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Thanksgiving Punch Mocktail Or Cocktail

This Thanksgiving Punch Recipe has all the warming flavors of fall! With a few simple ingredients, you can make a delicious fall punch cocktail or mocktail that will be a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults at your Thanksgiving dinner feast! Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic instructions are included.

Thanksgiving punch in a wine glass

If you’re wondering what drinks to serve at Thanksgiving, we’ve got you covered! As a trained chef, it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of my favorites for the holiday season!

A lot of times we focus on the food but we also need a nice easy fall punch recipe to sip from while everyone lingers. This Thanksgiving punch is perfect for a crowd and kid-friendly with a mocktail option.

We all love the warming flavors of cider and cinnamon and adding fruits like apples and oranges and frozen cranberries round out the natural flavors and add a lovely fall flavor.

This punch also has pumpkin pie spice mixed in for that extra bit of flavor and to make it feel like fall in a cup!

🍎What You’ll Need To Make Thanksgiving Punch

  • Apple Cider: This makes up the bulk of the punch and screams fall and Autumn. Purchase your favorite apple cider while apples are in season!
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: Whisking this flavor (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice) into apple cider brings this punch to a new level by adding the perfect amount of spice and warming flavors. Check out my favorite Pumpkin Pie Spice.
  • Sliced Green and Red Apples: Slice these up to add some fresh apple flavor and to help garnish the punch.
  • Sliced Orange: Oranges add a fresh citrus flavor that compliments this fall punch recipe perfectly.
  • Ginger Ale: If you would like to make a non-alcoholic Thanksgiving drink, add in your favorite ginger ale or ginger beer. This makes it the best kid-friendly drink for Thanksgiving.
  • Fresh or Frozen Cranberries: Cranberries add a pop of color to this punch. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries.
  • Champagne: If you’d like to make this an easy alcoholic Thanksgiving cocktail for adults, add in some champagne. You could also add a shot of your favorite vodka or whisky for a stronger punch.

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🍹How To Make Thanksgiving Punch

1️⃣Dissolve the pumpkin pie spice: In a 2 gallon drink jar, add 2 cups apple cider. Whisk in pumpkin pie spice until any clumps are gone, then add the rest of the apple cider.

2️⃣For a cocktail: Pour in the champagne.

3️⃣For a mocktail: Pour in ginger ale.

4️⃣Add fruit: Slice up the fruit into thin pieces. Add apples, orange slices, and cranberries (fresh or frozen) to the jar and stir gently.

5️⃣Chill and serve: Refrigerate for 2-3 hours in a large pitcher before serving cold in garnished glasses.

👩🏻‍🍳Chef’s Tips

No added sugar: Be sure to buy apple cider that doesn’t have any added sugar in it. The juice itself is sweet enough!

Develop flavors: This punch is best after sitting in the fridge for about 2-3 hours before serving. This gives enough time for all the flavors to marry together.

Dissolve dry spices: Make sure you whisk in the pumpkin pie spice with a small amount of cider first. This will make sure the spice separates so that nobody gets a big clump of pumpkin pie spice in their drink.

Serve as a cocktail or mocktail at the same time: Kids love the non-alcoholic versions just as much as the adults. You can keep this a mocktail for the kids or non-drinking adults and have a bottle of champagne sitting on ice so that your guests can make their cocktails in whatever strength they’d like.

Make a large batch: If you’re feeding a crowd for the holiday, feel free to double or triple the recipe. Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of gallons you want to make. Serve it in a punch bowl for a festive look!

🍊Flavor Variations

  • Feel free to add other fruits to the mix like pears, plums, sliced lemon, fresh cranberries, blood orange or grapes.
  • Add a cup of cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, or orange juice to add flavor and additional sweetness.
  • You could also add a cinnamon stick to the punch for extra flavor and to use as a stirrer.
  • Give it a light bold herb flavor by infusing with some rosemary sprigs or fresh thyme sprigs.
  • If you want to make this more like spiced wine, add in some red wine instead of champagne.
  • If you want an extra decadent touch, rim the glasses with raw or granulated sugar before adding the punch.
  • The ginger flavor is essential to this recipe. You can use ginger ale, or ginger beer to add flavor.
  • My husband’s pro tip: add a shot or 2 of Jack Daniels Honey Whisky to your glass for an extra boozy drink. Or add whisky, rum, vodka, or your favorite alcohol to taste.

🎅🏻Don’t forget to try out our Christmas Punch Recipe!

This easy Christmas punch is made with fresh ingredients like ginger ale, cranberry juice, plums and orange with a touch of cinnamon. Makes a great cocktail or mocktail for december holiday parties.

🧊How To Store & Make Ahead

Making ahead: This drink can be made 8 hours in advance if the champagne (or ginger ale is poured in). You can also make the mixture without the fizzy component for up to 48 hours. When ready to serve, pour in the champagne or ginger ale.

Storing: Any leftover punch can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in a large pitcher or jar with a lid. Freezing is not recommended.

🦃Other Thanksgiving Drinks

What’s the most popular Thanksgiving drink? We can’t choose, so we’ve made other drinks that are just as delicious as this punch! No more wondering what to drink on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Margarita

Thanksgiving Moscow Mule

Thanksgiving Mimosa

Thanksgiving Mojito

Reader FAQ

Can Thanksgiving punch be made hot?

