9 Cocktails You Simply Need When Hosting Thanksgiving This Year

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There's no denying one of the best parts of the holidays is the dinner parties. If you're playing host this year, getting your bar cart ready is just as important as setting the Thanksgiving table. A good host makes sure every guest has a drink in hand. A successful Turkey Day is filled with clinking glasses, festive cheer, and football naps. Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving brunch or the big dinner, be the hostess with the mostest and create a crafty cocktail just as impressive as the turkey. And, like Kitchn says, be sure to experiment ahead of the big get-together! Yum!

Whether you're in the mood for a pumpkin smash, margarita, or an old-fashioned, we've tracked down the top drinks to serve at Thanksgiving. This time of year is marked by warm spices and fragrant botanicals and infusing them into drinks is the best part. Take your cocktails to the next level this holiday season and put these elevated twists on cult-favorite classics. These recipes bring all the fall vibes and will definitely make your Thanksgiving one to remember.

The pumpkin martini

What's a list of Thanksgiving cocktails without a pumpkin martini? If you skipped Starbucks the morning of the big dinner, delight your guests with this take on a pumpkin spice latte. Don't be intimidated by its gorgeous appearance. This recipe by A Couple Cooks bears repeating and starts by preparing your rim with crushed graham crackers. Dip the glass in maple syrup and coat generously in crushed cookies until completely coated. 

To make the drink, put two ounces of vodka, half an ounce of heavy cream, two tablespoons of pumpkin puree, and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extra into your shaker with ice. Shake vigorously in order to blend and smooth any lumps out of the puree. Pour over a strainer and directly into a martini glass. Garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg and serve.

Apple cider oldfashioned

An Old Fashioned is a classic crowd-pleaser. Not for the faint of heart, this traditional drink packs a punch with aged bourbon. According to Whiskey Rebellion Trail, debates still continue whether its 1800 origins began in Kentucky or New York. Nevertheless, it's always a crowd-pleaser. To make this Thanksgiving twist on the classic, mixologists at Recipe Runner combine apple cider, whiskey, maple syrup, and bitters in a lowball glass. Finish off by adding in a large ice cube and top with your favorite fall garnish, like an apple or cinnamon stick.

Caramel pumpkin sangria

Sangrias are usually known as summertime chillers, but there's definitely a seat reserved for them at Thanksgiving too. This caramel pumpkin sangria created by Kellie Karbach at The Foul-Mouth Gourmet is a gorgeous take on a party classic. Typically made in a pitcher or punch bowl, sangrias are great for serving up to big groups. Grab a large pitcher and pour in an entire bottle of your favorite white wine. Next, add in two cups of apple cider, one cup of caramel vodka, and half a cup of pumpkin butter. Cover and stir until velvety and blended. Serve immediately over ice or cover and let rest in the refrigerator for two to three hours.

Harvest gin and tonic

If you're playing bartender at a dinner party and a guest asks for a Gin and Tonic, offer them this instead. Fitch & Leedes, creators of a Premier Indian Tonic, serve up this sparkling drink with a spiced edge. Made with gin, apple cider, and whole spices, what is usually a bright and crisp cocktail gets a warm and inviting fall makeover. To elevate it further, use a spiced gin like Opihr Oriental that's made with coriander, juniper, and Indonesian cubeb pepper berries.

The Poinsetta

Poinsettias are usually reserved for Christmas, but we couldn't resist adding this Cranberry Prosecco cocktail by Scott Noriega into the mix. Served traditionally as a relish or a sauce, cranberries provide a sweet and tart relief to the rich and luxurious turkey bird and sides. To try it as your cocktail on the big night, add half an ounce of Rémy Cointreau or any orange liqueur into a stirring glass. Follow that up with a one and half ounce pour of pure cranberry juice. Stir over ice for about 15 seconds so as not to water down the mixture. Pour into a champagne glass and top with your choice of prosecco or champagne

Rosemary bourbon sour

Rosemary and lemon are a pairing as old as time. The two create a flavor marriage perfect for any season and throw bourbon in the mix, and you have a party. When we saw this recipe by Whiskey Muse, we knew it needed a spot on our Thanksgiving drink list. Incredibly easy to make with just a shaker, bourbon, simple syrup, lemon, and egg whites, this frothy, foamy drink tastes like a warm hug. Be sure to use a rosemary simple syrup like this one available on Amazon, or simply make your own and store it for later. 

Holiday Margarita

What's a party without a margarita? Tieghan Gerard, creator of the sensational account Half-Baked Harvest, blew our minds when showcasing this holiday margarita made with cranberry juice, orange liqueur, oh, and double the amount of tequila. Yes, please. Dubbed the Mistletoe Margarita, this recipe on Gerard's food blog uses a blender to smash up ice, silver tequila, salt, sugar, lime juice, Rémy Cointreau, and frozen cranberries for a very merry cocktail. It's not only stunning but is sure to get the holiday vibes started.

Frosted spicy ginger moscow mule

Something about holding a clunky copper mug while wearing a cozy knit sweater just feels right. According to Moscow Copper Co., traditional mules are always served in a copper mug for insulation purposes. It not only keeps the icy drink cold but also helps to enhance and intensify the fragrant ingredients. Moscow mule purists will tell you if it's not in a copper mug, it's not a Moscow mule! This spicy version by Half-Baked Harvest was inspired by snowy holiday nights and incorporates jalapenos, grapefruit juice, and sugared cranberries for a gorgeous finish. Add pomegranate seeds and mint leaves for an extra festive finish. 

Spiced maple bourbon fizz

Tieghan Gerard strikes again with another impressive holiday cocktail. Give this girl her own cooking show, please. Followers in the comments rave that this Spiced Maple Bourbon Fizz was a Thanksgiving hit. Typically dark cocktails can feel heavy or overly rich. Gerard describes this drink on her blog Half-Baked Harvest as being "extra cozy" and "bubbly." It's both sweet and spicy, topped with a classy splash of champagne. One of these after a plate of turkey, and you're sleeping through the football game, hands down. Totally worth it.