11 Thanksgiving Cocktails For Your Holiday Meal [2015 Drink Guide]

thanksgiving cocktails


Turkey day is coming and if you’re currently knee-deep in the muck and mire of the holiday trenches, you’re going to need a drink. There’s turkey to thaw and brine, potatoes to mash and stuffing to make. Sure, you could have gotten off easy and roasted a simple turkey breast, but one of your troglodyte relatives loses his shit if he doesn’t get dark meat, so you have more trussing and torture to look forward to than an episode of Game of Thrones.

So let’s return to our happy place. Before you strike everyone down with the full fury of the Dark Side, channel your inner Jedi and contemplate the “spiritual” forces that make this time of the year all worth it: deep, dark rums, fragrant gins, spicy rye whiskies, oaky bourbons and tequilas mingle with every imaginable fall flavor in the spice cabinet. Cinnamon, clove, ginger, apple, cranberry and orange. 

To make your life just a tad bit easier, A History of Drinking has once again compiled a curated list of Thanksgiving Cocktails, seasonally specific drinks from some of the top spirit brands. This year we’re featuring recipes from Caliche Rum, Hangar One Vodka, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Boodles Mulberry Gin,  Stoli Elit, Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey, Partida Tequila, MARTINI Rosso Sweet Vermouth, worthy additions to any Thanksgiving Day cocktails menu.

In addition to that lineup, we have signature creations from top chefs and mixologists, such as Annelise McAuliffe,  Jacques Bezuidenhout , Jeremy Oertel, and  the Iron Chef himself, Michael Symon.

11 Thanksgiving Cocktails For Your Holiday Meal

Caliche MayflowerCaliche Mayflower - Thanksgiving Cocktails

  • 2 oz Caliche Rum 
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice 
  • 1 tbsp of Cranberry Jam. (1 oz if using cranberry sauce) 
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 
  • Cranberries for garnish 

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks filled glass and top with the bitters. Add cranberries for garnish.

Cranberry Toddy cranberry toddy - Thanksgiving cocktails

Recipe courtesy of Hangar One Vodka

  • 1.5 oz. Hangar One Straight 
  • 0.65 oz Simple Syrup 
  • Top Mulled Cranberry Juice ***

Add all ingredients in an 8 1⁄2 oz. HotToddy mug.Top with Hot Mulled Cranberry juice. Garnish with a long clove-spiked orange peel & cinnamon stick.

**pull out your favorite mulling spices and mix with unsweetened cranberry juice  



The Gin VictoriaGin Victoria - Thanksgiving Cocktails

Recipe and image courtesy of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® East Gin 

  •  1.5 parts BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® East Gin 
  • 1/2 part Fernet Branca 
  • 1/2 part White Cacao Liqueur 
  • 1/2 part Homemade Nutmeg and Lightly Infused Cardamom Syrup 
  • 3/4 part Heavy Cream 

 Shake and serve straight up in a cocktail glass. Toasted Cinnamon Dust garnish.

Gold Harvest gold harvest - Thanksgiving Cocktails

Recipe by Jeremy Oertel, Donna BK , courtesy of  Stoli Elit

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake then strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with gold flake. 

*Hibiscus Cranberry Shrub

  •  2 cups water 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar 
  • 3 cups sugar 
  • 1 lb cranberries 
  • 10 grams dried Hibiscus flowers   

1. Add sugar, water, Hibiscus and cranberries to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
2. Allow to cool and then strain through cheesecloth or fine strainer. 
3. Add apple cider vinegar to the mixture and stir to combine. 
4. Store in the refrigerator. 

Knob Creek® Old Fashioned HolidayKnob Creek Old Fashioned - Thanksgiving Cocktails

recipe by Celebrity Chef Michael Symon, courtesy of Knob Creek®

  • 1 1/2 Parts Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey
  • 1/2 Part Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 Part Lemon
  • 1 Part Wild Ale (like Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales®)
  • 1 Egg White
  • Nutmeg for Garnish

Combine all ingredients in a bar tin without ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 20 seconds. Double strain into chilled lowball glass and garnish with grated nutmeg.

