If you’ve never heard of Drinksgiving, you’re missing out.
Traditionally taking place the day before Thanksgiving in the United States, Drinksgiving is a fun way to kickstart the holiday season: Grab a few friends, mix a few drinks, and have a ball! And what better way to celebrate than with some car-themed cocktails?
Cars have been the theme of the year for a lot of people. With the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering, we’ve used our cars for just about everything imaginable. They’re our mobile workplaces, our COVID-safe bubbles, the places we escape to for a few minutes of quiet, and the safest mode for long-distance travel. We’ve gone on road trips across the country and day trips to the park. We’ve stocked up on supplies and hidden out from the world. And we’ve done it, frequently, with our cars. I think we should celebrate them.
Of course, you should not be drinking in your car, nor should you drive after you’ve had a drink. But this is 2020: call up your friends or family on Skype, mix a few drinks, and celebrate a nice, socially-distanced Drinksgiving from your couch.
(And don’t worry—if you’re not the drinking type, we’ve included some mocktail options just for you.)
Now, I’ve had two different versions of the Pink Cadillac: the classic version and a fun spin-off. The latter is fairly simple: pour a glass of champagne or your favorite sparkly pink beverage and top it off with a dollop of cotton candy.
The name ‘Cadillac’ comes from the fact that this cocktail is made with top-shelf liquors, but if you’re making it at home, I won’t judge you for using whatever’s on hand. The rest is easy-peasy, which is ideal for a Drinksgiving treat.
Fill a cocktail shaker with:
- 2 oz. tequila
- 1 oz. Cointreau or any other triple sec
- 0.5 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
And shake, shake, shake! Strain into a cocktail glass (if you want to moisten the rim and coat it in salt, more power to you), then top with o.25 oz. Chambord or any other pink or raspberry-flavored liqueur.
Inspired by Food & Wine.
Pink Cadillac Mocktail
If you’re looking for a nonalcoholic version of the Pink Cadillac, my personal favorite version comes from allrecipes: Combine ginger ale, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and orange juice, either in a punch bowl or in a glass. Add ice and enjoy!
This classic cocktail, invented at the Ritz Hotel in Paris and named for the attachment to a motorcycle that allows you to bring a friend along, is one of my mom’s personal favorites, in. She bases hers on this recipe from Epicurious.
In a cocktail shaker, combine:
- 1.5 oz. cognac
- 1 oz. Cointreau or other triple sec
- 0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
Shake like crazy, then strain into a cocktail glass whose rim you’ve coated in lemon juice and salt. For extra Drinksgiving flair, top with cinnamon.
I am not a Sidecar fan, but I do love the mocktail version. I’ve had something similar to this recipe from BBC Good Food.
Mix 1.5 oz. of black tea and lemon juice together in a cocktail shaker. Add a teaspoon of marmalade and a teaspoon of honey. Fill with ice. Shake it up, strain, and serve!
The Rolls Royce cocktail is inspired by the Sidecar, but this time for gin lovers. It’s a perfect concoction for Rolls Royce rear seat passengers to mix up in the in-car decanter that’s tucked between the rear seats because you don’t need much to make it. Combine the following in a mixing glass:
- 2 oz. gin
- 0.5 oz. dry vermouth
- 0.5 oz sweet vermouth
Stir up, then strain and pour into a cocktail glass you’ve rinsed with Bénédictine or any other herbal liqueur. Inspired by Imbibe Magazine.
I’ve never come across a good Rolls Royce mocktail, but if you’re willing to experiment, I bet you could make something delicious with a blend of cooled herbal tea and grape juice steeped in spices.
Related: Why You’re Glad the 2021 Rolls Royce Ghost Is As Much About Innovation as it is About Luxury
While the Imperial Fizz isn’t directly named after Chrysler Imperial, I decided to borrow the recipe because my brother has spent the last year trying to impart upon me the benefits of a good fizz. Plus, this is a really simple recipe, one that you can make at home without needing a well-stocked bar.
In a cocktail shaker, add:
- 2 oz. whiskey, bourbon, scotch, rum—basically any brown alcohol you have lying around
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 0.5 teaspoon superfine sugar or 0.5 oz. simple syrup
Shake it up to make sure the sugar is well-mixed, then pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Top it up with soda or tonic water, give it a stir, and enjoy. Inspired by The Spruce Eats.
Imperial Fizz Mocktail
The best part about a fizz is the fact that it’s easy to make a non-alcoholic version. Mix up fresh lemon juice or lemonade with soda water or ginger ale, and you already have a winner. I like to stir in molasses for a deep, earthy flavor.
There aren’t many cocktails named after racing teams, but if it’s speed you want, look no further than the Ferrari. This is a simple drink: mix equal parts Fernet Branca and Campari and serve in a chilled glass.
With two amaro liqueurs, this cocktail has a bit of a bittersweet, herbal taste, so it isn’t for everyone. Because of that, it’s hard to make a mocktail version, but I’ve had a rhubarb-and-licorice tea that gave a similar punch.
While the phrase “silver Mercedes” conjures up images of luxury, class, and elegance, you can make the cocktail version of that mental image with just a few simple ingredients. Seriously. It’s almost too easy. Chill all your ingredients, then mix:
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. cranberry juice
- a much champagne as you see fit
This drink is best served in a highball glass.
(FYI: TGI Friday’s made a frozen version of this drink by adding all of the above ingredients into a blender, along with a cup of orange sherbet. I highly recommend.)
Silver Mercedes Mocktail
With a cocktail this simple, you know you can make an incredible mocktail! Mix cranberry juice with club soda or sparkling grape juice for a simple version, or make it frozen with a cup of sherbet.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most iconic and longest-lasting motorsport events in the world, so it only makes sense that it would have its very own cocktail named after it. It’s a great summery drink, but if you add ginger beer in place of club soda and a little pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, you’ve got an amazing autumnal beverage. Fill a highball glass with the following:
- 1 oz. Cointreau
- 0.5 oz. vodka
- club soda, champagne, or ginger beer to fill
- optional: a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, a sprig of rosemary, ice
Mix, garnish with a lemon slice, serve and practice saying the name of the drink properly: Luh-mon. Inspired by Complete Cocktails.
Le Mans Mocktail
A mocktail version of this is easy-peasy. Mix equal parts orange juice and white grape juice in a glass, then top with club soda or ginger beer. Add your spices if you want those warm, fall flavors to pair with your Drinksgiving celebration.
I have to include a nice, creamy cocktail—they’re just too good to ignore. So, here’s another Cadillac-inspired recipe, again made with top-shelf liquors (but again, I won’t judge if you go the simpler, cheaper route!).
In a cocktail shaker, add:
- 0.75 oz cream
- 0.75 oz. white crème de cacao
- 0.75 oz. Galliano Liqueur, or any other sweet, herbal liqueur you can get your hands on
Shake up well, then pour into a glass and enjoy. Again, if you want a more fall-like flavor, sprinkle on some cinnamon and nutmeg. Inspired by The Spruce Eats.
Golden Cadillac Mocktail
There are no official mocktail recipes for this bad boy, but a well-spiced, white chocolate hot cocoa could do wonders.
Bonus: Moonshine Shot
If you’re not a fan of diluting your liquor, I understand. Go ahead and indulge in a nice moonshine shot. After all, hauling moonshine is how most first-generation NASCAR drivers got their start!