10 best nonalcoholic Thanksgiving cocktail recipes for the whole family

The start of the holiday season calls for hot cocoa and mulled cider

By Kelly Vaughan

Published November 18, 2021 3:00PM (EST)

 (Julia Gartland / Food52)
(Julia Gartland / Food52)

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Thanksgiving dinner isn't complete without beverages — winewhiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there's a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks that make family-friendly substitutes for Thanksgiving cocktails. Mulled apple cider with cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and fresh ginger is a must, but what about hot chocolate, a cranberry mocktail with Red Bull energy drink, or an apple and maple cocktail made with a nonalcoholic spirit? Here are 10 of the best nonalcoholic Thanksgiving mocktails to make for Turkey Day.

10 best Thanksgiving mocktails

1. Perfect Hot Chocolate

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the official start of the holiday season, and nothing says "winter is here" like the perfect cup of hot cocoa. Serve homemade hot chocolate — made with both cocoa powder and chocolate pieces — to kids and adults alike after Thanksgiving dinner.

2. The Vermonter

Use Spice 94 Seedlip, a warm and spiced nonalcoholic spirit, for the base of this apple cider and maple syrup Thanksgiving drink.

3. Delicately Fragrant Mulled Cider (in the Crock-Pot)

Mulled cider is a quintessential drink to sip all fall long, but somehow it just tastes better on Thanksgiving. Plus, it's the perfect family-friendly drink because you can make a whole big batch of it and it's nonalcoholic. Save space on your stovetop and make it in a slow cooker.

4. Beet Tonic Spritzer

Ginger beer and beet juice bring a little earthiness, a little spiciness, and a little bitterness to this nonalcoholic Thanksgiving drink.

5. Almost Instant Chai

The beauty of chai is the abundance of aromatic, autumnal spices in every sip. Make your own using black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and dried orange peel.

6. Dorie Greenspan's Hot (and Cold) Chocolate

After all the prep for Thanksgiving dinner, making a big-batch, family-friendly drink may just be your breaking point. But this four-ingredient hot (or cold!) chocolate recipe is a speedy make-ahead, one-pot wonder, so it's totally doable.

7. Red Bull Cranberry Mocktail

Good food on Thanksgiving becomes a great feast when served with delicious Thanksgiving drinks, like this one made with ginger beer, apple cider, cinnamon, rosemary, and lemon juice. This perky Red Bull mocktail will give you and your guests a much-needed kick before the desire to take a nap comes along.

8. White Hot Chocolate with Matcha and Rose

If you're dreaming of spring days, but still want a cozy beverage to enjoy on a chilly November day, this sweeter hot chocolate made with dried rose petals and matcha powder fits the bill for both occasions.

9. The Orchard Mocktail

This blueberry-based mocktail can be scaled up for a crowd-friendly Thanksgiving punch recipe. "Brighten up the mix with orange two ways — muddled with basil in the shaker and as a sunny garnish — and top with apple cider for a medley of complementary fruit that sings in the glass," advises Bow Hill Blueberries.

10. Dirty Cutting Chai

Feeling tired? A warm cup of chai with black tea and instant coffee will keep you awake all the way through the dessert course.


Kelly Vaughan

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Beverages Food Food52 Holidays Mocktails Nonalcoholic Cocktails Thanksgiving