Applejack Thanksgiving Cocktail

Thanksgiving is defined by the food. That’s literally the whole reason we get together right? I wanted the day of feasting to have it’s own Thanksgiving Cocktail.

thanksgiving cocktail made with Applejack, Triple Sec and cranberry juice

After all, a day filled with family usually requires a little bit of drinking right? Thanksgiving on the Rocks is an apple brandy based drink with the additional season flavors of orange and cranberry.

The Booze

Yes. Another Applejack drink. Just go buy a bottle already!

Thanksgiving is an American holiday and I thought it best to start this drink with some American booze. You can’t get more historic than with a liquor that got it’s start in Colonial America.

I’m clearly an Applejack lover, I’ve already shared two applejack recipes, one for the Winter Rose, which is still my favorite cocktail at the moment, and for an Autumn Hot Toddy. Both of those recipes highlight how well Applejack plays with others.

We’re upping the alcohol content with some Triple Sec. Triple Sec is a clear, strong liqueur flavored with sweet and bitter orange peel.

It’s not the only orange liqueur on the market, trust me, it’s a very confusing aspect of the booze world. Vine Pair breaks down the differences between Cointreau, Triple Sec and Grand Marnier if you’re curious.

The Flavors

thanksgiving cocktail made with Applejack, Triple Sec and cranberry juice with a bottle of applejack

We’re getting an apple flavor from the Applejack, and who can argue that apple doesn’t deserve a place at the Thanksgiving table?

The orange might make a bit more sense after I reveal the last ingredient. Cranberry juice. Ornage and cranberry are best friends, at least in cranberry sauce.

I used 100% cranberry juice for this, that’s why there is only a tiny amount. I swear that stuff is stronger than the booze.

If you can’t find the high test cranberry juice grab a mix but you’re flavors will be a bit different and you might want to add more. Cran-apple or cran-pomegrantate would be pretty tasty, I’d up the juice to 1/2 or 3/4 oz if you’re going with a blend.

This is a strong cocktail, being mostly booze, so diluting it with a but more juice isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Especially if you have to spend the whole day with your sister and you’ll be drinking for a while ๐Ÿ˜‰

The longer this sat the more I enjoyed it, the ice melted and added a little bit of dilution that took off the harsher edge. You can jump start that by shaking it with ice or be like me and forget you were drinking and come back to it.

thanksgiving cocktail made with Applejack, Triple Sec and cranberry juice with a strip of orange zest

Thanksgiving on the Rocks

Yield: 1 Serving
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute

Thanksgiving can be a bit rocky when everyone gets together, all the more reason to enjoy your Thanksgiving on the Rocks made with seasonal apple, orange and cranberry flavors


  • 1.5 oz Applejack
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1/4 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Large Ice Cube
  • Orange Zest for Garnish


  1. Build drink over the ice cube by adding cranberry juice, triple sec and then applejack
  2. Swirl or stir to chill
  3. Garnish with a strip of orange zest
Check out my Autumn Cocktails page for more ideas or start here:

coupe glass filled with winter rose cocktail made with Lairds Applejack Pomegranate juice and grenadine on a stone surface with pomegranate arils

tall glass filled with vanilla ice cream, brandy, apple cider and ginger beer with a bottle of brandy and apples in the background and a single cut in half apple in front against a black background

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