Make the holiday season more festive and fun with my twist on Moscow mule cocktails made with seasonal spice and fruit flavors to pair perfectly with Thanksgiving dinner. Meet my Cranberry Apple Spice Mules! Originally posted November 2016. Last updated November 2021.
Food is the focus of Thanksgiving, as it should be. But let's not forget about the drinks, y'all! If you're no longer at the kids' table, you are probably interested in a good Turkey Day cocktail. The holidays can be a bit stressful with all the planning and coordination required, not to mention having to dodge the possible shade thrown by relatives you only see once a year for a reason. And, with food being paramount on this day, nobody really wants to exert themselves by crafting an elaborate cocktail. Problem, meet Solution. These easy drinks for Thanksgiving are extremely festive, quick to make, and can be as strong or as mild as you need. Let's get into the details!
If you like easy holiday cocktail ideas, try these, too.
- Citrus Champagne Sparklers for NYE
- Holiday Bloody Margarita for Christmas Eve
- Red Wine Hot Chocolate for the Whole Season
This is truly the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or even just it's-5-o-clock-somewhere's-giving. It's also pretty enough to carry you through the whole holiday season so feel free to serve it at any gathering through January. The ingredients are simple and you won't need to look any further than your local grocery and liquor stores to find the ingredients for this fancy-looking beverage. You deserve the best Thanksgiving celebration ever. And I've got you covered. Download my guide to the perfect holiday dinner with zero stress today!
What You'll Need for this Cocktail
In creating this easy holiday drink recipe, I wanted to incorporate ingredients that you're likely to have on hand at this time of the year to cut down on any extra Thanksgiving grocery shopping. Making holiday dinners easy is kind of my thing. I also thought about what cocktail to pair with thanksgiving dinner and figured complementary flavors would be best. Year after year, this has proven true.
- Apple Cider
- Cinnamon Stick
- Cranberry Sauce
- Fresh Lime
- Ginger Beer
- Ice - Cobbled or crushed ice is perfect for the aesthetic but any kind of ice will do.
I am not typically a vodka drinker but have recently found a favorite and highly recommend Highway Vodka if you can get it near you. It is hemp-based, distilled six times, and produced very cleanly for no hangover the next day. In my opinion, that's a win on Thanksgiving, since the food coma is already bad enough.
As far as tools, you'll need either a jigger or a shot glass, as well as a spoon--either a bar spoon or table spoon would work. You will also want to grab a cocktail shaker and that's about it. If you want to make that fancy cobbled ice for this drink, grab one of these machines or a this set of ice trays, which are a bit more budget friendly. And, in a pinch, you can run over to your nearest Sonic and order a few cups of their ice. It's about the same!
How to Serve Cranberry Apple Spice Mules
I love a festive bar setup for the holidays and recommend you let your guests assemble their own cocktails to make things easy on you and allow people to mix, mingle, and pick their own adventure. Of course, this is for people at the big Thanksgiving table, meaning those of legal drinking age where you live. If you are enjoying these festive thanksgiving cocktails with just a few folks, go ahead and use proper copper mugs for the signature Moscow mule look. I recommend garnishing with cinnamon sticks, lime slices, apple slices, and even fresh cranberries if you want to get really on theme.
I hope you and yours (of legal drinking age) enjoy a round a Thanksgiving cocktails on Turkey Day and am sending you all the warm and fuzzy holiday wishes. Check out even more Thanksgiving cocktail ideas. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this spiced mule recipe over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
How to Make Cranberry Apple Spice Mule Cocktail Video
Thanksgiving Moscow Mule Recipe
Cranberry Apple Spice Mules
- 4 ounces vodka
- 4 ounces apple cider
- 2 teaspoons cranberry sauce
- crushed ice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ginger beer
- Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice then add vodka, apple cider, and cranberry sauce to cocktail shaker. Seal and shake vigorously until shaker is ice-cold to the touch.
- Fill two copper mugs or rocks glasses halfway with ice then strain in shaken mixture, evenly dividing between each glass.
- Top up glasses with ginger beer then stir gently with a spoon or cinnamon stick (for extra spiced flavor).
- Garnish with cinnamon sticks and wheels of fresh lime. Enjoy responsibly!
How perfect for the holidays are the flavours in this cocktail?!! This sounds amazing, but it also looks so pretty and delicious. And those copper mugs are absolutely amazing!!
Thank you so much! I think this cocktail can carry over into Christmastime, too. I found the mugs on clearance at Marshalls!
Oooh, these look so good! I love a Moscow Mule, so a seasonally inspired alternative is right up my alley! I'm also glad that I'm not the only one who might need a drink to get through Thanksgiving dinner...
Lol, you definitely aren't the only one! Thanks for reading, Kate!
Kristine-Bites of Flavor says
Moscow Mules are my favorite drink but not quite "holiday" style. I LOVE your recipe! Def making this!!
Thanks, Kristine! I hope you love it.
What a lovely variation on the traditional Moscow Mule. Here's to America!
You just put Thanksgiving in a cup and I love it!! We're traveling to visit family this year, so this cocktail will come in handy. 😉 Pinned!
Thanks so much, Ayanna!
was literally just talking to one of my girlfriends about these! Cannot wait to try them!
Yay! I hope y'all enjoy them!
Well, these look amazing! I will have to try. I love crafting cocktails!
I love a great festive cocktail! But this takes the cake! I love using my copper mugs so it looks like I found my Thanksgiving beverage!
Thanks for reading, Sharon! These copper mugs are one of my new favorites.
These look just perfect for curling up on the sofa with a good book and a fire going in the fireplace. Yum!!
Yes! That would be perfect!
These cranberry apple spice mules were everything! I served them as the Thanksgiving cocktail and everyone enjoyed them. I'll definitely be making them more often.
This was soooo good. Thanksgiving in a glass 😊. Can’t wait to make it again.
Shani Whisonant says
The flavors in this cocktail are just ::chef's kiss::. I love a Mule (my favorite drink) and I wasn't sure that anything could top the original/classic, BUT THIS SURE DOES! It's a quintessentially perfect holiday drink!
My mouth started watering even before I tasted this - I simply knew I was going to be crazy about it! I used the homemade cranberry sauce my Mother made for Thanksgiving, and it was so wonderful it's going to be the signature cocktail for our Christmas gathering.
I made these for a post-holiday Friendsgiving brunch and they were the highlight of the party. So refreshing and full of holiday flavors. Will be making these all season long.
Chenee Lewis says
We tried these for Thanksgiving and they were delicious! So easy to make. Definitely making more of them for Christmas.