Push that plate away after you polish off that third helping of stuffing and take a few deep breaths to prep before the pie—but don’t let the tryptophan put the sleepy kibosh on your enjoyment of dessert by dozing you face-down into your à la mode. Brew up an easy and delicious jolt of caffeine that’s not just an afterthought after dinner, but a complement to the meal and a perfect pair for the last sweet bites. (Though of course you can swap in decaf for any of the recipes here; remember poor Aunt Millie can’t sleep a wink if she takes coffee after 3 PM.  Bless her.)

The Roast and Toast Bourbon-Coffee Cocktail

Gastronom Blog

Serious dinner and serious coffee drinkers might crave a serious, caffeinated cocktail, and this brilliant boozy brew is as simple as it is strong. Use cold-brewed coffee for a make-ahead prep, and you can even mix up a batch a few hours before dinner to ensure easy serving (and easy sipping): Just be sure to torch the marshmallow right before serving, to capture that crackling goodness—not to mention the drama. Why should cousin Kate get all the drama, anyway? Get the recipe

Mint Chocolate Iced Coffee

Buy This, Cook That

The coffee equivalent of a cool and refreshing after-dinner mint, this chilled drink makes a nice change of pace from the hot and heavy coffee brews we’re used to after a heavy meal. When served between the end of dinner and before the treats get dished out, it gets everybody’s tongue ready for something sweet and special, without being overpowering or cloying in its own flavors. Get the recipe

Vanilla Bean Horchata Iced Coffee

Nutmeg Nanny

Another deceptively simple iced coffee recipe, this horchata-inspired drink blends creamy-cool rice milk with warm cinnamon spice, and a little sweet vanilla for a somewhat unusual but very cozy flavor. Skip one step (the coffee-making) and use a store-bought cold brew in the recipe. Why not? You know sometimes Grandma was defrosting Sara Lee pies on Thanksgiving without any shame. Get the recipe.  

Irish Affogato

Bake, Love, Give

What if coffee was dessert? (Ok, maybe with a little adult libation thrown in, too.) What if coffee-dessert was exactly three ingredients, and you were three steps away from finishing your kitchen responsibilities and just parking yourself on the couch in front of football for the rest of the day? What if you could eat your coffee with a spoon, and get a buzz in the process? This Bailey’s-spiked gelato life-saver has your name written all over it. Get the recipe

Homemade Pumpkin Coffee Creamer

Sally’s Baking Addiction

If you love the pumpkin spice latte thing but hate the idea of going to all the trouble of making individual scratch versions, take the easy route and whip up a jug of pumpkin creamer for your guests to add to their regular ol’ no-fuss cup of joe. The warm spice and subtle sweetness will be a perfect partner-in-crime for your pumpkin pie, and it’s a great way to use up any extra purée you have laying around after cooking. Get the recipe

Coffee Punch 

What Marty Sees

Go big or go home—wait, you are home, you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year. In that case, just go big with this deliciously decadent (and decaf) coffee punch, which your guests can serve themselves. It’s kid-friendly, if you don’t mind getting the young ones hooked on the taste of your morning vice early in life, and for the grown-ups, a bottle of dark rum or whiskey nearby makes it easy to add a dash of liquid pleasure to their cup. Get the recipe

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Erin Meister (you can just call her "Meister") is both a longtime journalist and a coffee professional with nearly two decades' experience. She has written about food, coffee, film, travel, music, culture, and celebrity for The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Rachael Ray Every Day, Saveur.com, Time Out NY, Chickpea Magazine, Food & Wine's FWx.com, BUST magazine, Barista Magazine, and more. She is the author of the brand-new book "New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History (The History Press, 2017)".
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