Cocktail of the Week: Drinks to be Thankful For

Everyone’s first reaction to “Thanksgiving” is food—turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and gravy—but when it comes to Thanksgiving drinks, these sides are often neglected. Whether you’re looking for an aperitif or a cocktail to compliment your mami’s notorious pecan pie, a drink to snuggle up with after the big meal or a drink to wake you up for a night out, these holiday cocktails will spice up your night and remind you that Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food.

Top Thanksgiving Drink: Pumpkin Frappe

After a hearty meal, your guests will want something sweet and inviting to savor. Serving a slice of pumpkin pie is always a delicious option, but for those who’re short on time, the Pumpkin Frappe is just as heavenly and mouthwatering. This cocktail recipe is so easy that it’s a sin and that’s something you’ll be thankful for. With chilled rum, a few spices, vanilla ice cream, and pumpkin puree, a blender will mix all the ingredients together, resulting in a frosty treat that you won’t find at a local coffee shop. If certain visitors are watching their weight, you can create the “skinny” version of a Pumpkin Frappe and anyone on a diet will be celebrating over that!

Ingredients: 2 oz. Rum (We used Mount Gay Rum Eclipse)

4 tsp. Pumpkin puree (Save time by purchasing your puree in a can. We used Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Purree)

2 tsp. Raw sugar (You can also use either turbinado or demerara)

Pinch of Ground cinnamon

Pinch of Ground allspice

3 oz. half-and-half (Use fat free for a skinny version)

1 cup Vanilla ice cream (Use fat free for a skinny version)

Pinch of Nutmeg

Preparation: Combine all of the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve in nicely chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg.

Top Thanksgiving Drink: Cranapple Pie

Thanksgiving without cranberries is unthinkable, especially since this tart fruit has been part of the holiday festivities for decades. The early settlers found them along Cape Cod in Massachusetts and to this day, this ruby berry continues to make an appearance in dinners throughout the country. For this year, we’re modifying tradition and incorporating cranberries in a bittersweet cocktail that also includes apple cider, a must-have for the fall season. Of course, you can’t celebrate the holidays without rum to lift up spirits!


1.75 oz. Rum (We used Atlantico Rum)

1 oz. Apple cider

.75 oz. Cranberry juice

.5 oz. Lime juice

.75 oz. Simple syrup

3 Cranberries

Crushed graham crackers

Preparation: Add ingredients in a Boston glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three cranberries and rim glass with crushed graham crackers.

Top Thanksgiving Drink: The Midnight Owl

Absinthe is often classified for reportedly being a hallucinogen, and while the spirit has become legendary over the centuries, it’s unusually overrated as a perfect ingredient for a holiday cocktail. That’s why for this Thanksgiving, we’re serving The Midnight Owl created by mixologist Adam Schuman of New York City’s Fatty Crab. With a bit of apple cider and peach brandy, the absinthe-based Midnight Owl uses the familiar flavors of autumn’s best bounty. If you plan on partying all weekend long, make sure you get a refreshing buzz first before you fly off into the sunset.


1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire infused with dried pear and apples

½ oz. Absinthe (We used Lucid)

1 oz. Apple cider

½ oz. Pear brandy (We used Massenez Williams Poire Brandy)  

½ oz. Lemon juice

2 dashes of Chocolate bitters (We used Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters)


1 Cinnamon stick

1 Lemon peel

Preparation: Shake all ingredients well. Strain into a highball glass. Top with gingerbeer. Garnish with cinnamon stick and lemon peel.

Top Thanksgiving Cocktail: Seaside Thanksgiving

Show your appreciation to life, love, and all that jazz with a cocktail that pays tribute to Miami, one of our favorite places to party the night away and relax by la playa for the holidays. The Seaside Thanksgiving, served at both La Marea and Coral Bar located inside The Tides South Beach Hotel, is a cool, zesty drink that instantly quenches your thirst, all thanks to freshly squeezed lemon and grapefruit juices carefully blended together. In addition, almond extract is added to create a thicker texture and whiskey, which is often paired with turkey, is included for a welcoming kick. Now we definitely have a reason to head south for winter.

Ingredients: 1 1/3 oz. Whiskey (We used Wild Turkey Whiskey)

1 tsp. Lemon juice

1 tsp. Grapefruit juice

1½ tsp. Almond extract

1 Rosemary sprig

1 Lemon or orange slice

1 Baby squash (Optional)

Preparation: Add all ingredients into a martini shaker with a handful of ice. Shake to mix and pour into a Hurricane glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a lemon or orange slice. Additional optional garnish is a baby squash.

Top Thanksgiving Cocktail: Mulled Wine

If you can’t help feeling depressed because winter is on its way, visit the Fitzpatrick Hotels in New York City and discover their exquisite Mulled Wine that will reconcile you with the fall and holiday season. Mulled Wine has been appearing alongside holiday dishes for centuries and continues to be popular for its sensual, spicy notes of ginger, cinnamon, and brown sugar uniting with rich red wine. Make room for this Thanksgiving must-have on your table.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):

1 bottle (750mL) Cabernet Sauvignon 1 Orange

1 Peeled and sliced orange

¼ Cup of Brandy

8-10 Cloves

1/3 cup Raw brown sugar

5 Cinnamon sticks

¼ tsp. All spice

¼ tsp. Ground ginger

¼ tsp. Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Slowly warm on low to medium heat for around 25 minutes ensuring not to boil. Occasionally stir the mixture to ensure all sugar is dissolved.  Wine is ready to be served when mixture is steaming and ingredients are well blended. Stain the mixture and ladle into mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Top Thanksgiving Cocktail: The Captain’s Cookie

Give your loved ones something mouthwatering and downright yummy this Thanksgiving. The Captain’s Cookie, found at The Calcutta Grill in Seattle, adds a little kick to your holiday cocktail. This little sweet number is a tempting combination of spiced rum, creamy Colombian Kahlua, fiery Frangelico, and ginger puree, making this cocktail naughty and nice. Sip slowly and before you even share (and we doubt you would after a sip), remember, this cookie is not for kids.


1 ¼ oz. Spiced Rum (We used Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)

3/4 oz. Frangelico

3/4 oz. Kahlua

1 oz. Ginger puree ¾ oz. Cream Powdered nutmeg


Combine ingredients and shake well. Pour over ice or serve up in a martini glass. Garnish with nutmeg sprinkled on top.

Additional reporting by Taryn Haight