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Thanksgiving Cocktails

Sparkling Pear and Cranberry Cocktail -
Sparkling Pear and Cranberry Cocktail -

It’s a rough way to make a living, searching out the best cocktails to serve on Thanksgiving, but I do it because… oh, let’s face it, I’d do it even if I didn’t get paid.

Now, the first thing that comes to mind when considering a Thanksgiving cocktail is pumpkin. Not terribly original, perhaps, but there’s always a place for tradition. Even when you give tradition a twist with a Pumpkin Spice Margarita. The recipe on NocheLatina’s list of Best Pumpkin Drinks includes instructions for making a pumpkin simple syrup. Just think of the possibilities with such a syrup…

None of the other recipes uses a pumpkin simple syrup, but the Brazilian Pumpkin Frappe does use maple syrup. And how fun to drink your pumpkin pie:

Top Pumpkin Cocktail: Pumpkin Pie

This past month, Manhattan’s Haru Sushi was serving their variation of a pumpkin pie: a cool concoction that’s worth drinking in one gulp. Their Pumpkin Pie cocktail is a festive blend of wintry pear-infused vodka, fresh pumpkin puree, and Cointreau. Talk about revamping a classic.

1.5 oz. Pear-infused vodka (We used Absolut Pear Vodka)
1.0 oz. Pumpkin puree
0.3 oz. Cointreau
0.2 oz. Simple syrup
Splash of bitters

Pour all contents in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake thoroughly. Pour drink in a Cosmo glass straight up. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Check out all their recipes here.

Is there anyone better at entertaining than Martha Stewart? That’s rhetorical, by the way. has a lovely slideshow of Thanksgiving Cocktail and Drink Recipes that eschews pumpkin and mostly focuses on light and fresh fall flavors in drinks such as:

Pear-Rosemary Cocktails
Cranberry Cosmopolitan
Apple-Ginger Sparklers
Cognac Sparklers
Olive-Rosemary Martini

Sparkling Pear and Cranberry Cocktail Recipe

This cocktail is made with icy Moscato d’Asti, which is sweeter than champagne but much lighter than the rich dessert wine also made from Italian moscato grapes. Just the right medium for this fizzy drink, it adds flavor to the silky pear and tart cranberries. Serves 8


2 tablespoons dry cranberries
1/2 cup organic pear nectar
32 ounces Moscato d’Asti wine
8 small sprigs fresh rosemary


1. Put cranberries in a small bowl; add 2 tablespoons warm water. Soak until cool, about 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and refrigerate until serving.
2. Divide pear nectar evenly among eight tall champagne glasses. Add cranberries, and then gently pour the Moscato d’Asti into the glasses. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig.

Check out the slideshow and get more recipes here.

If you need something to warm people up, try one of the Hot Drinks for Cool Weather, heavy on coffee, cider and chocolate.

Finally, if you need your wits about you or just don’t drink alcohol, try one of the Mocktails for the Sophisticated Non-Drinker. Muddled oranges, cranberry juice, simple syrup and a splash of sparkling water just screams Thanksgiving, don’t you think?