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29 Best Bourbon Cocktails for Thanksgiving and Beyond


These bourbon cocktails for Thanksgiving are festive and full of warm fall flavors. With the holiday just around the corner, it’s time to start planning your menu. From timeless classics to unique drink ideas, these drinks with bourbon are celebratory and almost foolproof. They pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving meal and family stress (kidding…).

Text: Bourbon Cocktails with Thanksgiving over different cocktails in a variety of glassware.
Let’s make some easy bourbon cocktails for Thanksgiving.

Bourbon Cocktails Perfect for Fall

Bourbon cocktails are fun to make a go beyond the traditional beer and wine that are often served at Thanksgiving dinner. With a blend of subtle vanilla, caramel, and oak flavors, bourbon complements the savory elements of many Thanksgiving dishes.

Bourbon is complex and adds a layer of sophistication to your Thanksgiving gathering. It provides a robust foundation for delectable cocktails, ensuring that every sip is super flavorful. 

Related post: Bourbon Cocktails for Christmas

Whether you’re enjoying a cocktail with loved ones this holiday season or sipping it solo, bourbon cocktails add a touch of warmth and relaxation to the festivities.

Cheers to a Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) filled with delightful sips and great company! Now grab your cocktail shaker and get mixing!

These easy cocktails are great for your Friendsgiving menu too!

Thanksgiving Cocktails with Bourbon

If you're a fan of bourbon drinks, this collection of bourbon cocktails for Thanksgiving is worthy of a peak. I'm sure you'll find at least one favorite boozy bourbon beverage!

Tips for making bourbon cocktails

Making a festive Thanksgiving cocktail with bourbon doesn’t have to be intimidating or require a fully stocked bar

Choose a Quality Bourbon

The foundation of a great bourbon cocktail starts with selecting a good-quality bourbon. This doesn’t mean it has to be expensive but it should be something that you like the taste of.

Whether you prefer something smooth and mellow or bold and spicy. Remember, the flavors of the bourbon will be prominent in the cocktail, so choose wisely.

If you need a few suggestions for brands try Bulleit, Four Roses, Knob Creek or Hudson.

Experiment with Flavors

While classic bourbon cocktails like the Old Fashioned are timeless, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with flavors. Add a splash of citrus or a dash of bitters, infuse your bourbon with herbs or spices, or try incorporating seasonal fruits for a unique twist.

Balance the Sweet and Sour

Achieving the right balance of sweetness and acidity is crucial in any cocktail. Consider using simple syrup, honey, or flavored liqueurs to add sweetness, while fresh citrus juices (lemon and bourbon pair really well together) contribute to the essential tartness. 

Ice Matters

Large ice cubes are ideal for slow dilution, preventing the drink from becoming watered down too quickly. These ice cube trays make 6 large cubes which is great for serving bourbon cocktails at Thanksgiving.

Garnish with Care

Garnishes not only enhance the presentation but also add aromatic and visual components to the cocktail. Fun garnishes for bourbon cocktails are orange twists or piece of orange peel, Luxardo cherries, fresh herbs, or a cinnamon stick

Enhance the Glassware

Presentation is key when it comes to serving cocktails. Opt for crystal-cut highball glasses, a rocks glass, or a classic coupe to add an elegant touch to your bourbon creations. I don’t typically think that you need to use the “right” glassware but it can enhance the overall drinking experience and make your guests feel extra special.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prepare bourbon cocktails in advance?

Thanksgiving can be a busy time, so being able to prepare some elements of the cocktails ahead of time can be a game-changer. Prepare components of the cocktail ahead of time to streamline the process. Make simple syrup, juice citrus fruits, or chop garnishes in advance and store them properly. This way, when you’re ready to mix the cocktails, you’ll have all the necessary ingredients readily available.

Or you can use the recipe card serving size multiplier and make a larger batch of a cocktail recipe. You can mix everything except for anything carbonated.

What are alternatives for bourbon I can use in these Thanksgiving cocktails?

As I mentioned before, you can use whiskey if you don’t have bourbon. If you want to make these into mocktails you can use a zero-proof whiskey. Although it would change the flavor some, you can use another type of aged liquor like anejo tequila, an aged rum etc.

How can I make bourbon cocktails that appeal to a variety of tastes?

Thanksgiving gatherings often include guests with different preferences, including those who may not typically drink bourbon. Offering options for bourbon cocktails that can appeal to different tastes, such as a fruity bourbon punch or a creamy bourbon eggnog, would be beneficial.

Bourbon drinks that are a little bit sweeter and balanced with fresh citrus are great for beginners. Also, cranberry juice is a great pairing with bourbon and is generally easy to drink.

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