This drink can be served hot, however, I would not use champagne. Instead, pour in your favorite alcohol or add a shot of whisky, vodka, or rum to taste. If you want it non-alcoholic, heat up the apple cider on the stove or crockpot and pour in some ginger ale when ready to serve.

Is there a Thanksgiving Drink?

Yes! This Thanksgiving punch recipe is perfect for the holiday. It’s non-alcoholic, so everyone can enjoy it. But, if you want to make it boozy, feel free to add your favorite alcohol like whisky, vodka, rum, or even red wine.

Would sparkling cider be a good replacement for champagne? 

Yes! If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option, the sparkling cider is a great replacement for champagne. It may be a bit sweeter to taste.

When you add whiskey or vodka, do you also add champagne?

You can add champagne, ginger ale, or sparkling cider along with the alcohol if you like the fizz and flavor.

How much champagne goes in the punch?

A 750ml bottle will fill 12 glasses. If you want to make a larger batch, use a magnum (1.5L) bottle or double the recipe.

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fall punch in wine glasses

Thanksgiving Punch Recipe

This Thanksgiving Punch Recipe has all the warming flavors of fall! With a few simple ingredients, you can make a delicious fall punch cocktail or mocktail that will be a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults at your Thanksgiving dinner feast! Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic instructions are included.
4.46 from 451 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 20 (1 cup servings)
Calories: 205kcal

Ingredients

MOCKTAIL OPTION

  • 1 Gallon Apple Cider
  • 48 oz Ginger Ale
  • 1 Red Apple sliced thin
  • 1 Green Apple sliced thin
  • 1 Navel Orange sliced thin
  • 1 cup Frozen Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp [Pumpkin Pie Spice]
  • 5 Cinnamon Sticks for garnish and flavor

COCKTAIL OPTION

  • Replace Ginger Ale with one bottle of your favorite champagne (750ml)
  • Feel free to add your desired amount of Vodka or Whisky for a stronger punch

Instructions

  • In a 
    2 gallon drink jar, add 2 cups apple cider.
  • Whisk in pumpkin pie spice until any clumps are gone, then add the rest of the apple cider.
  • Add in your ginger ale or champagne.
  • Add apples, oranges, and cranberries and cinnamon sticks to the jar and stir gently.
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving cold in garnished glasses.
  • Will keep for 3-4 days in fridge in airtight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Sodium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g

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38 Comments

    1. Hello! I haven’t made it hot however doing so may take the slight carbonation out from the ginger ale or champagne so it would be best trying it that way if you were adding whisky or vodka.

  1. Hello! I’m a little confused about the amount of cider in the recipe. In the ingredients it lists one gallon of cider, but in the instructions it says only 2 cups of cider. That doesn’t seem like enough? Or is it?

    1. Thank you for pointing that out! I recently updated the post and made a mistake in the instructions. Initially you add 2 cups so you can whisk in the spice and then you add the rest. The post instructions are now updated.

  2. Would sparkling cider be a good replacement for champagne? I’m not a huge fan of ginger ale and thought that might be good. Just not sure if it would be too much with the regular apple cider.

  3. I’m wanting to make this for Thanksgiving this year but a bit confused on one point–Where do the cinnamon sticks listed in the ingredients come into play? There’s no mention of them in your recipe instructions nor in the video???

    1. You can replace the ginger ale with champagne. I like adding shots of whiskey to individual glasses of punch. Hope that helps! -Krista (Team Thyme & JOY)

  4. 4 stars
    Made this for Thanksgiving dinner. Left out the pumpkin spice. Had champagne on the side. Very refreshing! Lots of compliments.

    1. Up to you! I like replacing the ginger ale with champagne and then serving vodka on the side, so guests have the option to add as little or as much extra booze as they like. -Krista (Team Thyme & JOY)

  5. If I make this ahead won’t the ginger ale do flat? Also, how much whiskey would you add to an 8 oz glass of punch. TIA!😉

    1. Hi, Cait! When I’ve made this punch a few hours ahead of time, the ginger ale still had plenty of bubbles. If you’re making it the night before, you can combine all of the ingredients except for the ginger ale and then add it into the punch right before serving. 1.25 ounces of whiskey (2.5 tablespoons) is a good place to start for an 8-ounce glass of punch. Give it a taste and more to your liking! -Krista (Team Thyme & JOY)

  6. Two questions:
    Where do I use the cinnamon sticks?
    The store didn’t have any frozen cranberries so I got fresh ones. Do I need to do anything to soften them a bit or just substitute as is?

    1. The cinnamon sticks are for garnish, but if you want to throw a couple into your batch to infuse more flavor, go for it! 🙂 And you can throw the fresh cranberries in as-is. They’ll soften while the drink is refrigerated. -Krista (Team Thyme & JOY)

  7. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! I’ve always wanted a spiked punch for thanksgiving, and decided to give it a try. Hope my family loves it!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this a week ago for Thanksgiving (11/25/21).I served the mocktail version with a few warm hors d’oeuvre when my family arrived and it was a big hit! So delicious! Thank you for posting!

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