13 Best Big-Batch Cocktails for Thanksgiving

Making drinks for a crowd has never been easier, thanks to these recipes that come together in a punch bowl or pitcher.

Benjamin Kemper

By Benjamin Kemper

Published on November 3, 2022

If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving, you know how easy it can be to miss your own party. After all, the turkey won’t roast itself, and there are no pre-dinner drinks without someone there to mix them—right? Wrong. Enter the big-batch cocktail, which you can make hours ahead of time and serve in a pitcher or punch bowl. As guests help themselves, you’ll be doing exactly what you’re supposed to: spending quality time with family and friends. Here are our 13 best big-batch cocktails for a crowd.   

Photography by Belle Morizio; Food Styling by Victoria Granof; Prop Styling by Dayna Seman

This sweet-tart wine punch, enlivened with fresh orange, lemon, and lime, was a favorite refreshment at the Junior League of Houston book club in the 1970s. 

Photography by Paola + Murray; Food Styling by Jason Schreiber; Prop Styling by Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Fresh grapefruit juice gives this four-ingredient punch its citrusy kick, while the rosé lambrusco brings the bubbles. Nothing says “it’s a party” like a punch bowl filled with fizzy pink booze.

Photography by Belle Morizio, Food Styling Kat Craddock

It seems like divine intervention that mere weeks before Thanksgiving the cocktail sweeping America is the negroni sbagliato (you know, with prosecco in it), a bubbly, cranberry-red tipple that’s festive enough for the holidays and boozy enough to help put up with your weird uncle. We’ve batched the viral drink—and added a bit of campy Thanksgiving flair (rosé vermouth, come through!)—to dream up the world’s first sbagliato sangría.

Photography by Eric Medsker

Up your entertaining game with this pitch-perfect sangría from one of America’s most storied Spanish restaurants.

Marcus Nilsson

This fruity, slightly smoky gin and raspberry punch has just enough mezcal to make it interesting, without making it too pungent or cloying. The recipe comes from cocktail historian David Wondrich, author of Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl.

Matt Taylor-Gross

Remember the Seabreeze cocktail? It was born of Massachusetts' wealth of cranberries and inspired this crimson punch made with gin, rosemary syrup, and champagne.

Khushbu Shah

Whiskey, tamarind, and a pleasantly bitter gentian-flavored liqueur combine in this elegant punch concocted by New York City cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit.

Photography by Matt Taylor-Gross

Rye whiskey, caraway, and chai masala are a match made in heaven, as proven by this autumnal punch garnished with pear slices. 

Photography by Aaron Bengochea

Smoky and slightly sulfurous Himalayan black salt is the secret ingredient in this pink gin punch flavored with pink peppercorns and black tea. If you can find it, seek out Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin, which is distilled with wild Himalayan juniper berries and other Indian botanicals. 

Matt Taylor-Gross

The perfumy and refreshing blend of elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth, and prosecco makes this gentle cocktail a year-round standby. In the colder months, opt for fresh cranberries for a seasonally-appropriate garnish.

Jeff Marini

At Chicago tiki temple Three Dots and a Dash, a must-try drink is this high-octane rum cocktail redolent of cinnamon and grapefruit that’s served in a skull-shaped glass. 

Photography by Christopher Testani

This zany, bright-green cocktail courtesy of Los Angeles's A.O.C. Wine Bar combines kale-infused rum and green harissa syrup.

Photography by Linda Pugliese; Food Styling by Christine Albano; Prop Styling by Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Not to be confused with the tart leafy green that goes by the same name, sorrel is what Jamaicans call hibiscus. In this nonalcoholic cocktail, the sepals of the deep pink flowers steep with soul-warming spices and sugar to make a heady, floral beverage. 

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