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10 Cocktails to Get Your Thanksgiving Going

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This year will be the first year that I am hosting Thanksgiving by myself. In previous years my brother and I teamed up to cook the big meal, but next week it will be all me. I want to make sure the event is special and memorable, and so I don’t want to miss any detail. That includes perfecting my pie crust this weekend, brining our bird to ensure optimal moistness, and offering a fun, autumn cocktail when the family arrives.

Since we will have both sides of our families eating with us this year, we figured it might be best to break the ice with some alcohol right up front. Why wait for the wine during dinner? It turns out that there are countless options for drinks at this time of year. You can basically take any traditional drink and add apple cider or cranberry, and get a yummy, seasonal concoction. With that in mind, here are some of my favorites from my research. Enjoy!

Hot Cider Appletini

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I’m a sucker for hot apple cider, and this drink pairs that with the ever-popular appletini. But go easy, because too many of these can mean a hangover that only a cold turkey sandwich can cure.

Apple Cider Mimosa

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I served this at a recent gathering and my guests loved it. With two simple ingredients, you get a fizzy, apple-y treat. The cider rounds out the champagne (we actually used Prosecco) and before you know it you’ve tossed two of these back without realizing it.

Cranberry Mule

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We’re big fans of the traditional Moscow Mule, which has vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, so I was pretty excited to find this holiday version of that. Plus, it looks really pretty, especially if you can serve it in the classic copper mug.

Fall Apple Sangria

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The fun thing about sangria (which is also hugely helpful to any host) is that you can make a big vat of it and you’re done. With guests pouring their seconds (or thirds) for themselves, you can focus on the meal.

Apple Cider Mojitos

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Another twist on a classic, this option can be a lot of fun, especially if you can designate someone else to prepare the cocktails so that you can get dinner ready to serve. If you’re worried about getting the turkey to temperature and the lumps out of the mashed potatoes, the last thing you want to have to do is muddle mint…

Cranberry Mimosas

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My mother used to serve these at parties, and everyone loved them particularly because they look so festive. She calls them Poinsettias. Whatever you name them, they are sweet and tart, and beautiful all at once.

Autumn Spiced Rum Cider Cocktail

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Spiced rum practically begs for fall flavors, so this cocktail is a great combination of ingredients. After sipping these, everyone’s tummies will be nice and warm and ready for dinner.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Cocktail

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If you’re a fan of an Old Fashioned, then you might want to give this cocktail a try. Plus, if you serve it in the right glass, it looks so gorgeous and classy. You might want to pull out the old record player while you’re at it.

Pumpkin Spice White Russians

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Of course we had to include an option for you pumpkin spice fanatics. And it goes so well with the creaminess of the white Russian. While most of these cocktails are meant for before dinner, you might want to save this one for when you’re serving dessert.

Cranberry Orange Margaritas

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Finally, a margarita for the holidays! Who said that you can only drink these beauties when it’s hot outside? Put a cranberry in it, and it’s perfect for Thanksgiving!