Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Leah Hall
An easy to make cocktail, that is easier to make into a large punch for a crowd, too! This Thanksgiving Champagne Cocktail is full of fall and winter flavors.
Well, we couldn’t let you have Thanksgiving without a Thanksgiving cocktail, could we? This Thanksgiving Champagne Cocktail is the perfect drink to sip for pre-dinner, during dinner and perfect with dessert for the holiday season. It has just the right amount of sweet and dry together to compliment the whole meal.
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Plus, we think this Thanksgiving Champagne cocktail goes perfectly with all the classic Thanksgiving dishes that we all take part in for Thanksgiving dinner!
It’s a festive and not too sweet bubbly cocktail that’s perfect for the holidays! If you want a whole bunch of Champagne Drinks for Easter, we have you covered, too! This is the perfect fall cocktail for a special occasion and you don’t need a cocktail shaker to make it. Traditional champagne cocktails can be perfect for the holidays too, like a Kir Royale, classic Mimosa, Poinsettia drink, Cranberry Mimosa or more.
There are lots of other sparkling wine drinks using Prosecco, too. These are cocktail recipes like an Aperol Spritz, Peach Bellini recipe, or a Thanksgiving Punch. But, we wanted to make the best champagne cocktail perfect for the time of year for a Thanksgiving meal, holiday parties, holiday dinner or Christmas eve. We think this has the perfect balance and is the easiest cocktail to make in big batch form as a signature drink for your event.
Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
Bärenjäger is the original honey liqueur with deep roots. It dates back to 18th century Germany, Bärenjäger was originally used to lure bears out by hunters. The name does translate into “Bear Hunter.”
We do use Bärenjäger in a few other cocktails like our Honey Bee’s Knees or Bärenjäger bourbon in our Honey Bourbon Pear Cocktail. Both perfect for winter, or all year long! This liqueur makes for delicious recipes and go perfect with a splash of champagne at the dinner table.
Bärenjäger has vanilla notes and a floral bouquet to the nose. The tasting notes are sweet and strong honey flavors. They use pure honey to make the liqueur, and it is lovely on the rocks or in cold or hot cocktails. Makes for some great hot toddies, too!
How to Make a Thanksgiving Champagne Cocktail
We served this in a wine glass, but a coupe, large champagne glass, or even a highball glass, would work. Start by combining the Bärenjäger Liqueur, apple brandy, lemon juice, and bitters in the glass with ice. Stir to combine.
Then, top with champagne (or prosecco or cava, if using). Garnish with spices (or other suggestions below) and enjoy! This easy recipe makes a great cocktail! Try some others we love like our Apple Cider Mimosa, Classic Champagne Cocktail, Cranberry Moscow Mule or more for Christmas dinners and New Year’s Eve!
Bitters are what Jay and I call the salt and pepper of the cocktail world. They add so much flavor with not a lot of additional liquid. Just a few drops or dashes will do you! We used 2 kinds in this Thanksgiving Champagne cocktail, because we wanted both the nut flavor from the Hazelnut bitters and the spice from the clove bitters. (Links to them below).
This gives it a great baked and spiced flavor, perfect choice for a fall cocktail.
Thanksgiving Cocktail Ingredients
To make this cocktail, you will need these ingredients –
- Bärenjäger – we use this honey liqueur as the sweetener in this recipe, and we love the honey flavor it brings to this fall cocktail.
- Apple Brandy – Apple brandy brings fall flavor to the Thanksgiving Champagne cocktail as well as a smoothness and slight oaky taste. If you have access to a local distillery that makes apple brandy, use that for sure!
- Lemon Juice – remember, fresh squeezed is best! this adds the citrus balance that the cocktail needs, and makes it less sweet.
- Bitters – we used 2 different kinds in this recipe. We wanted the fall flavors to shine, and clove bitters as well as hazelnut bitters combine for a spiced and baked flavor.
- Champagne: We used an extra brut champagne for this recipe, but if you want something sweeter, Prosecco, Cava or a sparkling white wine would work, too. Prosecco is a sparkling wine that is sweeter than champagne. Because Prosecco is fruitier than other sparkling wines, it will make your cocktail a little sweeter. If you like your cocktails drier and not sweet, try out the brut champagne. There are definitely different types to try out and see what you like.
Tips & Tricks
- Garnish – we used just a simple cinnamon stick (or cinnamon sticks) and star anise as garnish this delicious cocktail. But, some other options could be items like fresh fruit: fresh cranberries, apple wheel, apple slice, orange twist or orange peel. Another good garnish could be fresh mint.
- Chill Ingredients – chill everything in this recipe. If you make sure the Bärenjäger and apple brandy are chilled, as well as the lemon juice and the bottle of champagne, it will be the best way to insure that the ice doesn’t melt as fast. Chilling also will make this recipe taste even better. So, try to chill for at least 2 hours before mixing up!
- Serving – if you want to rim the glasses of this Thanksgiving Champagne cocktail, feel free to make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and then dip the glass in it. This cinnamon sugar rim will add some great spice to the drink.
- Glassware – we used a wine glass for this recipe, and choose a larger one, not small like champagne flutes or champagne glasses. But, coupe glasses, rocks glasses or punch cups will work great for this too!
- Sweetener – feel free to add some homemade simple syrup if you would like, if the Thanksgiving cocktail isn’t sweet enough. Or, try maple syrup, brown sugar simple syrup or cinnamon syrup to bring out the best parts of the cocktail flavors.
- Mocktail – you can make a non-alcoholic version of this that is close in flavor. Use honey simple syrup, apple juice, and lemon juice. For the bubbles – we suggest tonic water, ginger ale, or ginger beer to sub for the bubbly champagne.
Thanksgiving Champagne Cocktail For a Crowd
This cocktail recipe can be made a big batch in a pitcher or large punch bowl to make serving them for a crowd easier.
- Combine all the ingredients except champagne in the pitcher or punch bowl. If making for 8: use 8 ounces each Bärenjäger and Apple Brandy, 2 ounces lemon juice and 24 dashes of halzenut bitters and 16 drops of clove bitters.
- Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- When serving, top each glass with some champagne. Or, if you are serving from a punch bowl, add the champagne to the mixture and garnish in the bowl or glasses.
Appetizer Ideas for Thanksgiving
- Roasted Grapes
- Amber Ale BBQ Crostini
- Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites
- Cherry Crostini
- Blackberry Fig Goat Cheese Crostini
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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Thanksgiving Cocktails
This Thanksgiving Champagne Cocktail is perfect for celebrating the season! Make it for 1, 2 or for a crowd, and this bubbly will be a great celebratory drink!
- 1 ounce Barenjager Honey Liqueur
- 1 ounce apple brandy
- .25 ounce lemon juice
- 3 dashes hazelnut bitters
- 2 drops clove bitters
- 2 ounces (top with) champagne (or prosecco or cava)
- Combine all ingredients except prosecco in a wine glass. Stir with ice.
- Top with prosecco and garnish with cinnamon stick and star anise if desired.
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Serving Size:4 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: .2gSaturated Fat: .1gSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 15.1gSugar: 13.3gProtein: .1g
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