16 Best Thanksgiving Cocktails – Easy Thanksgiving Drink Recipes
We’re chock full of Thanksgiving-adjacent advice. We’ll tell you how to diffuse familial war-mongering around the dinner table. We’ll give you a list of the correct liquor to buy so that instead of eating every traditional Thanksgiving dish, you can drink it in alcoholic form (will wonders never cease!). If you’re still keen on eating, we’ll point you in the right direction of a mail-order Thanksgiving spread (cook? we wouldn’t dream of it.). We’ll recommend the best sweatpants for your after-meal nap, and a great Thanksgiving movie to put on the TV right before you drift off into that nap. Hell, we’ll even tell you how to nap. That’s conversation, spirits, sustenance, and comfort all sorted out.
Still, there’s an old-fashioned-glass-shaped hole in this spread. We’re missing cocktails, which, in a way, complement each of those four categories quite nicely. And Thanksgiving cocktails, in particular. Thanksgiving cocktails you can mix for yourself in the more low-key moments of the holiday weekend, and Thanksgiving cocktails you can serve to your of-age guests to take the edge way the hell off.
We’re of the mindset that a Thanksgiving cocktail should spiritually resemble the stuffing more than the sweet potato casserole. If you prefer rich gravy and hearty bread to a pile of marshmallow fluff torched to a sugared crisp, then you’ll be on the same page drinks-wise. The following fall-appropriate drinks are bold, flavorful, mostly uncomplicated, and not too sweet. All are classics—or riffs on classics—and quite simple to make. Because when you’re already worrying about conversation, spirits, sustenance, and comfort, there’s no need to put out your back preparing a 12-ingredient cocktail that captures the aroma of a roasted bird and the sugar-high of that casserole. Nor do you need to be experimenting with the unknown when you’ve got dishes to prep and ovens to preheat.
And hey, if your 2021 Thanksgiving is looking more isolated than those in years past, forget the bird: A cocktail might be all you need.
Get unlimited access to Esquire’s Food+Drink coverage as you prepare for the holiday season. Join Esquire Select.