Unbeknownst to us until about a week ago, the North Pole is not actually a quaint little place filled with elves and reindeer and all other kinds of Christmas magic. It’s not even a barren arctic landscape unfit for human life (for any life). There isn’t even a pole. The North Pole, if we were to point it out on a map, is actually in the middle of a very cold and very large body of water. The only things that live there are, like, whales, I guess, and maybe an oil tanker or two, both of which are decidedly unfanciful and unmagical (whales are actually pretty fanciful; whatever Great Deity cooked those suckers up was on acid or at least copping grass from a great connect). At any rate, deciding, in the spirit of Christmas, to base Alcoholic Geography there this week was a mistake. Had we gone ahead with this idea and kept a straight face, our recommendations would have been limited to seawater, whale urine and whatever you could find in a flask pried from the cold, dead hands of a sea captain caught in a winter squall. It would have been…raw, to say the least. So we took a different tack. One that requires perhaps a bit of fantastical thinking, but bear with us; making these drinks will be well worth it when the holidays officially get into full swing. Eggnog Eggnog. The staple of every WASP Christmas ever. The origins of this wonderful cream, raw egg and rum mixture are debated, but we’re willing to wager it comes from an Anglo-Saxon household sometime in the 17th century, before they had discovered Coca-Cola, since rum mixes much better with that than with raw eggs. In fact, very few things mix with raw eggs, but we all still see fit to drink eggnog with great abandon every holiday season. How to make it: We could give you a whole gourmet recipe here, but for fear of being cited for spreading salmonella among our readers, we’re going to take the easy way out: Go to grocery store, buy cartons of eggnog, buy rum, return home, pour both rum and eggnog into pitcher/bowl, testing every so often until preferred strength is attained. Sprinkle with nutmeg, serve. Cider Our preferred drink for the holidays, cider contains approximately 100 percent less raw eggs and as such is less likely to cause projectile vomiting and paralysis, both huge plusses in our book when looking to drink profusely during the holidays. Also unlike eggnog, the origins of cider are lengthy and quite detailed, but Wikipedia manages to sum it up nicely: “Before the development of rapid long distance transportation, regions of cider consumption generally coincided with regions of cider production: that is, areas with apple orchards.” See, you’d never get that with eggnog: “Regions of nog consumption generally coincided with regions of nog production: that is, nowhere, because nog isn’t a thing that exists.” How to make it: Assemble the following: 4 cups of apple cider, 1 cup of orange juice, half a cup of peach schnapps, half a cup of triple sec, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg. Put all these things into a saucepan, bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and let cook for 20 minutes. Serve hot. Poinsettia It’s Christmas morning. Your children are running around hopped up on pure Santa-induced adrenaline. Your parents are beeping and blipping their way through whatever new gizmo they got for Christmas, hopelessly confused, asking all kinds of inane questions. Your grandparents are muttering in the far corner about how Christmas used to be a simpler time, how they used to get a nickel and some shoe polish and were happy, and your dog is choking on all the wrapping paper and peeing everywhere out of sheer excitement. It’s eight A.M.: it is time for a drink. Mimosas are the antemeridian choice for upscale alcoholics, but it’s Christmas, so let’s change it up a bit with the Poinsettia. How to make it: *Break open a bottle of champagne. Pour four parts champagne to one and a half parts cranberry juice. Consume. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. *Maison KitsunéPernod Absinthe What better time of the year than Christmas to drink something that has a fantastical history of inducing states not dissimilar to those prompted by licking psychedelic toads? Absinthe has long been heralded as a hallucinogen and while we will neither confirm nor deny reports that our staff spent a few nights last week talking to “Santa’s Reindeer,” the folks at Pernod in conjunction with Maison Kitsuné have cooked up one hell of a bottle here. With its art (designed by Maison Kitsuné) inspired by the imaginary world of Absinthe and Pernod ponying up limited quantities of this special batch, this Absinthe is the crème de la crème of Christmas cocktails. How to make it: Mix it with water and sugar if it’s too bitter. If you want to get fancy then place a spoon over the glass and drip water through the sugar cube to dissolve into the absinthe. Or mix it with sparkling wine as your New Year’s Eve libation. Then party like it’s 1849.