Thanksgiving is an all-day affair that often involves drinking, and that should still hold true in the year 2020. Sure, you probably aren’t having a big party, and some of your family members might be a little farther away than they usually are - but no matter how you’re celebrating on November 26th, cocktails will be there for you. I’ve put together this guide with 7 drinks perfect for Thanksgiving, including a few low-ABV options to help you stay awake long enough to remove your food from your oven, along with some festive cocktails to make this feel more like a holiday and less like another Thursday spent at home.
Maple Old Fashioned
The Maple Old Fashioned was born for Thanksgiving. Well, not really. We actually invented this drink for autumn in general - but if there’s one cocktail that’ll go perfectly with your typical Thanksgiving foods, it’s this Infatuation Original. The Maple Old Fashioned is, unsurprisingly, sweetened with maple syrup, and that maple syrup should work extremely well with any candied yams, cranberry sauce, ham, or green bean casserole you might have lying around your home. Keep one by your side at all times this Thanksgiving.
New York Sour
On Thanksgiving day, a bottle of red wine might make its way into your home. Whether you buy it yourself or a member of your household does the right thing and chooses to provide it, there’s one thing you need to do. Actually, there are two things. First, drink a glass of your delicious red wine - then make a New York Sour. This is a highly attractive and underrated cocktail, and it’s essentially just a whiskey sour with a red wine float. You’ll only need an ounce of red wine per drink, so you can technically have a full glass, then make around 20 New York Sours.
Negronis are always wonderful and appropriate - but, for some reason, we prefer Boulevardiers on Thanksgiving. They’re pretty much the same cocktail, except a Boulevardier calls for bourbon (instead of gin), which makes for a slightly smoother, crowd-pleasing drink. Try enjoying one while you cook. This cocktail can withstand a little extra dilution, so if half your ice melts while you tend to a turkey, it’ll still be great. But don’t go overboard too early. This is a strong drink.
Unless you want to fall asleep on your couch at 3pm while your cat stares at you and thinks about applying for emancipation, you’re going to need some low-ABV options this Thanksgiving. Allow us to introduce our first option. It’s called an Americano, it has nothing to do with the espresso drink that goes by the same name, and it’s a classic highball perfect for any season. Just think of it as a fizzy, less-aggressive Negroni or Boulevardier. If you have the ingredients for those other two cocktails, then all you need is some seltzer.
The Paper Plane is a hybrid cocktail. It’s not as low-ABV as, say, an Americano, but it isn’t as strong as a Martini or Negroni. So if you’re looking for something to take you by the hand and help you transition into nighttime drinking, this is it. The Paper Plane is crisp, smooth, and slightly tart - and it’s the single best use of Aperol that we can think of. (Yes, we know that the Aperol Spritz exists.)
At a certain point, you’re going to get tired and want to stop doing things. This might happen at 5pm after you pull a bird out of your oven, or it might happen at 11am when you look at a clock and remember there are 13 hours left in your day. For a low-effort drink that’s incredibly hard to mess up, try a Moscow Mule. The spicy ginger beer should complement all those pumpkin-spiced things you have around your home, you can use just about any kind of liquor (vodka, bourbon, mezcal, etc.), and if you screw up the measurements a bit, you’ll still have something highly drinkable.
If you’ve ever won a World Series or christened a boat, you know that Champagne is perfect for celebratory occasions. With that in mind, be sure to celebrate the fact that you successfully cooked a turkey with a French 75. This cocktail has been around for over 100 years, and there’s a very simple explanation for this: it’s one of the best drinks out there. Fizzy, straightforward, and perfectly balanced, a French 75 works with a variety of different spirits. It’s great with gin, but cognac and bourbon are also solid choices. And if you don’t feel like buying pricey champagne, just get some cava or prosecco.