DIY Thanksgiving Cocktails at Home

The big feast is only a week away! Meal plans are almost finalized, you’ve ordered the turkey, and you’ve written out a shopping list that’s nearly a mile long. Undoubtedly, one of the toughest (and most important) decisions to make is what type of beverage to pair with your menu. If you tend to fall back on beer or wine, we encourage you to switch it up and make your own classic Thanksgiving cocktail for your guests this year!

Making cocktails at home can be somewhat intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are three tasty cocktails you can easily make at home that your guests will love, compliments to some of our finest local bartenders in Grand Rapids!


Daniel Lovig of Long Road Distillers


Why it’s good for the holidays: The cranberries and sage bring refreshing notes of fall with every sip.

For the syrup: 3 qt. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 package fresh cranberries
9 sage leaves
For the cocktail:
1.25 oz. Long Road Gin (or your favorite gin)
0.5 oz. lime
A pinch of clove
1 sage leaf for garnish

For the syrup:
1) Simmer 3 qt. of freshly squeezed orange juice down to 2 qt.
2) Simmer 1 package of fresh Michigan cranberries until they pop
3) Simmer 9 sage leaves for 2 minutes and strain
4) Combine above 3 ingredients with equal weight sugar

For the cocktail:
1) Combine the syrup with 1.25 oz. gin and 0.5 oz. lime juice
2) Add 2 drops of clove mixture
3) Shake and serve on the rocks, garnished with a sage leaf

What to pair it with: The lightness and citrus flavors of this cocktail make it perfectly paired with appetizers and salads.


Andrew Archer of Osteria Rossa

Why it’s good for the holidays: It screams Thanksgiving!

1.5 oz. Bourbon
0.75 oz. Tuaca
0.75 oz. Ginger liquor
0.75 oz. Homemade sour mix (Available at Martha’s Vineyard)
Muddled cranberries
Spiced orange peel, for garnish

1) Combine all ingredients together
2) Shake, pour, garnish, and serve!

What to pair it with: The main course: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, sweet potatoes…the whole deal!


Nate Cohn of Grove


Why it’s good for the holidays: These are all common ingredients you probably have at home, or can easily purchase around town.

1.5 oz. Knob Creek Rye Whiskey* (Brandy or bourbon, if you prefer)
1 oz. Michigan-made honey
Chai tea (He recommends the chai blend from Water Street Coffee in Kalamazoo, MI)
2 dashes of angostura bitters (Also available at Martha’s Vineyard)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Lemon slice and Cinnamon stick for garnish* (optional)

1) Boil water and steep chai tea for 4 minutes. Set aside.
2) Warm up the glass
3) Fill the glass with whiskey, bitters, honey, and lemon juice
4) Pour in 3 tsp. tea once it’s steeped and stir
5) Garnish with a lemon slice and cinnamon stick and serve!

NOTE: If you’d like to make this cocktail in advance, mix all ingredients ahead of time and add rye whiskey last, before serving.

What to pair it with: This is the perfect cocktail to enjoy in between your Thanksgiving feast and pumpkin pie!


You are sure to impress your friends and family (and even yourself!) when you mix up these cocktails for your Thanksgiving meal. Grab the ingredients today, and enjoy!