As Far as Anyone Knows, I Don’t Drink Alcohol
How to camouflaged your happy juice
Christmas is a stressful time of year: gifts, concerts, Santa visits, baking . . . the list goes on and on and on and on . . . you get it. It seems everyday there’s a new activity added to the long standing traditions of years gone by. Sure, this year all the events are taking place at home, via Zoom, Facetime or some other social distancing unifying technology, but our calendars are still crammed with expectations.
I have a secret to share that will add a little cheer to remote gatherings. Have a warm drink available to sooth those stressful celebrations and mild migraines simmering under the surface. Since I am a granny who wishes to set a good example for the children, I refrain from appearing on screen holding a traditional looking mixed drink. I embrace camouflaged beverages.
The trick is to look normal. Hold a cup that family and friends are used to seeing. I typically drink warm beverages: flavored coffee, mocha, cocoa, or hot apple cider. So as to not raise suspicions, I use one of my three favorite coffee cups and vary the brew. If anyone asks what I am drinking, I name one of my favorite standbys while failing to mention the special ingredients.
Oh this? Just a cup of coffee
Brew a pot of coffee. For this recipe a strong, rich flavor is best. Then before the cameras are turned on pour in a shot of Irish whiskey, ad hoc Irish coffee. In the spirit of the season, sweeten it with some brown sugar and a pour of heavy cream. Instant warmth and happiness.
Chai tea. Just pour it out of a box
Life is busy enough, there is no need to lengthen the to do list, just add to the grocery list. Chai tea can be purchased in a box at most supermarkets. I mix it with warm milk, a couple ounces of Irish cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick. I am starting to think the Irish know how to embrace the season.
I keep hot apple cider simmering in the crockpot. The kids would love it
Such an easy recipe and easily transformed into an adult punch. Fill a crockpot with apple cider, add a sliced orange, and mix in spices: cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and whole cloves. The aroma will permeate throughout the house causing holiday spirits to soar.
The beauty of this recipe is that when visitors are welcomed into our homes, warm beverages are available for everyone. Then with a simple addition it becomes a pick-me-up any adult will appreciate. Simply splash some dark rum and cinnamon schnapps into your personal container to finalize your cup of glee.
For individuals who might find a crockpot of firewater a little much, you might wish to fill your cup with hot apple cider and then spike the toddy with Fireball. Some enjoy dropping in the spices mentioned above. Personalize the recipe to your tastes.
Encourage the family to make cocoa and toast the holidays together
This year’s toasts will be virtual, but when our family plays in the snow, I always arrive with two thermos bottles of cocoa, candy canes and marshmallows. Beginners can simply boil water and add scoops of a powdered mix. Gourmets may wish to work from scratch by flavoring milk to a rich chocolate blend.
One of the two containers dispenses traditional hot chocolate and cops are topped off with a candy cane to add a minty flavor, and of course, marshmallows. The second flask contains the same milk chocolate fluid with a twist. I substitute a bit of peppermint schnapps for the candy canes. I have heard from friends who testify that a shot of vodka and Kahlua also make a delicious jizznog.
With the season upon us, it’s time to mix up some cheer. However, if you are like me and don’t want to appear as a lush, master the art of deception with these techniques. Hope Christmas is Merry and filled with rum. I mean fun.