This Thanksgiving Margarita is the ultimate holiday drink and so easy to make. The twist on a traditional margarita combines apple cider, pumpkin spice sauce, and tequila for a refreshing cocktail your dinner guests will love!
When you think of margaritas, chances are you think mostly of tropical vacations or warm weather patio dining.
But there really is no wrong time of year for tequila and, therefore, no wrong time of the year for a margarita. Including Thanksgiving time!
This Thanksgiving margarita takes tequila and mixes it with apple cider, and pumpkin spice sauce. It even has a sugar and salt cinnamon rim.
Sure, you could argue this isn't technically a margarita since it doesn't have cointreau or lime juice, but I think it's the perfect fun spin on a margarita and will make a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving cocktail hour.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
This drink has some of the best flavors of Thanksgiving and is super easy to make! Which means it's perfect for serving to company during Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or any gatherings you have leading up to the big day.
You can make the pumpkin spice sauce in advance, or even purchase it, so when you're ready to mix up a margarita, it will take just a few minutes.
And, of course, this cocktail is absolutely delicious. Who knew tequila works so well with the flavors of apple cider and pumpkin spice??
You only need a few ingredients to make Thanksgiving margaritas! I love the addition of a cinnamon sugar and salt rim for the glasses, but you can also leave that out if you're in a rush.
Here's what you need (please see recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Coarse salt: for glass rim
- Coarse sugar: for glass rim
- Ground cinnamon: for glass rim
- Apple cider
- Pumpkin spice sauce or syrup: You can make your own with the ingredients listed below or purchase a bottle of it.
- Rosemary sprigs: for garnish (optional)
For homemade pumpkin spice sauce:
- Granulated sugar
- Pumpkin puree
- Vanilla extract
- Pumpkin pie spice
🎃 How to make pumpkin spice sauce
I go back and forth between calling this a pumpkin spice sauce and a pumpkin spice syrup. It really is a bit more sauce-like since it has pumpkin puree in it, which makes it a bit thicker and more viscous than a typical syrup.
If you're purchasing the sauce/syrup for this margarita, you can really use either. Here is a great pumpkin spice sauce and here is a thinner pumpkin spice syrup.
To make the pumpkin pie sauce, put all the ingredients (water, sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice) in a medium saucepan, stir, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture has thickened.
Pour syrup in a heat-proof bowl or mason jar and place in fridge to cool completely before using.
If you want to make your own, but want it to be thinner and more like a syrup, just omit the pumpkin puree and use additional pumpkin pie spice. Then you'll get lots of pumpkin spice flavor with no actual pumpkin.
🍹 How to make Thanksgiving margarita
Now that you have all your ingredients, you're ready to whip up this super simple Thanksgiving drink!
I recommend rimming your glass with a delightful cinnamon sugar and salt mixture.
Typically, margaritas are rimmed with salt. And some fruity ones are rimmed with sugar. But I loved the idea of doing a salty and sweet rim for this drink and I think it works perfectly!
Just mix salt, sugar, and cinnamon together on a plate and brush a little syrup (or water) along the rim of you glass. Place glass upside down on plate and rotate to coat rim in mixture.
Now, add apple cider, tequila, and pumpkin spice syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well to combine.
Add ice into prepared glass and strain mixture from shaker into glass.
You can garnish the Thanksgiving margarita however you want, but I recommend rosemary sprigs and a little dusting of ground cinnamon.
Cinnamon sticks would work well, too!
Your holiday guests are going to absolutely love this incredibly flavorful and refreshing seasonal margarita.
Yes, it goes well with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. And, of course, it's also the perfect match for apple pie and pumpkin pie!
I love the flavors in this cocktail so much and am so happy I can enjoy pumpkin and apple all in one drink.
🎉 How to make pitcher margaritas
I like this margarita best when made as individual drinks since the pumpkin sauce may settle a bit and it's good to strain it through the cocktail shaker. But you can certainly make it as a pitcher drink if you're serving it to a crowd.
Just mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher, stir well, and pour into ice-filled glasses. If you're letting the pitcher sit in the fridge for a bit, make sure you stir it well before serving.
Here's what you'll need to make enough to serve 8:
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups tequila
- 1 cup pumkin spice sauce
🧃How to make a virgin drink
If you have kids attending your Thanksgiving celebration, you may want t make your Thanksgiving margaritas alcohol-free.
And it's easy to do! Just leave the tequila out of the drink. Since the cocktail will be quite sweet without it, I recommend replacing it with sparkling water instead.
🦃 More Thanksgiving drinks
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to make custom cocktails for because the day is all about relaxing with good food and good drinks! I've got lots of drink recipes perfect for your celebrations... Here are some of my favorites:
- Cranberry Gin Cocktail
- Holiday Spiced Honeycrisp Apple Cocktail
- Cranberry Jalapeño Margaritas
- Cinnamon Pear Sangria
- Apple Cider Bourbon Slush
- Tropical Cranberry Sangria
- Pomegranate Rosemary Gin Sparkler
- Hot Spiced Cranberry Cocktail
- Apple Ginger Margarita
- Cranberry Pomegranate Sparkler
- Apple Pumpkin Shandy Sangria
Though I'm calling this a Thanksgiving margarita, it's truly a drink that you can enjoy all fall long! As long as apple cider and pumpkin puree are available, you'll find me sipping on this cocktail.
What's your favorite Thanksgiving drink?
- ½ tsp coarse salt
- ½ tsp coarse sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 oz apple cider
- 2 oz tequila
- 1 oz pumpkin spice sauce or syrup (recipe below or store-bought)
- Rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Pumpkin Spice Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice*
- Put salt, sugar, and cinnamon on a small plate.
- Lightly brush rim of glass with syrup or water and place glass upside down on plate. Rotate glass to coat rim in mixture.
- Add apple cider, tequila, and pumpkin spice syrup to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well to combine.
- Add ice into prepared glass and strain mixture from shaker into glass.
- Garnish cocktail with a rosemary sprig and additional ground cinnamon, if desired.
Pumpkin Spice Sauce
- Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan, stir, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture has thickened.
- Pour syrup in a heat-proof bowl or mason jar and place in fridge to cool completely before using.
- You should be able to make about 12 drinks with the above pumpkin spice sauce recipe. You can easily half it if you prefer.
- If you prefer a thinner syrup over a sauce, you can omit the pumpkin puree from the recipe and add an additional ½ tsp of pumpkin pie spice.
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