Manzanilla Punch Manzanilla Punch - Thanksgiving Cocktails

Recipe by Jacques Bezuidenhout courtesy of Partida Tequila

  • 1 750mL bottle Partida Blanco 
  • 4 c. Chamomile tea  
  • 4 oz Pomegranate juice 
  • 4 oz Lemon juice 
  • 12 oz Honey syrup  

Assemble all ingredients in a punch bowl. Garnish with lemon wheels and mint, add large ice cubes to dilute.

Martini Hot Spice GrogHot Spice Grog Thanksgiving Cocktails

Recipe courtesy of MARTINI Rosso Sweet Vermouth 

  • 1 ounce Islay Scotch 
  • 1 ounce MARTINI Rosso Sweet Vermouth 
  • ¼ ounce Maraschino Liqueur 
  • 1 dash Aromatic Bitters 
  • ½ ounce Honey syrup 
  • ¾ ounce Cloves and Star anise 
  • Lemon & Orange zest 

Obtain two large metal mugs. In one, add whiskey, MARTINI Rosso, Maraschino Liqueur, and honey syrup, and in the second one the citrus peels and spices. Fire up the liquid and toss the hot mixture back and forth between the mugs a few times – it should look like you’re pouring a liquid stream of fire. Extinguish the flames, add the Maraschino Liqueur, and pour into a Tea cup.

Mulberry Fizz mulberry fizz - Thanksgiving cocktails

To whet your palate before the big meal, this refreshing Boodles Mulberry cocktail is inspired by traditional holiday sloe berries.  

Recipe courtesy of Boodles Mulberry Gin  

  • 2 oz. Boodles Mulberry Gin 
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice 
  • 2 Mint Leaves 
  • Soda Water 

Combine Mulberry Gin, Lemon Juice and Mint in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice and top with soda water.

Pear & Ginger Margarita 

  Recipe by Annelise McAuliffe, PAIR Magazine courtesy of Partida TequilaPartida Pear Margarita - Thanksgiving Cocktails

  • 1 ½ oz Pear Juice 
  • 1 ½ oz Partida Añejo Tequila 
  • 1 ½ oz Triple Sec or Cointreau 
  • 1 oz Lime Juice 
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, sliced   

Garnish: Rosemary Salt, A slice of pear or lime (optional) 
Rim the glass with lime juice and the rosemary salt. Shake all the ingredients, except fresh pear and the salt with ice in a cocktail shaker until the outside of the shaker is cold. Strain into a glass over rocks, or “up”. Garnish with a slice of pear or fresh rosemary if desired.

Señor Frog’s NYC Mexican Apple Shot  apple shot - Thanksgiving cocktails

Recipe courtesy of Señor Frog’s

  • ½ oz. of Tequila 
  • ½ oz. of Sour Apple Liqueur 
  • 1 oz. of Cranberry Juice 

  Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice, strain into 4oz shot glass.

Spiked Cranberry Brew 

In the early 1800’s, a classic concoction known as the Hot Toddy was created as a way to cure ailments and sickness. DeLeón®’s Spiked Cranberry Brew is a modern version of this “medicine,” turned upside-down with a sophisticated brew of hot, tart cranberry juice, fresh lemon, and peeled pear – all spiced to perfection with cinnamon and nutmeg. DeLeón® Platinum complements this blend of warm spice, with accents of vanilla bouncing off the tart cranberry flavors on the finish, making it an ideal “cure” to any cold winter’s day.  –  DeLeón® TequilaSpiked Cranberry Brew - Thanksgiving Cocktails

  • 1 ½ oz. DeLeón® Platinum Tequila 
  • 6 oz. hot cranberry batch*

Simmer together ingredients for hot cranberry batch. Combine hot cranberry batch with DeLeón® Platinum Tequila in glass mug. Garnish with a thin pear slice dusted with cinnamon.

*Hot Cranberry Batch

1 part fresh unsweetened cranberry juice
¾ part fresh lemon juice
¾ part simple syrup
cinnamon clove and nutmeg to taste

Standard Disclosure: The “A History of Drinking” team received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we either personally like or believe to be of interest to our readers. If a product sucks, we will tell you in no uncertain terms. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


National Espresso Day: The Pescara – Ancona Manhattan

espresso dayNovember 23rd is National Espresso Day! 

