Our suggestion? Stick to the classics.
We're chock full of Thanksgiving-adjacent advice. We'll tell you how to diffuse familial war-mongering around the dinner table. We'll give you a list of the correct liquor to buy so that instead of eating every traditional Thanksgiving dish, you can drink it in alcoholic form (it can be done!). If you're still keen on eating, we'll point you in the right direction of a mail-order Thanksgiving spread. We'll recommend the best sweatpants for your after-meal nap. That's conversation, spirits, sustenance, and comfort all sorted out. What's left? Cocktails, which, in a way, complement each of those four categories quite nicely.
We're of the mindset that a Thanksgiving cocktail should spiritually resemble the stuffing more than the sweet potato casserole. We prefer rich gravy and hearty bread, with sharp tidbits of bitter celery and sour raisin, to a pile of marshmallow fluff torched to a sugared crisp. That stuffing palate more or less applies to the following drinks recipes: bold, flavorful, uncomplicated, and not too sweet. All are classics—or riffs on classics—and all are quite simple to make. When you're already worrying about conversation, spirits, sustenance, and comfort, there's no need to put out your back preparing a 12-ingredient cocktail that captures the essence of pumpkin and the aura of a roasted bird. Keep it easy.
And hey, if your 2020 Thanksgiving is looking more isolated than those in years past, forget the bird: A cocktail might be all you need.