How to Serve Beverages During Thanksgiving

Posted on

How to Serve Beverages During Thanksgiving



Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to gather, express gratitude, and share a delicious feast. While the star of the show is undoubtedly the turkey, the beverages you serve can also play a significant role in enhancing the overall dining experience. Whether you’re hosting a large gathering or having an intimate dinner, choosing and serving the right beverages can elevate your Thanksgiving celebration to new heights. In this article, we will explore various aspects of serving beverages during Thanksgiving and offer tips to help you make the most of your holiday feast.

The Importance of Beverage Selection

When planning your Thanksgiving menu, it’s crucial to consider the beverages you’ll serve. The right drink choices can complement the flavors of your dishes, enhance the dining experience, and cater to the preferences of your guests. Here are some considerations when selecting beverages for Thanksgiving:

Accompany the Meal

The beverages you choose should harmonize with the flavors of your Thanksgiving dishes. Consider the overall taste profile of your menu and select beverages that complement it. For example, if you’re serving a traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings, white wine or a light, sparkling cider can be excellent choices. On the other hand, if your menu leans towards more robust flavors, such as a smoked turkey or a flavorful ham, red wine or craft beers may be more suitable.

Consider Your Guests

Take into account the preferences and dietary restrictions of your guests. Some may prefer non-alcoholic options, while others may appreciate a well-paired wine or cocktail. Be sure to offer a variety of choices to accommodate everyone, including kids and designated drivers. Non-alcoholic options like sparkling water, fruit juices, and mocktails can be great alternatives.

Themed Beverages

You can add a festive touch to your Thanksgiving table by serving themed beverages. For example, you could create a signature Thanksgiving cocktail or mocktail that incorporates seasonal ingredients like cranberries, apples, or spices. Labeling drinks with festive names can also add a fun and creative element to your celebration.

Wine Pairing

Wine is a popular choice for Thanksgiving, and for a good reason. Its diverse range of flavors and styles can complement a wide variety of dishes. Here’s a guide to wine pairing for your Thanksgiving feast:

White Wine

White wines, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling, are excellent choices for traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinners. Their acidity and fruitiness can balance the richness of the turkey and creamy side dishes. Consider serving a selection of white wines to cater to different tastes.

Red Wine

If your Thanksgiving menu features heartier dishes like roast beef, ham, or duck, red wine is a great choice. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Merlot can pair well with these meats. The fruity and earthy notes in red wine can complement the savory flavors of the main course.

Rosé Wine

Rosé wine can be a versatile option that bridges the gap between white and red wines. Its light and refreshing character pairs well with a variety of Thanksgiving dishes, making it a crowd-pleaser. Choose a dry rosé to balance the flavors on your table.

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Prosecco, adds a touch of elegance to your Thanksgiving celebration. It’s perfect for toasting and can be served as an aperitif or paired with appetizers. The effervescence and crispness of sparkling wine can cleanse the palate between bites.

Beer Selection
While wine is often the beverage of choice for Thanksgiving, beer can also be a fantastic addition to your holiday table. Craft beers offer a wide range of flavors that can complement various dishes. Here are some beer styles to consider:

Pale Ale

Pale ales are a versatile choice that pairs well with a variety of Thanksgiving dishes. Their balanced malt and hop profiles can complement the flavors of turkey, stuffing, and vegetables.

Brown Ale

Brown ales have a nutty and malty character that can enhance the taste of roasted meats like turkey or ham. Their slightly sweet notes can also complement caramelized side dishes.


Stouts, with their rich and robust flavors, can be a unique choice for Thanksgiving. They pair exceptionally well with dishes like smoked turkey or roasted root vegetables. Consider serving a chocolate or coffee stout for dessert.

Hard Cider

Hard cider is a refreshing alternative to beer, and it pairs wonderfully with traditional Thanksgiving fare. Its crisp and fruity profile can balance the richness of the meal. Look for cider varieties that are not overly sweet.

Non-Alcoholic Options

Not everyone at your Thanksgiving table may want to consume alcoholic beverages. Providing appealing non-alcoholic options ensures that everyone can enjoy a refreshing drink. Here are some ideas:

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water with a twist of citrus or a splash of cranberry juice can mimic the effervescence and elegance of champagne, making it a great choice for toasting.


Create festive mocktails using seasonal ingredients like pomegranate, apple cider, or ginger. Consider garnishing them with fresh herbs or fruit for an added touch of elegance.

