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Thanksgiving Cocktails To Spice Up Your Holiday

Samantha Jacobs |
November 14, 2013 | 5:22 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Pumpkin Pie Martini (Creative Commons)
Pumpkin Pie Martini (Creative Commons)
If we were to play word association and the word was “Thankgiving,” the first answers would most likely be turkey, gravy, stuffing and pie.

Obviously the common theme here is food. And while Thanksgiving is celebrated through epic feasts, there is one part that people seem to skip over: the Thanksgiving drinks.

Water is a boring compliment to all the extravagant food you’ll be eating; why not try out some daring new drink recipes? Alcohol is definitely something to be thankful for, so celebrate it! Here are some ideas for ways to keep hydrated, but also spice up your festivities with some Thanksgiving cocktails.

Rosé Sangria

Cinnamon, cranberries and apples are the trifecta of fall and Thanksgiving. This recipe gives you a way to keep this combo intact, but add some zing. To make this, mix one cup of water, one cup of sugar, ¼ of a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, one large cinnamon stick, four allspice berries, three whole cloves and one star anise in a saucepan. Simmer this for roughly 15 minutes. Next, strain the syrup into a bowl and add two cups of cranberries and two diced Granny Smith apples. You’ll cover this mixture and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, strain the fruit but reserve the spiced syrup. Get out a large pitcher and pour one 750-milliliter bottle of Spanish rosé wine, 1/3 of a cup of ruby port, 1/3 of a cup of Cointreau, 1/3 of a cup of cranberry juice, the fruit and ¾ of a cup of the spiced syrup in, and mix them all together. Refrigerate this concoction for about an hour, or until it is chilled. Then voilà, your cocktail is ready. You can keep the sangria refrigerated for up to 6 hours, and it will be best served over ice.

Hard Cider Sangria (Twitter/@ChristineJByrne)
Hard Cider Sangria (Twitter/@ChristineJByrne)
Hard Cider Sangria

For those sangria fans who want more of a kick with some hard alcohol as opposed to wine, this recipe might be your winner. In a large pitcher, add one cup of quartered and thinly sliced and unpeeled apples. These can be a combination of green, yellow and red. Also add one quartered and thinly crosswise sliced navel orange, one cup of chilled apple juice, two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and ¼ cup of brandy. You can let this simmer for a while or serve it right away, but either way add one 22-oz. bottle of chilled hard apple cider into the mixture right before serving. Pour this over ice and drink up!


There are many more uses for hard cider than just sangria, and this cider and martini combination is easy and delicious. All you have to do is combine one ounce of Malibu Island Spiced Rum, three ounces of cider and a pinch of cinnamon powder into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Then just shake it up, pour and enjoy. Using a cinnamon stick as a garnish will add a nice aesthetic and tasty touch as well.

Pumpkin Pie Martini (Twitter/@ExcaliburVegas)
Pumpkin Pie Martini (Twitter/@ExcaliburVegas)
Pumpkin Pie Martini

For those adventurous, pumpkin pie and martini loving individuals, this might be your new favorite drink. These portions are measured out for two cocktails, but you can adjust to make as many as you want. So to start, put powrdered, crushed graham cracker around the rim of two martini glasses. Next, bring out your shaker, fill it with ice, then add two ounces of vanilla vodka, two ounces of white crème de cacao, ¼ of a cup of heavy cream and 1 ½ tablespoons of pumpkin puree (which can be from a pie mix). Shake this up until it is nice and chilled. Strain this into the martini glasses, and then sprinkle a dash of ground nutmeg on top as a garnish. Whether you drink this instead of eating pumpkin pie, or drink this to complement your pumpkin pie, this cocktail will be new and exciting for your taste buds.

Cranberry Punch

This yummy cranberry concoction will be a hit with a bigger group. Get out your punch bowl, and add one 750-milliliter bottle of chilled Finlandia Cranberry Fusion vodka, a half-cup of any cranberry-flavored mixer, six cups of cold cranberry-raspberry juice, three cups of fresh orange juice and the equivalent of juice from one lemon. Slice an orange and add those into the bowl so that they float on top. When you are ready to serve, add some fresh raspberries into the wine glasses, and then fill them up about halfway to the top with cranberry punch. With the remaining room in the glass, add a sparking wine of your choosing.

Pecan Pie Martini

Whether or not you’re a fan of pecan pie in dessert form, you may want to try it in this cocktail form. Note that this specific recipe makes four drinks, so keep that in mind when preparing ingredients for either more or fewer people. Begin by stirring one teaspoon of corn syrup and two teaspoons of brown sugar on a plate. Second, dip the martini glasses you will be using into this mixture, and then add in a quarter cup of toasted and chopped pecans. You will need a cocktail shaker next, and you will fill this with ice, plus a quarter cup of vodka, a quarter cup of corn syrup and a half-teaspoon of vanilla extract. Strain these into two glasses, and then repeat using the remaining ingredients for the next serving of two. Sinful Apple Pie Beware: this final drink may be as strong as it is delicious. Simply combine a quarter ounce of cinnamon whisky, a quarter ounce of apple schnapps and a quarter ounce of pineapple juice into an ice-filled glass, stir and then drink and enjoy.

So whether you choose to make these drinks with your Thanksgiving dinner, or at some other point in the Thanksgiving season, have some good and creative fun creating and drinking these. Remember to drink responsibly, and remember to give thanks for family, friends, good health and of course, cocktails.

Reach Staff Reporter Samantha Jacobs hereFollow her on Twitter here.



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