A History of Espresso:

Although coffee had been a part of Italian life for a very long time, espresso wouldn’t appear until the early part of the 20th century. Apparently, the credit goes to Luigi Bezzera, a manufacturing plant owner who, for productivity’s sake, wanted to shorten the time it took to brew coffee.

Bezzara hit upon the fact that adding steam pressure to “press out” the brew, made not only a quicker cup of coffee, but also a thicker, bolder and more flavorful one. He christened his invention the “Fast Coffee Machine” or “espresso”.

Bezzara failed to capitalize on his creation and in 1905 sold the idea to Desidero Pavoni who had it patented and soon popularized the drink to the rest of the country.

Today, espresso in the primary ingredient many popular hot beverages such as café latte and macchiato.

To celebrate, we’re featuring the Italian espresso liqueur Caffè Borghetti. 

Here is the official origin story:

Caffè Borghetti was created in 1860 by Ugo Borghetti in occasion of the inauguration of the railway Pescara – Ancona. The product, known as the “real coffee espresso liqueur”, became soon very popular locally. Mr. Borghetti understood that consumers were looking for an invigorating, digestive drink that did not loose the properties and aroma of the coffee and so invented this product who has a magic bond with tradition that goes back to the Venetian coffee shops of the 17th century.

We did a little research and learned that the original Caffè Borghetti served to the rail travellers was merely a mixture of coffee and alcohol and as popularity grew, the formula was improved with the addition of Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta beans. Borghetti would eventually mass-produce the product to keep up with demand and moved operations to Rome in the 1970s.

Today the brand is owned brothers Branca Distilleries, who took Caffè Borghetti international.

espresso day

National Espresso Day: The Pescara – Ancona Manhattan

Cold weather is just starting to make itself known here on the east coast and we’re back in brown spirits mode. Admittedly, we’ve been on a bit of a Manhattan variant kick lately, but Caffè Borghetti brings a blast of coffee flavor without the added sweetness of your everyday coffee liqueur. The result is that you get a coffee component that plays very nicely with the whiskey and the vermouth.

Recipe by Nicole Priebe, based on the Seattle Manhattan from Robert Hess’ The Essential Bartender’s Guide, 2008.

2 oz Bourbon (we used Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky)
1/2 oz Italian vermouth (we used Carpano Antica)
1/2 oz  Caffè Borghetti

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

 Standard Disclosure: The “A History of Drinking” team received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we either personally like or believe to be of interest to our readers. If a product sucks, we will tell you in no uncertain terms. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


4 Computer Cocktails for the 30th Anniversary of MS Windows

computer cocktails

original photo by Esparta Palma via flickr.com

Computer Cocktails for the 30th Anniversary of Microsoft Windows

November 20, 1985, Microsoft launched Windows 1.0. Thirty years on, Microsoft the dominant player in the operating system market, with over ninety percent of the world’s computers running some form of Windows eleven different versions.

When it first debuted, Windows 1.0 failed to achieve any measurable popularity, mostly due to the fact that it was merely an “operating environment” layered over MS-DOS and not a full-on operating system. Windows 1.0 inevitably suffered from many of the same flaws and glitches common to MS-DOS.

To further complicate matters, Microsoft, who had partnered to build applications for Apple’s Macintosh, had licensed some of the “screen display” elements from the Apple OS. To avoid potential litigation (which followed anyhow), Microsoft developers deliberately steered away from some of the better aspects of Apple’s GUI. Most notably, Microsoft windows merely tiled on the screen and lacked Apple’s ability to overlap one another.

All of these factors piled on and Windows 1.0, with its clunky user interface and sluggish response time, was ultimately deemed a failure. 

Windows 1.0 was succeeded by Windows 2.0 on December 9, 1987.


windows 1.0 computer cocktails

photo by Szilveszter Farkas via flickr.com


Computer Cocktails

Computer themed cocktail recipes can be a bit hard to come by. Video game, office humor and geek cocktail lists can be found in droves, but we had to scrounge around a bit to come up with the drinks below. We feel they capture the essence of the frustration felt by us early — and sometimes even current — Windows users. So without further ado, here’s our curated collection of 4 Computer Cocktails for the 30th Anniversary of MS Windows!

