With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t at least broach the subject of booze. I should also point out that I am no longer a regular partaker of the “spirit water”, myself, but I don’t have a problem if you do. In fact, if you drink heavily, I could find it entertaining. I might laugh at you with your Merlot stained teeth, singing loudly on the karaoke. Don’t quit your day job. You know who you are.
And I might take pictures of you doing a pole dance for your boss (who bats for the other team, by the way), at the office Christmas party. You probably shouldn’t ever try to run for public office.
I know it seems hypocritical of me to laugh at you now, since there was a time when I was right there with you, downing tequila shots and dancing on top of the next speaker box. In fact, that’s how I met my husband.
Picture if you will: a young woman, wearing a denim miniskirt, cowboy boots and a black Stetson. Dancing on top of a speaker box. A handsome young cowboy is leaning with his back against the box, talking to his friends. Someone spills a drink, causing the young woman to slip. As she falls on her bottom atop the speaker box, one leg lands on either side of the cowboy’s head. At this point it looks like he is giving her a piggy back ride. He will tell you that from his perspective, he saw one cowboy boot clad leg appear to either side of his face…In surprise, he turned around. Owing to the previously mentioned mini-skirt, I had to marry Greg at that point. He’s a good ol’ cowboy, and a hotty–a wonderful partner in life. So don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t meet good people in bars! Statistically, the produce aisle at your grocery store may yield a higher percentage of suitable mates, just don’t rule a good country western bar out entirely.
Then there was the night Greg’s cousin got married. Have I mentioned that I am not a big user of curse words? In fact, 5 years into our marriage, I had never dropped the queen-mother of curse words. It’s funny though, what a fifth of Southern Comfort will do to a lady. I woke next morning to the realization that I had dropped “the big one” approximately 200 times in front of Aunt Janet. I used it in every way that it is possible to use it, and made up some new ones. So entertaining of a spectacle was I, that Greg’s cousin went and woke his wife up, dragged her out of bed, and brought her down to the courtyard where I was holding court. Yep. I won’t be seeking public office, either.
Recovering from such shenanigans became harder and harder. Not only the physical aspects of the morning after, but the social ones as well. Unable to get up. Dizzy. Swooning. Achy. Stunned by the realization that you may, or may not, have “uneaten” your Mexican Combination Plate #2 in front of people that know your parents. “I cannot recall” is, although truthful, not a plausible defense to behaving like a baboon. So I quit doing it.
I may not be as “fun” anymore, but I sure feel MUCH better the next day. I probably don’t think other people are as much fun, either, because my perception of them is no longer tainted by the rose-colored glasses of a high blood alcohol content. I still don’t mind watching–I just do it with more of curious and astonished fascination with the absurd, than I do because I think it’s funny.
I only drink on rare occasions these days. Maybe one adult beverage every 6 months. And even then, only when I know that I won’t need to drive myself, or anyone else, anywhere. Because my palate isn’t pickled by tequila and Southern Comfort anymore, my taste for booze is much more “girly” these days. Tequila straight up, Texas Tea, and Mind Erasers are no longer on my menu, but I do love a Hot Buttered Rum when it’s cold out, and a Watermelon Mojito to beat the summer heat. You know, sensible beverages, rather than those designed for maximum impact in minimal time. Beverages that you want to take the time to enjoy, and savor.
I am including several favorite drink recipes for the Holiday Season. I’ll be celebrating Christmas, drinking a hot buttered rum. I hope you enjoy whatever events you are celebrating, with whatever you wish to eat and drink. But, please enjoy responsibly! The social life you save may be your own!
Hot Apple Pie a la Mode makes 4 servings
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 oz apple liqueur (such as Apple Schnapps)
- 1 cup brandy
- 4 sticks cinnamon
- 1 T whole allspice
- 8 whole cloves
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and heat until hot. Serve in mugs with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
Hot Buttered Rum Warms your tummy, and your heart on a cold night..best consumed with friends around a crackling fire, while listening to Christmas carols……
makes 1 beverage
Place one heaping tablespoon of Hot Buttered Rum Batter (see below) into an 8 ounce mug. Add one shot of dark or spiced rum. Top off with boiling water. Stir and enjoy.
Hot Buttered Rum Batter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat together all of the ingredients until smooth. Use as needed, and store in jar or plastic container in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Hot Mulled Wine (or Cider) makes 4-6 servings
For children (or adults who have learned their lessons), cider may be substituted for the wine
- One bottle (750 mL) of red wine, your choice (or apple juice)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup brandy (or cranberry juice)
- one orange, peeled and sliced
- one lemon, peeled and sliced
- 1 tart apple, cored, and sliced
- 1 tablespoon of whole allspice
- 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- additional cinnamon sticks for serving
Place wine and brandy (or juices for the kiddos), and brown sugar in a stock pot over medium low heat. Add orange, lemon and apples. Place the allspice, ginger, and cinnamon sticks into a piece of cheesecloth, and tie it into a bundle. Too it into the pot and bring all to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low to keep hot. Serve hot in mugs with a cinnamon stick for stirring.