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Add a unique twist to your Thanksgiving festivities this year with this cranberry ginger cocktail! With notes of rosemary, orange, cranberry and woodsy gin, it’s like the holiday season in a glass.
This Thanksgiving gin drink is the best way to kick off an amazing holiday feast. You’ll be pouring this one throughout the winter holidays!
The holidays are, for many of us, the best time of year. And Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite! Each year we host various Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving 2.0 parties. It goes without saying that November is rockin’ around here.
At the start of every Thanksgiving dinner party, I like to offer a classic cocktail. It’s a great way to get everyone into the festive mood.
And I can’t wait for everyone to try this cranberry ginger cocktail – it’s a winner!
What’s in this Cranberry Ginger Cocktail
Here’s what you’ll need to make this festive Thanksgiving cocktail:
How to Make This Thanksgiving Gin Drink
It only takes a few simple steps to create this easy cocktail:
Make the Cranberry Simple Syrup
Making cranberry simple syrup is very similar to how we’d make homemade cranberry sauce.
Bring the fresh cranberries, sugar and water to a boil on the stove. When the cranberries start to pop, lower the heat and use a wooden spoon to mash them up.
Then, let the cranberries sit until they cool to room temperature. Strain the simple syrup out, making sure to press down on the cranberries to squeeze as much syrup out as possible.
See the recipe card for full instructions.
This recipe will give you about 1 cup of cranberry simple syrup. Use it in all of your favorite holiday cocktails, drizzle it over ice cream or pancakes or stir it into a cup of tea. It’s a great thing to have on hand!
Mix the cocktail
Serve this ginger cranberry cocktail with a sprig of fresh rosemary, orange peel and/or sugared cranberries.
What’s the best gin to use for cocktails?
Gin is a super versatile spirit that’s also very nuanced. Here are some points to consider when selecting the perfect type of gin for this holiday cocktail recipe:
- London Dry Gin: A classic gin known for its clean profile, London dry gin is a versatile choice for any cocktail. Unlike regular gin that is often sweetened after it’s distilled, London dry gin is not sweetened at all. Its stronger herbal essence makes a nice complement to various Thanksgiving cocktails. Examples of London dry gin are Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray.
- Plymouth Gin: With a slightly sweeter and earthier flavor profile, Plymouth Gin is less dry than London and pairs really well with herbal and citrusy components.
- New American or American Dry Gin: These gins have a more pronounced focus on botanicals, giving your cocktail a more dynamic flavor profile. Quality New American gins include Bluecoat and Leopold’s.
Variations on this Thanksgiving Gin Cocktail
Experiment with these ideas to make the perfect holiday cocktail for your tastes:
- Cranberry Juice: If you’re not making the homemade simple syrup, use regular cranberry juice or even pomegranate juice instead. Because cranberry juice will be more tart than the syrup, consider adding plain simple syrup, honey, tonic water or orange juice to balance out the tartness.
- Try Different Herbs: Rosemary is a classic, but sage and thyme are also awesome herbs for holiday cocktails. They add amazing aromatics with every sip.
- Ginger Ale: There’s nothing like the spicy bite of ginger beer. But if you’re looking for a sweeter fall cocktail, go with ginger ale instead.
- Change up the Juice: Swap out the cranberry altogether and try apple cider instead. You’ll still want to add a little sweetener like honey or maple syrup with this variation, but you’ll end up with a delicious concoction with an autumnal feel that’s perfect for Thanksgiving. Garnish with fresh herbs, cinnamon sticks and apple slices.
When you make this cranberry gin cocktail, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more Thanksgiving cocktail recipes, try these:
- Pumpkin Pie Bourbon Cocktail with Ginger and Orange
- Ultimate Thanksgiving Sangria
- Fig Old Fashioned Cocktail
For more holiday season cocktail recipes, try these:
Cranberry Ginger Cocktail – A Thanksgiving Gin Drink
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 oz. gin
- 1 bottle ginger beer for topping off
- fresh rosemary garnish, optional
- orange peel garnish, optional
- Make the cranberry simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the cranberries start to pop.
- Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to mash the cranberries. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Strain the cranberry syrup into a separate container. This yields about 1 cup of cranberry syrup. Store in the refrigerator.
- Make the cocktail: Pour gin and 1.5 oz. of the cranberry syrup into a rocks glass. Stir. Fill the glass with ice. Top off with ginger beer.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary, orange peel and additional cranberries.