Bill Gates

This drink either has the ratios completely wrong or has got to be someone’s idea of a joke.

“recipe” adapted from idrink.com

  • 2 oz Blackberry liqueur
  • 4 cubes of sugar
  • 2 oz Blueberry schnapps
  • 3 oz Jagermeister
  • 3 oz Absinthe

Shake with ice and then strain into a collins glass. Garnish with fresh blueberries, blackberries, and twist of lemon peel.

(Bill) Gates of Hell

recipe adapted from cocktail.uk

  • 1 1/2 oz. Tequila
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Cherry brandy

In a shaker 1/2 filled with ice, mix Tequila, lemon, and lime juice. Shake well. Strain into glass with crushed ice. Drizzle cherry brandy over top.

Blue Screen of Death

A sharp, pungent, and unwelcome cocktail traditionally served spontaneously and in totally inappropriate situations. 

recipe adapted from Tech.co

  • Fill your glass half-full with clear soda water
  • Add a twist of lime
  • Stir serenely
  • Without warning, suddenly pour 1oz of Sour Blue Pucker and 1oz of blackberry schnapps
  • Throw ice at the cup
  • Shake furiously
  • Serve whatever is left in the glass and storm out of the room

Control / Alt. / Delete

recipe via Barmeister.com

Glass: 3 Shot glasses

Garnish: none

Quoted from the site: Line up three shot glasses and pour in order of preference. Tuck in your skirt then shoot one right after the other – you will be erased…


9 Appley Drinks for National Cider Day [2015 Recipe Guide]

national cider day

National Cider Day

Thanksgiving Day is almost here and we’re gearing up for the Turkey-pocalypse. With today being National Cider Day, we’re covering the ubiquitous apple, especially in its sweet/hard cider varieties. For this most American of holidays, nothing beats cider as the drink of choice. During the early colonial era, cider and fruit based-fermentables ruled the table, outpacing even beer in popularity due to its ease of production and lack of impact on the sometimes paltry grain production. 

So Why is National Cider Day on November 18th?

This took me a little while to find. Apparently the 18th is the date that legendary Swiss crossbowman, William Tell,  was forced  shoot an apple off his son, Walter’s head by the Austrian authorities in the town of Altdorf.

Disaronno Cidernational cider day

Pour warm apple cider in a mug. Add DISARONNO and gold rum. Stir. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.



The Hatchet’s Bountynational cider day

  • 1.5 oz St. George Botanivore Gin
  • .5 oz Gran Gala Orange Liqueur
  • .5 oz cranberry simple syrup
  • small pinch of cinnamon
  • a nickel sized piece of ginger
  • 3 oz The Hatchet
  • 1 egg white
  • Sprinkle nutmeg
  • Orange Zest

Whip egg white with mixer until it forms peaks. Set egg white aside while you finish the cocktail (don’t let sit for too long–after a few minutes the egg will “break”. Muddle first 5 ingredients and then shake with ice for 15 seconds. Strain into rocks glass. Top with cider and fill with ice but leave 1/2″ room at top of glass. Spoon stiff egg white over the top and dab with spoon to form little peaks. Sprinkle nutmeg and zest orange to garnish.


Heated Affairnational cider day

Created by Jacques Bezuidenhout

*Party tip: double, triple or quadruple this recipe ahead of time and keep warmed in a crock pot or pot over low heat and serve to guests. By pre-batching you’ll be able to spend more time entertaining and interacting with guests than you will tending bar!

  • 2 oz Partida Anejo Tequila
  • 6 oz Hot Spiced Apple Cider
  • Heavy Cream
  • In a small warm wine glass add Tequila and hot apple cider. Float heavy cream.

Garnish: Grate fresh Nutmeg over cream.

In a pot add Organic Apple Juice. Add winter spices like Cloves, Cinnamon Stick, All Spice, and Orange Peel. Start of by adding a few cloves, one cinnamon stick etc. so as to find the right-spiced apple cider flavor. You can always add more spice later. Bring everything to a low heat for about 15mins. Taste for flavor. When the desired flavor is reached then take off stove. Strain out all the spices and orange peel. Serve warm and enjoy!



