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6 Festive Thanksgiving Mocktail Recipes

As the holidays approach, one of the most prominent things on peoples' minds is menu planning. Food and drink are a huge part of what makes the holiday season special: gathering with family and friends to share a meal, talk, and reconnect. For many, imbibing a few seasonal cocktails or a glass of wine or two is a natural part of the socializing.

But for many young adults, a recent Gallup study shows, that isn't necessarily the case. People between the ages of 18 and 34 are choosing not to drink, or to drink less than older generations.

Until recently, non-drinkers often had to make do with ginger beer or ginger ale at holiday events. But no more! This Thanksgiving, supplement your usual cocktail menu with a few non alcoholic Thanksgiving drinks for the non-drinkers in your family.

Are Mocktails the New Cocktail?

Why are so many young people choosing to drink less alcohol? Is this an indication that alcohol is on the way out? Or simply a new fad that will fade over time?

There could be many reasons for the decline in consumption: the demographic makeup of young adults today is more diverse than it was a decade ago, and non-White Americans typically consume less alcohol than White Americans.


Young people also cite health concerns as a reason for abstaining. There is also speculation that the legalization of Marijuana has lead to a decline in alcohol consumption.

Whatever the reason, we think moderation is great! Whether you abstain completely from alcohol or are simply looking to cut back on your consumption this year, non alcoholic drink recipes are a great idea to add to your drink menu. They're also fun for kids!

6 Delicious Drinks for your Thanksgiving Festivities

Thanksgiving dinner isn't the only meal you eat on turkey day: many people also like to make a special breakfast or brunch, or put out snacks for grazing all day long. Couple that with a mimosa in the morning and a few beers throughout the afternoon, and suddenly your alcohol consumption has skyrocketed! Replacing a few of those drinks with some non alcoholic Thanksgiving drinks instead is a great way to regulate your intake.

Let's dive in!

Ginger Orange Mocktail

Fall flavors like ginger, cinnamon, orange, and brown sugar are always a safe bet when it comes to a Thanksgiving mocktail recipe. This drink is dead easy to make, using only three ingredients, and a hit with kids and adults alike.



  • 1 container orange juice or lemonade
  • 1 bottle ginger ale or ginger beer, chilled
  • 1 can pineapple juice, chilled


Stir together orange juice, ginger beer and pineapple juice. Serve over ice.

Apple Cider Shandy

Apple cider is such a fall staple that we couldn't not include it on this list. While mulled apple cider might be your preferred festive drink for a cold day of apple picking or pumpkin carving, this chilled apple cider shandy is a crisp, refreshing Thanksgiving mocktail that will perfectly complement your Thanksgiving dinner.

The best part is, you can make this drink as alcoholic or non-alcoholic as you like by changing the amount of hard apple cider you include in the recipe. Make it a family friendly drink by excluding the hard cider completely, or make it a full-on cocktail by adding more.



  • 6 ounces chilled green apple hard cider (optional)
  • 6 ounces chilled sparkling apple juice (double if not using hard cider)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: lemon wheels and tart green apple slices


Chill and combine hard apple cider and sparkling apple juice in 2 pint glasses. Float 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice over each, and stir. Garnish with thin lemon wheels and green apple slices.

Lavender Plum Mocktail

This mocktail is a "shrub" - an old-timey drink that's made a resurgence in recent years as bartenders have embraced craft cocktails. It's vinegar-based, but don't let that throw you! The apple cider vinegar in this recipe is subtle and gives it a tangy, fruity quality that may scratch that itch for an alcohol kick (if that's what you're into!)

It's a little more complicated to pull off, but with garnish and the right glass, it's a show-stopping drink that is sure to impress. This is another drink you can make alcoholic by adding whiskey if you like.



  • 8 chopped red plums
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 fresh lavender sprigs
  • 1 split vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups bourbon or rye whiskey (optional)
  • 6 cups club soda
  • Garnish: lavender sprigs and plum slices


  1. Toss together the plums, all the sugar, lavender springs, and vanilla bean in a large bowl. Cover and let stand for two days at room temperature.

  2. Discard the lavender and vanilla. Add the apple cider vinegar and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  3. To serve, pour 1/4 cup of the mixture over ice cubes and top with club soda. Add 3 tablespoons of whiskey if desired. Garnish with lavender springs and plum slices.

Hot Not Toddy

The hot toddy is a classic Thanksgiving drink that no winter season should be without. The classic recipe calls for just hot water, whiskey, lemon juice, and honey - but you can make a delicious non alcoholic version by substituting some tea and spices for the whiskey flavor.



  • 7 ounces hot tea (we like a classic black tea - look for decaf if you're drinking this at night)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Garnish: lemon wedge


  1. Warm the glass you'll be using to serve the tea (it just makes it that little bit more special)

  2. Add the honey, lemon, and spices

  3. Pour the hot tea over the mixture and stir until all spices have dissolved

  4. Garnish with lemon wedge or cinnamon sticks

Ginger and Honey Sweet Tea

This recipe is a favorite of kids and a delicious alternative to hot tea. It's easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time and stored in bulk until needed, like punch. Fun fact: this also makes a great summer drink for kids!



  • 3 cups water
  • 2 family-size tea bags
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 7 cups cold water
  • Garnish: lemon slices


  1. Boil the three cups of water in a saucepan

  2. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep ten minutes.

  3. Discard tea bags and stir in honey and ginger.

  4. Pour into a 1 gallon container and top with 7 cups cold water.

  5. Refrigerate until needed then pour over ice cubes and garnish with lemon wedges.

Cranberry Mocktail

What would a Thanksgiving mocktail list be without a drink that uses cranberry juice? This recipe uses low-sugar juice and club soda, so it's healthy and delicious. Best of all, it uses only two ingredients, so it's extremely easy to make.



  • 1 container low-sugar cranberry juice
  • 1 bottle club soda (or non-alcoholic sparkling wine, or other sparkling drink of your choice)
  • Garnish: dried hibiscus blossoms


Combine the two ingredients to taste and serve over crushed ice. Garnish with flowers, fresh rosemary sprigs or a cinnamon stick.

Non Alcoholic Thanksgiving Drinks Are Fun for the Whole Family!

Show your support for the non-drinkers in your life by hosting a non-alcoholic Thanksgiving this year. Your kids and non-drinking family members will thank you (and so might your waistline!) After all - fewer calories consumed through alcohol means more calories spare to enjoy that second helping of pumpkin pie! And to tie it all off? Cozy up in some of the softest, most comfortable pajamas on the market! 


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