by Colin McGuire
I’m not quite sure why people use the holidays as an excuse to drink. Along with Thanksgiving comes wine. Along with Christmas comes eggnog. Along with New Year’s Eve comes champagne.
Me? I don’t need odd family gatherings and 10-second countdowns to crack open a microwavable Natty Boh on any day that ends in a “y.” Oh, sure. So you don’t need more than one glass of Korbel and you think any beer that ends with the word “Light” isn’t worth your time.
Anyway, I was recently reflecting on the whole holiday drinking thing when I came across a Google result that read as such: “20+ Easy Christmas Cocktails.” It was from something called “Delish,” and instead of listing the recipes via straight words and pictures, it forced me to navigate through a slideshow, which, of course, only made me want to reach for the microwave door.
Still, I was fully prepared to dismiss everything about this nonsense until I saw the first concoction: Santa Clausmopolitans, featuring lime, sugar, vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, lime juice and cranberries. I couldn’t help but feel equally charmed and condescended to by such a cute/obnoxious name.
Naturally, I had to click forward.
What else was on the list? How about Jingle Juice, which features cran-apple juice, moscato, prosecco, vodka, cranberries, mint leaves, sugar and limes, to replace the ole tried and true jungle juice? And if you didn’t like that, you could click all the way to the end, where you’d find a recipe for “Eddie’s Eggnog” that is supposed to be in tribute to Cousin Eddy from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
Somewhere, Randy Quaid is adjusting his bathrobe.
All of this festive fantasizing made me wonder what type of holiday-themed cocktails I could come up with were I given the opportunity to write “stories” for something called “Delish.”
You, friends, are welcome.
Rain Deer Rosé: Forget Blitzen and Donner. For this holiday staple, grab three quarts of rain from your clogged gutters, cook up some of the venison you still have frozen from last year’s hunting season and pop that bottle of $3 rosé you’ve been saving for the “right time.” The venison serves as fantastic garnish while the rain gives the drink a well-rounded earthiness.
Suggested price: $12 (hey, meat ain’t cheap!)
Market to: Wealthy bears
Leinenkugel’s Winter Shandy: Remember that six-pack of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy from 1999 that you stored in your attic, thinking you’d never have to deal with it again? Pop those bottles open this New Year’s Eve and celebrate 20 years of high-temperature excellence that proves equally as memorable in the winter months as it does throughout the summer.
Suggested price: $3.99 (note: not adjusted for inflation)
Market to: The 55-year-old house dad who nobody ever knows what to get for Christmas
Ho Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum: Go buy a bottle of run. Open it. Drink it. Don’t stop until you see the bottom of the bottle. Pretty straightforward.
Suggested price: $10-$150 (pricing depends on if you’re the type of person who finds the Santa Clausmopolitans charming or condescending)
Market to: The uncle who never makes it to gift-giving, the second half of the football game and the shower on a regular basis
Sugarplum’s Sangria: Three cups sugar, five plums, a dash of orange juice and 15 shots of brandy. If this doesn’t show up on “The Real Housewives of Potomac” by the beginning of season four, I am going to demand this magazine adjust its circulation.
Suggested price: $22.50 (all ingredients included)
Market to: Anyone who has ever purchased a bottle of Skinnygirl wine
So, what are the lessons learned?
Well, for one, Delish needs to hire me.
Two, a “Lessons Learned” cocktail book needs to go to press so it can be available for 2019’s holiday season.
Three, “meat-garnished mixed drinks” are the new “New England IPAs.”
Four, I think the line between flirty and sloppy is somewhere between three and three-and-a-half sugar plum sangrias.
And five, no matter what anyone tells you, don’t believe the hype: You don’t need the holiday season to enjoy a drink or two. I mean, don’t even get me started on what can be found in Cupid’s Cider.