16 Thanksgiving Cocktails That Are Actually Worth the Effort

While some of you may whip up a drink like you’re a host on The Food Network, some of us consider opening a bottle of wine a culinary treat. (“Pinot Noir, annnnnd you’re welcome.”) But sometimes, the extra effort is actually worth it. Here are some cocktails that will wow your family (and your tastebuds) and have instructions that even your 10-year-old could follow. (But, maybe don’t have them make the drink… 21 and over, mi gente.)

MORE: Christmas gifts for foodies!

1. Stillhouse Double Moon Punch

Stillhouse Double Moon Punch
This delish cocktail by mixologist Josh Curtis blends two fall favorites — apple cider and pumpkin — into one awesome drink.
½ oz STILLHOUSE Original Moonshine
1 ¼  oz Organic Apple Cider
2 oz Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale
¼ oz Honey Syrup
¼  oz Lemon Juice
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Pour ingredients, except nutmeg and pumpkin ale, into cocktail shaker and strain into rocks glass. Top with Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale and finish with freshly grated nutmeg on top.

2. Cruzan Peach Cobbler Cocktail

Cruzan Peach Cobbler Cocktail
This rum-based drink is perfect for cocktail hour.
1 1/2 parts Cruzan Peach Rum
1/4 part Turbinado Simple Syrup*
1/2 part Dark Sherry
1/4 part Blackberry Liqueur
1/2 part Fresh Lemon Juice
Orange Peel
Combine all ingredients over ice, shake and pour into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg & flamed orange peel.
Turbinado Syrup Ingredients: 
8 parts Hot Water
8 parts Turbinado Sugar 
Combine 8 parts Hot Water and 8 parts Turbinado Sugar. Stir until Sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate. Will last for 30 days.

3. Peppermint Mocha Espresso Martini

Peppermint Mocha Espresso Martini
The peppermint mocha for adults.
1 part Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha
1 1Ž2 parts Absolut Vodka
1 part Fresh Espresso
Dash of simple syrup
Fill a Martini glass full with ice and water. Fill a shaker with ice, add ingredients and shake. Empty the ice and water from the chilled Martini glass, strain into Martini glass.

4. Ketel One Cranberry Celebration

Ketel One Cranberry Celebration
Smooth, cool, and cranberry. Salud!
1 ½ oz. Ketel One® Citroen
1 tablespoon of cranberry reduction
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Club soda
Combine first four ingredients in a mixing glass. Vigorously shake with ice and pour contents into a rocks glass (fine strain over new ice if you prefer no chunks). Top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a cranberry and mint sprig.
*To make a cranberry reduction, take a 12 oz. bag of cranberries, rinse and add 4 oz. of orange juice and 4 oz. of simple syrup. Bring it to a boil, and let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally while it is simmering. Place the reduction into the freezer for 30 minutes and allow the reduction to thicken.

5. Ketel One Pumpkin King

Ketel One Pumpkin King
This pumpkin-y, caramel concoction is like drinking dessert in the best way.
1 oz. Ketel One® Oranje

¼ oz. Godiva® Caramel Liqueur

¼ oz. pumpkin liqueur 

1 teaspoon whipped cream.
Combine first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a martini glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a dust of cinnamon powder.

6. Cranberry Orange Margarita

Cranberry Orange Margarita
This delicious take on the margarita is seriously good. (And seriously dangerous!)
1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
½ part DeKuyper® Triple Sec
4 parts cranberry juice
2 parts orange juice
2 oranges
½ cup cranberries, frozen
2 tbsp. sugar
Directions: First make your garnishes. Freeze ½ cup of cranberries. Using a channel knife cut a long spiral from on orange (see if you can make it all the way in one try!) and cut into 6 inch pieces. Twist the peels around your bar spoon and reserve for garnish.
Zest the other orange with a spice grater to remove just the peel and none of the pith and combine with sugar.
Cut the zested orange into wedges. Rub a wedge of orange around half the rim of your glasses. Roll the glasses through the sugared orange zest.
In a shaker, combine the rest of the sugar and orange zest mixture with the cranberry juice, orange juice, Sauza® Blue Silver, orange liqueur, and the juice from the orange. Twist the orange peel over the drink and place on the prepared glass. Top with frozen cranberries and serve your cocktail! Salud!

