors are definitely comforting. This cocktail can be sipped on before or after dinner.

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


  1. Stud the orange halves with cloves.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the cider, cinnamon, and oranges to a simmer.
  3. To serve add a shot of brandy to a cup.
  4. Ladle in the hot cider and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream.


‘Tis the Season for Spiked Cranberry Sauce

spiked jellied cranberry sauce
Surely you have seen that strange deep red colored, odd shaped jelly cranberry concoction on the Thanksgiving table. We have found a great way to put a new twist on this old-time favorite that everyone loves but is afraid to admit it.

*Note: If you have guests under 21 years old make sure to have a non-alcohol version clearly labeled for the kiddos.

  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau
  • One 14-ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
  • Cooking spray


  1. Put the gelatin in a small bowl, and pour the vodka and liqueur over it. Let sit until the gelatin is completely soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, transfer the cranberry sauce to a small saucepan. Rinse out the can, dry it and coat the inside with cooking spray. Heat the sauce over medium-low heat; once it starts to bubble, whisk it vigorously until it’s completely smooth with no lumps (the sauce will darken and have a slight sheen). Remove the pan from the heat, add the softened gelatin and all the liquid, and stir until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared can.
  3. Let the cranberry sauce sit at room temperature until the can is just warm to the touch. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
  4. To serve, run a small knife around the lip of the can to release the cranberry sauce slightly, then turn the can carefully under running hot water (don’t get water in the can). Invert the can onto a cutting board, and firmly tap until the sauce unmolds in 1 piece. Lay the sauce on its side on a serving plate, and cut into 6 or 7 slices.


If you have any questions or are looking for suggestions for drinks to accompany your Thanksgiving celebration, come into Festival Wine and Spirits. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help. Also, make sure you check out our weekly specials, might just find something perfect for the holidays!