Spiced Gobbler: A Festive Thanksgiving Cocktail

It’s finally cooling off—HOORAY! Cooler weather brings with it a signature color palette, special holidays, and tastes that feel right only when there is a bite in the air. Fall simply calls for apples, cranberries, and herb-laden smells.

Spiced Orange Apple Cider from H-E-B is lovely by itself: citrus-y, not too sweet, and with all the spices you’d hope for. But fall and the holidays are prime entertaining opportunities, so we decided to build upon this delicious base. As a nod to the great turkey himself, all the flavors of the season, and the base of the drink, we christened this cocktail creation a “Spiced Gobbler,” but you can call it whatever you want!

H-E-B’s Spiced Orange Apple Cider is just as tasty cold as it is warmed, which makes it a versatile treat and perfect in case it’s 85°F on Thanksgiving and warm cider just isn’t working. The recipe that follows is easy to assemble and adaptable. It’s as good with the bourbon (or vodka or rum) as it is without, making it easy for kiddos or non-indulgers to share the flavors, too.

Spiced Gobbler

(makes 1 serving)



  1. For a cold version, chill the cider and juice ahead of time or prepare over ice.
  2. Combine the Spiced Orange Apple Cider, cranberry juice, and bourbon.
  3. Run your fingers over the rosemary leaves to gently release the rosemary oils. Stir the drink with the rosemary spring, leaving it in as a garnish.
  4. Twist the fresh orange peel over the glass and include it as a garnish.


  • Make ahead in a pitcher or large drink dispenser and chill for self-serve cocktails. Leave the bourbon to be added in as wanted if your crowd includes those who prefer a mocktail or kids. Garnish the drink dispenser with slices of apple and oranges.
  • A ratio of four parts cider to one part each cranberry juice and bourbon seems to be a crowd-pleaser, but adjust to taste.
  • To make the drink “lighter,” reduce the amount of cider and cran and top it off with a splash of sparkling water—bubbly and refreshing!

Tip #1: Vigorously rub the rosemary between your hands to release the oils and place it in the pitcher or dispenser prior to adding liquid.

Tip #2: To keep the drink cool in a pitcher or drink dispenser without diluting it, freeze some of the Spiced Orange Apple Cider with a splash of cranberry and a sprig of rosemary in large cocktail ice molds. As the “ice” melts, it won’t dilute the drink!

If it’s cool enough outside for a warm version, simply warm the cider and juice on the stove with some apple and/or orange slices. How pretty would it be in a copper pot? #kitchengoals

Add the bourbon and rosemary as it’s ladled into a heatproof glass or cup.

A crowd-pleaser (we taste-tested with some discerning cocktail and mocktail drinkers) that is not too sweet, not too heavy, and seasonally perfect, the Spiced Gobbler is easy as pie and tastes like you picked up the recipe at a craft cocktail bar. Thanks to its delicious ingredients and great flavors, this cocktail will quickly become part of your family’s Thanksgiving tradition.

A fifth-generation San Antonionian - who happened to spend her formative years in Austin - Amanda loves the SAT from the confetti in her hair to the bluebonnets under her feet. Never one to miss a reason to host a party or decorate for a theme, Amanda revels in the 'mas Fiesta' attitude of the city. She's mom to Vivi (2012) aka #HurricaneVivi, Mac (2020) and wife to Francois, whom she met at Texas A&M (FTAC '05). She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Doctorate in Making it Up As She Goes - which means she's a sometimes-fun-mom. You can find her on Instagram . She loves confetti, croissants, and a cold Ranch Water. Favorite Restaurant: Piatti's Favorite Landmark: Johnson Street footbridge in King William Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Fiesta Medals