Alcohol-Free Beer and Wine

Alcohol-free versions of beer and wine are increasingly available and can provide a similar taste experience without the alcohol content.

Presentation and Glassware

How you present your beverages can enhance the overall Thanksgiving experience. Consider the following tips for serving drinks:


Use appropriate glassware for each beverage. Wine glasses, beer mugs, and cocktail glasses all contribute to the visual appeal of your table. Offering a variety of glass shapes can elevate the presentation.


Garnishes like citrus slices, fresh herbs, or cranberries can add a pop of color and flavor to your drinks. They also make beverages more inviting and visually appealing.

Drink Dispensers

For larger gatherings, consider using drink dispensers to make self-service easy and convenient. Label each dispenser with the beverage it contains to prevent confusion.

Chilling Options

Keep your beverages at the appropriate temperature. Wine and champagne should be served chilled, while beer and cider are best enjoyed slightly cooler than room temperature. Invest in a wine cooler or ice buckets to ensure proper temperature control.

Responsible Alcohol Service

While celebrating with alcoholic beverages can be enjoyable, it’s essential to promote responsible drinking during Thanksgiving. Here are some tips to ensure the safety of your guests:

Designated Drivers

Encourage guests to have designated drivers if they plan to consume alcohol. Provide non-alcoholic options for them throughout the evening.

Monitor Consumption

Be mindful of your guests’ alcohol consumption and intervene if someone appears to be overindulging. Offer alternative beverages and arrange for safe transportation if needed.

Provide Water

Make sure there is plenty of water available for your guests to stay hydrated. Drinking water between alcoholic beverages can help mitigate the effects of alcohol.

Plan Ahead

Consider offering transportation options, such as arranging for taxis or ride-sharing services, to ensure that guests have a safe way to get home if they’ve been drinking.

Serving beverages during Thanksgiving is more than just a matter of quenching thirst; it’s an opportunity to enhance the overall dining experience and create lasting memories. By carefully selecting and serving a variety of beverages that complement your menu and cater to your guests’ preferences, you can elevate your holiday feast to a new level of sophistication and enjoyment. Remember to prioritize responsible drinking and safety to ensure that everyone has a memorable and safe Thanksgiving celebration. Cheers to a wonderful holiday season!

Beverage Recipes for Thanksgiving

To help you get started on your Thanksgiving beverage preparations, here are a few delicious and festive drink recipes that are sure to be a hit with your guests:

Spiced Apple Cider


4 cups of apple cider
4 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 allspice berries
2 slices of orange peel

In a saucepan, combine the apple cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, and orange peel.

Simmer the mixture over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the spices to infuse the cider.

Strain the cider into mugs or glasses and serve hot. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange, if desired.

8.2. Cranberry-Pomegranate Sparkler (Mocktail)


1 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sparkling water
Fresh cranberries and mint leaves for garnish

Fill a glass with ice cubes.

Pour cranberry juice and pomegranate juice over the ice.

Top off with sparkling water.

Garnish with fresh cranberries and a sprig of mint.

Stir gently and serve immediately.

Thanksgiving Sangria


1 bottle of red wine (e.g., Pinot Noir or Merlot)
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange liqueur (e.g., Triple Sec)
2 tablespoons honey
1 apple, sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup sparkling water (optional)


In a large pitcher, combine the red wine, brandy, orange liqueur, and honey. Stir until the honey is dissolved.

Add the sliced fruits and the cinnamon stick to the pitcher.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.

Just before serving, you can add sparkling water for some effervescence, if desired.

Serve the sangria over ice and garnish with additional fruit slices.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Coffee-based)


1 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup milk (any type you prefer)
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice for garnish


In a saucepan, whisk together the coffee, milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.

Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it’s hot but not boiling.

Pour the pumpkin spice latte into a mug.

Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Serve immediately, and enjoy your cozy Thanksgiving coffee treat.

Serving beverages during Thanksgiving is an opportunity to elevate your holiday feast and enhance the overall dining experience for your guests. Whether you choose to serve wine, beer, cocktails, or non-alcoholic options, thoughtful beverage selection and presentation can add a special touch to your celebration. Remember to cater to the preferences and dietary restrictions of your guests, promote responsible drinking, and ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving gathering. With the right beverages and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, you can create lasting memories and make your Thanksgiving feast truly special. Cheers to a wonderful holiday season!


Beginner-friendly recipes / Beverages / Easy Recipes / foods / Holidays / Quick recipes / recipe / Recipe collections / Tea recipes / Thanksgiving

You might also like these recipes