Drinks to Get You Through the Holidays

By Vanessa Butler

Being stuck in a house with extended family is difficult. Here are the drinks to get you through it.

Christmas is that magical time of year when we start to believe that a week spent with extended family is a good idea. This notion may have formed during the same period we were coming up with a plausible family gathering/time-off-work story. Or our annually clouded judgement could be thanks to Christmas commercials; the racially nondescript, middle class family living in suburbia, still able to feed their household,  respected by their teenage daughter with enough money to buy whatever hot ticket item is on their wish list, type of commercial.

Whatever the reason, it’s too late to turn back. We’ve purchased a one way ticket to the Christmas sweater wearing, mass attending, carol singing, eggnog drinking hell and have to grin and bare whatever old St. Nick throws at us. There may be only one way to get through this; we’ve paired some of the best drinks with the worst situations you may find yourself in this holiday season.

Happy drinking, but be responsible.

Situation #1:

Your aunt, who lives on the other side of the country, has arrived and already cracked open the liqueur meant to be paired with dessert. She starts to guilt trip you for never visiting.

Pair it with:

Pour yourself a shot of vodka over ice then wrestle the liqueur bottle from your aunt’s, passive aggressive grasp to make yourself a Black Russian. Since this drink goes down smoothly, after two or three you’ll be making promises that will keep your aunt happy and at bay until next year.

Situation #2:

You love your Grandfather and speak the world of him to your friends, but his stories, that may or may not be confused with scenes from war movies and James Stewart films, put you straight to sleep.

Pair it with:

The appropriately named Corpse Reviver cocktail has so much kick to it you will find the age old fables riveting in no time. This drink will also give you a nice 3-5 minute break from your dear old Grandfather since it has so many ingredients:

-        1 ounce gin

-        1 ounce Lillet

-        Half of a freshly squeezed lime

-        1 ounce orange liqueur

-        1-2 drops absinthe

Situation #3:

Your sister brings home her frat boyfriend who seems to think that meeting the extended family is comparable to a rush party. He has spent a good part of the night impressing guests with ‘epic skills,’ like crushing a beer can on his head, challenging your uncle to a makeshift beer pong tournament on the dinner table and continually icing your dad.

Pair it with:

To be sure that you have a front row seat to this train wreck you will have to drink something portable and basic. We suggest carrying around a bottle of wine that will not only be easy to drink, but will make you look more sophisticated than the alpha-beast that has been unleashed in the living room.

Situation #4:

You haven’t seen your dad in 3-4 hours and you’re starting to wonder if he’s given up all hope. You have checked his study, the garage and the car (during family gatherings he has been known to sit silently in the driver’s seat staring straight ahead). Finally you find him on the back porch smoking a cigarette, a habit you thought he kicked years ago.

Pair it with:

Grab a 6 pack of beer from the fridge and head back outside to take a seat with your old man. He has been putting up with this crap way longer than you have and there is no doubt you will not forget this holiday induced bonding experience.



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