I'm planning to offer my guests a choice of these two cocktails on Thursday. One is cranberry-based, and the other is apple cider-based. They're pretty easy to make, and I'm planning to make them on the spot, but if I had more guests, I could multiply the recipes and add them to pitchers. Anyway, if you'd like to offer your guests something to sip on while they nibble their hors d'oeuvres and socialize, here are two options to consider!
Grown-Up Apple Cider
2 oz apple cider
1/2 oz curaçao orange liqueur (get the clear kind, not the blue kind)
1 1/2 oz rye or whiskey, your choice
1 tsp simple syrup
Mix all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a Old Fashioned glass. If you like, garnish with a cinnamon stick.
2 oz cranberry juice
2 oz vodka
1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
Combine all ingredients except the cherries in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with cherries.
Related: Simple Cocktails with Fresh Apple Cider
(Image: Kathryn Hill)