7. Pumpkin Spice Sipper

Pumpkin Spice Sipper
If you love pumpkin pie, you’ll love this.
1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
1 part canned unsweetened pumpkin
¾ part fat free sweetened condensed milk
¾ part unsweetened almond milk
½ tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

8. Turkey Day Toast

Turkey Day Toast
Light and refreshing – perfect for serving before or after dinner! (No one wants to fill up on cocktails.)
3 parts Skinnygirl® Prosecco, chilled
1 part grapefruit juice, chilled
1 part cranberry juice
1 part ginger ale
Grapefruit slice for garnish
Mix all juice ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Top with Skinnygirl® Prosecco and ginger ale. Garnish with grapefruit slice and enjoy!

9. Autumn Sangria

Autumn Sangria
A seasonal take on a classic.
1 cup vanilla vodka
3/4  cup sugar
2 cups apple cider
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 apples
2 pears
1 orange
2 bottles HobNob Chardonnay
Combine vodka, sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice in a large pitcher and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Chop fruit (apples, pears, orange), add to mix and marinate overnight.  Add chilled Chardonnay. Serve over ice.

10. Wicked Red Punch

Wicked Red Punch
This punch is spiced and delicious.
1 750-ml bottle of HobNob Wicked Red
1-1/2 cups spiced rum
3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
2 oranges, zested
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons simple syrup
1 lime, zested
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and let sit, refrigerated for at least an hour before. If available, add one large block of ice to the bowl. Stir well before serving.  Add a sugar rim and an orange slice garnish.

11. Pom-Blueberry Frosted Sangria

Pom-Blueberry Frosted Sangria
This big batch cocktail is perfect for your holiday party. Just make sure to make it 3 hours to a day ahead of time.
Ingredients (makes 10 servings):
1 cup Sparkling ICE Pomegranate Blueberry
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup lime juice
1 bottle of dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup frozen apples
1 cup frozen oranges
In a large glass pitcher stir together the Sparkling ICE Pomegranate Blueberry, orange juice and lime juice. Add wine and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add frozen apples and oranges. Cover and chill for 3 to 24 hours before serving. Garnish with orange peel.

12. Squash Patron Reposado Cocktail

Squash Patron Reposado Cocktail
Sounds weird, but trust us, it’s good! Think of a new take on a cider, and you’ve got this.
1 oz pulque
*In a pinch, substitute tequila
2 oz butternut squash puree*
2 oz Roca Patron Reposado
Shake, strain into a cinnamon/ sugar rimmed glass garnish with lemon wheel wrapped around cinnamon stick.
*To Create the Squash Puree: Add 5 pounds peeled squash cubes, 5 cinnamon sticks, 1 whole star anise, 3 whole cloves, 5 liters water, 2 oz agave nectar, 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon, boil 30 minutes.

13. Cupcake Berry Holiday Cocktail

Cupcake Berry Holiday Cocktail
This refreshing cocktail is berry good. (Did you see what we did there?)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 ounce ruby red grapefruit vodka
2 ounces Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco
1 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounce black currant juice
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, dissolve sugar into 1 1/2 cups water. Add cranberries and simmer for 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain, discard liquid, and place cranberries on a tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Chill vodka, Prosecco, and juices, then mix in a champagne glass. Garnish with skewer of 4 or 5 frozen candied cranberries. Reserve the rest for another drink. Enjoy!

14. Dessert Table

Dessert Table
Serve this in lieu of desserts for happy guests. Serve this with desserts for even happier guests.
1 part Pinnacle® Pumpkin Pie Vodka
1 part DeKuyper® Crème DeCocoa Dark 
1 part Half and Half

Combine ingredients and serve in a mug. Garnish with whipped cream.

15. Pinnacle® Thanksgiving Brew

Pinnacle® Thanksgiving Brew
Four ingredients – can it get any easier?
1 ½ parts Pinnacle® Caramel Apple Vodka
½ part Maple Syrup
1 part White Grape Juice
Splash of Fresh Lemon Juice
Serve straight up or on the rocks. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

16. Hop, Skip and a Jump

Hop, Skip and a Jump
Ricardo Rosa of Eastside Cantina on the Upper East Side created the "A Hop, Skip and a Jump" cocktail as part of the Diplomatico Rum World Tournament. This delicious, Caribbean-inspired cocktail won the New York City round of the tournament — which means it’ll be a winner at your dinner.
1.5 oz Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
.75 oz Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur
.75 oz fresh mango juice


Combine rum, liqueur, juices and mavi in shaker with ice. Garnish with a splash of homemade tincture and mango peel.