Today, I raise my glass to you. And the upcoming holiday season. Because damn, I love Christmas.
Admittedly, I’m a Ho Ho fanatic. And not just because I’m a ho.
I grew up in a household that celebrated Christmas rather fervorishly… Is that a word?
Seriously. I kind of thought everyone’s families celebrated Christmas the way ours did. Bundling up in our Winter woolies to adventure to the middle of nowhere and chop down the perfect tree, only to discover it wouldn’t fit in the living room and when it finally was cut down to size, it set the house ablaze with fires, squirrels and crazy blabbering, chain-smoking relatives. Not to mention the time we blasted Uncle Louis sky high when the sewer exploded. Okay. I may or may not be bluffing here. And by may or may not, I definitely am. My memories of Christmas as a child weren’t quite as exciting – or hilarious – as the Griswald’s family Christmas, but they’re pretty darn good.
We always had a real tree. Mom would be responsible for stringing the lights, Dad for the garland. Then us kids got to put on the balls (haha, balls) and tinsel and ornaments. The star was last. The outside of our house was always expertly strung with precision and patience so each and every bulb faced the right way. Of course, they were the old school multi-coloured lights everyone had in the 80’s, not the ugly LED environmental friendly ones everyone has now. And Christmas television specials like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Garfield’s Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas were on repeat – or at least rewound in the VCR and played and replayed at nauseam. Same goes for Christmas songs.
Speaking of which, on Christmas eve we’d pile into the car and Dad would drive us around town to look at all the houses lit up, while Michael and I sang carols off key and Mom tried not to bang her head through the window. There were always chocolate advent calendars to count down the month, cookies left out for Santa Christmas eve (even once we were grown), and come Christmas morning, presents and stockings to be ogled, torn open and enjoyed.
Yep. I have pretty fond memories of Christmas. It’s irreverably part of who I am – so no apologies here. I love Christmas and I’m damn proud of it. It’s where I’m from.
…OMG! Can you imagine if you could actually be FROM Christmas??? That would be amazing.
This year, though… Dad isn’t here. And I’m not sure how I feel about celebrating Christmas without him. I keep flip flopping between joyful holiday spirit and hatred of the world and all it’s red white and green. But man alive, he’d be awfully mad and kick our asses if we didn’t go at ‘er full swing. And as much as I want to be haunted by Dad, I hope he’ll do so on a more cheerful note than pissed.
Side note: Very few new traditions or shows have made it into my holiday activities as an adult. The few exceptions: The little elves that put Baileys in my coffee Christmas morning, the movie Elf and Regina Phalange, my Elf on a Shelf. I seem to have a thing for elves. Hmmmmm… Things that make you go hmmmmmm….
So…Wow. I’m really delving into the Christmas stuff here, aren’t I? It isn’t even December! So let’s pass the time – and get more Christmas in us – with an apple whiskey sour. An apt holiday drink.
Not that you can’t drink this cocktail during non-holiday times. It’s perfectly suited for any time in Fall, Winter or on a Monday morning when you just need that extra pep in your step…. Not that I’m condoning alcohol consumption to add pep to your step. I’m high on life, not drugs. Or booze…. Okay, maybe booze.
Warm cinnamon, tender apples and a good kick in the pants for alcohol makes this Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour my new best friend. If you come over within the next couple of months, you’ll probably get one of these. 10am or otherwise.
- 4 Oz. bourbon whiskey (Maker's Mark or Woodford Reserve should do ya)
- 1 C dry, hard (with alcohol) apple cider
- 2 Oz. simple syrup
- 2 Dashes of Angostura bitters
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 Apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/4 C cinnamon
- 1/4 C sugar
- 2 Small sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Place the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl. Mix to combine. Set aside.
- Run a slice of apple halfway along the rim of two glasses.
- Pour the whiskey, simple syrup, bitters and lemon juice into a mason jar or bar shaker. Add a Handful of ice cubes, cover and shake for 10 seconds.
- Strain the ice and pour into prepared glasses. Top with cider.
- Run each slice of apple through the cinnamon/sugar mixture and drop as a garnish in each drink. Spear with the rosemary sprig.
- Bottoms up.
- If desired, you can mix in an egg white (powdered or fresh if your whites are from pastured, organically fed chickens) before you add the cider. A true sour has this element but I forwent it for lack of egg whites. It was still phenomenal.
Are you loving or hating on Christmas right now? Any great holiday memories? Horrible ones? What’s in your glass (or bowl) right this instant? What are you looking forward to on your holiday table? Indulge me 😉