Laphroaig® Montgomerie Smoked Cidernational cider day

  • 1 1⁄2 parts Laphroaig® 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 3 parts apple cider
  • 1 part fresh lemon sour

Build over ice in order. Garnish with a lemon wedge.




The Right Cid’r the Roadnational cider day

  • 2 parts BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® East Gin
  • 4 Blackberries
  • 1/2 part Nutmeg Honey Syrup
  • 3/4 part Lemon Juice

Shake and serve over ice and crown off with a classic English Cider. Garnish lemon twist and 2 blackberries.


Snow Apple Capnational cider day

  • 1.5oz St. George Botanivore Gin
  • 4 sage leaves plus more for garnish
  • .75 oz honey syrup
  • .75 oz sweet vermouth
  • small sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 3 oz The Hatchet
  • 1 egg white
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg

Muddle sage with gin in a mixing glass. Add honey syrup, sweet vermouth and a small pinch of cinnamon and then shake with ice for 15 seconds. Strain into glass, add cider and then fill with ice leaving 1/2″. Top with stiff egg white, sprinkle with nutmeg and garnish with sage leaves.

SVEDKA’s Hot & Botherednational cider day

  • 1 ½ parts SVEDKA Raspberry
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 tsp. vanilla syrup
  • Squeezed lemon wedge
  • Top with hot apple cider

Build ingredients in a toddy mug, top with hot apple cider and garnish with a thin apple slice and star anise.


Uncle Woody’s Apple Pienational cider day

  • 2 oz. cinnamon apple tequila
  • ¾ oz. lime juice
  • ¾ oz. triple sec
  • Top with Woodchuck Amber Cider

Garnish: Apple slice and cinnamon stick

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice except Woodchuck Amber Cider and shake. Strain over fresh ice, add Woodchuck Amber Cider and stir. 


More Cider articles across the web

November 16, 1975: Third Cod War and the Don’t Go Near the Water Cocktail [Recipe]

cod war and the don't go near the water cocktail

Third Cod War and the Don’t Go Near the Water Cocktail

Today we mark the 40th anniversary of The Third Cod War between Iceland and Great Britain which began on November 16, 1975.  The term “cod war” was coined in the British press in 1958.

The Cod Wars (Icelandic: Þorskastríðin, “the cod war”, or Landhelgisstríðin, “the war for the territorial waters“, were a string of conflicts between the United Kingdom and Iceland over fishing rights in the North Atlantic. Iceland emerged victorious at the end of each phase of the Cod War.

The end of the Cod wars saw the United Kingdom give up to a 200 nautical-mile swath of the North Atlantic to an Iceland-exclusive fishery zone. The outcome severely damaged the already failing British fishing industry . 

Don’t Go Near the Water

cod war and the Don't Go Near the Water Cocktail

To mark this era of militarized nautical interstate disputes, we’ve gone with the “Don’t Go Near the Water”, which appeared in Crosby Gaige’s 1941 Cocktail Guide and Ladies’ Companion. The drink is essentially a riff on the classic “Sidecar”, with the addition of the musty cherry flavored Maraschino liqueur. When , we tried the “Don’t Go Near the Water”, Nicole first response was “petrichor“. 

cod war and the don't go near the water cocktail

We played around a bit with the ingredients, using Tariquet Armagnac for the Brandy and Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao for a more old-school flavor. Luxardo was used for Maraschino.

Don't Go Near the Water Cocktail
Prep time
Total time
A Maraschino-laced variant of the classic Sidecar cocktail recipe. The Don't Go Near the Water appeared in Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
  • ½ part Brandy
  • ⅙ part Curacao
  • ⅙ part Maraschino
  • ⅙ part Lemon Juice
  1. Frost the rim of cocktail glass with powdered sugar.
  2. Shake the ingredients well with ice and strain into the prepared glass.
  3. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1

 Standard Disclosure: The “A History of Drinking” team received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we either personally like or believe to be of interest to our readers. If a product sucks, we will tell you in no uncertain terms. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”