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Talk about festive. To get everyone started at our post-Thanksgiving party (held annually at the MSV house on the Friday after Thanksgiving) this year, we offered a pitcher of Cranberry-Rosemary Sangria. Really good. We recommend topping off each glass with a bit of dry bubbly to make this drink perfect.

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(Also, note that we had the wrong apples on hand when we made the test run, which is what was photographed. We did use the Granny Smith apples called for in the recipe the day of the party.)

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The post-Thanksgiving party is mostly about leftovers, but we always provide a couple of soups and a couple of loaves of crusty bread to supplement. This year we made miso soup with a shiitake dashi from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites. (This also made for the best possible breakfast the morning after the party) and a carrot-ginger soup from The Curry Book.

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And now this weekend is our first Christmas party of the season, and to it we're taking a pitcher of Horchata White Russians. This is a genius idea for a dairy-free, gorgeous, and winter-ready mixed drink. Our recipe came from Pure Vegan, and the sweet, cinnamon-packed horchata, like everything else we've tried from that book, is pretty stunning in this drink.

But it's not the only ingredient, of course. To assemble the drink, add a half-cup of horchata to an ounce each of vodka and coffee liqueur. We made our own liqueur using this super-fast recipe. Ready in days, not weeks. Bring on the cheer.

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