Batch Cocktails to Bring to Thanksgiving

In Episode 8 of The Seamless Kitchen Show, I talked about What to Bring to Thanksgiving. Many of us aren't quite at the stage of life where we're hosting -- our parents are still doing it. So, why not thank the real adults by bringing along a batch cocktail? There's so much food at Thanksgiving that even though I LOVE to cook, sometimes it's just as fun to be the girl who brought the booze.

Here are 6 batch cocktails that will not disappoint. I've personally tried and love them all (say what you will about that).

These range from bitter and boozy to festive and punchy, and there's even a brunch cocktail in the mix for the weekend after.

The secret to a batch cocktail is knowing that you can't add ice or fizz until it's time to serve. Other than that, you're basically stirring everything up ahead of time and packing it with you.

Here's a valuable tip I learned from my time pretending to be Martha Stewart on the morning news: For travel, I suggest you grab an extra large mason jar. It keeps the cocktail much more safe from spilling than any lidded pitcher, and they're big enough to hold a large batch. You can bring along a pretty pitcher to transfer the drink into once you get there.

Fun garnishes always steal the show, so if you have a little extra time to dedicate to bringing along pretty sprigs of rosemary or citrus wheels, the added attention will go a long way! I've included garnish ideas under each cocktail recipe.

1. Cranberry Aperol Negroni

This bitter and festive cocktail is the perfect before-dinner drink, containing Aperol, an orange aperitif – a Thanksgiving spin on a Negroni


8 oz gin

6 oz Aperol

6 oz Cocchi vermouth

4 oz pure cranberry juice

Juice of 1 lemon

6 oz bottled water

Pour over glasses filled with ice.

Have a bottle of club soda nearby for guests to add their own "sparkle" at the end, if they want (to turn this into a spritz and tone down the booze.)

Garnish: Lemon peel twists

2. The Fall Spritz

Bon Appetit

"This cocktail is so simple, guests can make it themselves. Simply set out both bottles with glasses and a bucket of ice; they can handle the rest."

1.5 oz. Averna amaro

6 oz. Basque-style dry hard cider (such as Isastegi Sagardo)

Orange twist (for serving)

Pour amaro and cider into a glass filled with ice and stir to combine.

Garnish: with orange twist.

3. Pomegranate Mojito

Williams and Sonoma

1 cup fresh mint leaves 1/2 cup sugar 1 3/4 cups light rum 1 1/4 cups fresh lime juice 1/2 cup pomegranate juice  1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Sparkling water, for serving

1/2 cup water

Add the mint leaves and sugar to a large pitcher. Muddle the mint until lightly crushed. Add the rum and lime juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Add pomegranate juice and and stir to combine.

Pour into glasses filled with ice, and top with sparkling water. (Adapted from Karen Mordechai)

Garnish: mint sprigs, fresh pomegranate seeds in a little bowl with a spoon for guests to sprinkle on top of their glass

4. Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour

Shake: A New perspective on Cocktails

3 parts bourbon

1 1/2 parts fresh lemon juice

3/4 parts dark amber maple syrup

3 large sprigs of rosemary

Crust the rosemary with your hands and add to a pitcher. Add lemon juice, maple syrup, and bourbon and stir or whisk vigorously.

Pour into glasses filled with ice.

Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig

5. Big Batch Bloody Mary's

Food and Wine Magazine

No Zing Zang here. This homemade bloody Mary mix is so good you'll never want the bottled stuff again. Bring it to brunch with a bottle of vodka (or Tequila!)

32 oz vegetable juice (such as V8)

3 T prepared horseradish

3 T Worcestershire sauce

3 T dill pickle juice (use the pickles for garnish)

3 T fresh lemon juice

1 T hot sauce (such as Frank’s or Tabasco)

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp black pepper

To serve, add 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons bloody Mary mixture to each pint glass. Stir 1/4 cup vodka into each glass, and fill with ice.

Garnish with celery, green olives, fresh flat-leaf parsley, and lemon wedges for garnish

6. Crock Pot Mulled Wine

This is quite possibly the most satisfying cocktail of the bunch, especially if it's cold out!

Add to a crock pot:

2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon

1/2 Cup brandy

1/2 Cup maple syrup

2-3 tbsp of whole mulling spices (or about the equivalent of star anise pods, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks)

The peel of 1/2 an orange

Heat on "Low" until warmed up, then lower to "Warm". Make 2hrs in advance of serving.

I've created a printable recipe card that is the perfect way to share your cocktail (or any!) recipe with your friends and family at Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving! Grab it for free here