Friendsgiving is more than just a fancy potluck where you spring for the unpronounceable bottle of Bordeaux versus that OG magnum of Yellow Tail Shiraz. It's the requisite calm before the storm known as your relatives. Yes, family is a beautiful gift that you will cherish always, but they are also shitty and complicated and there is always that super-conservative old person who is out of fucks to give and will spend the whole night preaching the gospel of #Donald4President. If nothing else, think of it as dress rehearsal for the main event, a time to work out all of the kinks (dry stuffing is a moderately forgivable offense) and reacquaint your body with hard liquor after swearing it off post-Halloween hangover.
Speaking of your affinity for the strong stuff, let's start this party with a cocktail. Mezcal-spiked hot cider is equal parts mind-numbingly simple and deliciously festive.
Mezcal-Spiked Hot Cider
2 gallons apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
As much mezcal as you want
In a large pot, combine apple cider, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and orange peel. Let all ingredients simmer over medium heat until fragrant. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Ladle cider into the largest mug you can find and top with your preferred dose of mezcal.