11 Thanksgiving Cocktails For 2020

Nov 19, 2020by Melissa Dowling

It’s been a crazy year, to say the least, but we are grateful for so much. Namely, for our readers and all of the beverage professionals working hard and trying to make a difference in the on-premise industry, and the supplier companies that support them. Mostly, we are super grateful that 2020 is nearly over. Raise a glass and give thanks with a special seasonal cocktail; here are 11 to consider.

Legends of The Fall

2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
¾ oz. Fresh lemon
½ Spiced apple syrup
½ Simple syrup
½ Walnut liqueur
¼ oz. Ginger syrup

Combine ingredients and shake. Strain over ice and garnish with a candied ginger, Maraschino cherry and lemon wheel.

Shawn McLaughlin of State Lunch Craft & Kitchen in Augusta, ME, submitted this recipe.

Thanks Given
Thanks Given

Thanks Given

½ oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Vodka
¼ oz. Fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. Cranberry juice
1 oz. Sparkling wine 

Add all ingredients except sparkling wine to a shaker. Add ice and shake. Fine strain into a coupe glass rimmed with sage sugar. Finish with sparkling wine and garnish with sage leaf and orange wheel. 

The mixologists at Cointreau created this recipe.

Spice Blanket
Spice Blanket

Spice Blanket

2 oz. Kirk & Sweeney 12 Reserva
½ oz. St. Elizabeth allspice dram
⅛ oz. Maple syrup
2 Dashes Angostura bitters

Build all ingredients in mixing glass, add ice, stir about 30 revolutions with mixing spoon, strain with julep strainer over large ice cube in double Old Fashioned glass, wipe inside of lemon peel around rim of glass then twist peel over the top of the cocktail to release the oils and place twist inside the glass.

The mixologists at 3 Badge Beverage Co. created this recipe.

Apple Spice Margarita
Apple Spice Margarita

Apple Spiced Margarita

2 oz. Reposado tequila
3 oz. Organic sweet apple cider
1 oz. Cointreau
½ oz. Lime juice

Combine ingredients and shake. Pour into spice-rimmed glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick, apple slices and a lime wedge.

For spice rim:
Combine ¼ tsp. each of cinnamon, allspice and cloves with 1 tbsp. each of cane sugar and coarse sugar.

The mixologists at Bank & Bourbon restaurant in Philadelphia created this recipe.

Mezcal Pumpkin Pie
Mezcal Pumpkin Pie

Mezcal Pumpkin Pie

1 ½ oz. Recuerdo Mezcal Joven
1 oz. Grand Marnier
2 tbsps. Pumpkin puree
1 oz. Cinnamon syrup*

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice then double strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with a roasted pumpkin slice.

*For Cinnamon syrup:
Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1-2 sticks cinnamon. Break apart the cinnamon sticks and heat alongside the water and sugar to a gentle boil and reduce to a simmer for 1-2 minutes while stirring. Pull off the heat and allow to sit 30-60 minutes to infuse the cinnamon. Cool and strain the cinnamon.

The mixologists at Recuerdo created this recipe.

Best Spuds
Best Spuds

Best Spuds 

1 oz. Bardstown Bourbon Co. Fusion Series 
1 oz. Sweet potato butter*  
3 oz. Boiling water 
Freshly grated nutmeg 

Combine bourbon and sweet potato butter in a mug. Top with boiling water. Stir to combine. Grate nutmeg on top. 

*For Sweet potato butter 
2 cups Peeled, chopped sweet potatoes 
8 tbsps. Unsalted butter 
¼ cup Raw sugar 
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
½ tsp. Salt
⅛ tsp. Ground ginger 
⅛ tsp. Ground nutmeg 

Boil peeled, chopped sweet potatoes until quite soft (~20 minutes). Drain liquid and mash while hot. Add remaining ingredients to mashed potatoes. Stir until thoroughly blended––the creamier, the better. 

Brandon “Habi” Habenstein, beverage director of The Kitchen & Bar at Bardstown Bourbon Co., created this recipe. 

Pear of Pumpkins 

Pear of Pumpkins
Pear of Pumpkins

1 ½ oz. Bourbon
1 oz .Mulled pear and vanilla pod syrup*
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice

Add all ingredients to shaker and shake. Pour over fresh ice and sprinkle with pumpkin spice.

*For Mulled pear and vanilla pod syrup
Boil the 1:1 ratio of water and sugar, just when it comes to a boil turn it off. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape the inside of the pod out and add the scraping to the simple syrup. Let cool for about 30 minutes, then add the pear diced up, and mash the pear into the mixture. Letting it cool first will keep the pear notes as fresh as possible; too high of heat can cook out the pear’s flavor.

Westley Harris, general manager of Swizzle Dinner & Drinks at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY, created this recipe.

Cranberry Old Fashioned
Cranberry Old Fashioned

Cranberry Old Fashioned

1 ½ oz. Bulleit bourbon
½ oz. Dried-cranberry-infused Bulleit bourbon*
1 spoonful Boubron-soaked cranberries*
1-2 strips Orange zest
2-3 drops Orange bitters
1 tbsp. Simple syrup, or to taste

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Garnish with orange wedge.

*For Infused bourbon/bourbon soaked cranberries
2 oz. Dried cranberries
4 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1 Cinnamon stick

The mixologists at Bulleit created this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Latté Martini 

Pumpkin Spice Latté Martini
Pumpkin Spice Latté Martini

1 ½ oz. Toast vodka
1 ½ oz. Espresso
1 oz. Milk (or to taste)
1 tbsp. Pumpkin purée 

Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain over ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with nutmeg.

The mixologists at Toast created this recipe.

Gina Snap
Gina Snap


1 ½ oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
¾ oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
½ oz. Honey syrup

Shake all ingredients except orangina. Pour into glass with ice and top with Orangina. Garnish with an orange peel.

The mixologists at Orangina created this recipe.

Pom Apple Mule

Pom Apple Mule
Pom Apple Mule

1 ½ parts D’Usse VSOP Cognac
1 part Apple juice
½ part Pomegranate juice
½ part Lime juice
1 part Ginger beer

Add Cognac, apple, pomegranate and lime juices into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with ginger beer.

The mixologists at D’Usse created this recipe.

Melissa Dowling is editor of Cheers magazine, our on-premise sister publication. Read her recent piece, The 2020 Beer Growth Brands Awards: The Best of the Industry.

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