Get Toasted with Autostraddle: A Very Special Holiday Drinking Edition

It’s the holiday season. Do you know where your drink is?
IT’S RIGHT HERE.

that one girl looks just like riese but isn't riese and that other girl is eating pound cake? which is so perfect.

I asked a strategically selected group of Autostraddle team members to share their favorite holiday cocktails. Gabby was the only one who sent photos, which is one of the reasons she was unanimously voted Team Member of the Month by me and Eli.

+ Skinny’s Spiced Pear & Ginger Punch: Fit for a Femme
+ Poinsettia: Fit for a Femme
+ Spiced Pear Sangria de Cava: Fit for a Femme
+ Peppermint Snowflake Mistake: Rachel
+ Candy Cane Infused Vodka: Rachel
+ Coquito: Gabby
+ Nightly Standard: Stef
+ Bloody Caesar / Mary / Ohio / Whatever Who Cares: Laneia

from Fit For a Femme:

SKINNY’S SPICED PEAR & GINGER PUNCH

originally posted here

Ingredients
1/2 bottle of white wine (not-too-sweet Riesling or Pinot Grigio ought to do it)
12 oz. or so of pear nectar
a couple of ounces of Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur w/ VSOP Cognac
a couple of ounces of Hendrick’s gin
few dashes pumpkin spice (typically nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
fresh-squeezed lemon juice (1-2 large lemons)
muddled basil

Get a big ass pitcher. Fill that bitch with hella ice. Pour the wine and pear nectar over the ice. Put the basil and lemon juice into a shaker. Muddle. Add ice, Domaine de Canton, Hendrick’s. Shake. Pour into pitcher. Either shake the spice into the pitcher and mix, or sprinkle atop each drink and serve (or a wee bit of both for added fanciness). Booyah. You’re welcome. Of course, as I did, you’ll have to tinker with it to get it just right, but I’m not Martha bloody Stewart, so godspeed and good luck!

Poinsettia

Just pour a little cranberry juice or cranberry cocktail (my favorite is a cranberry apple blend) into a champagne flute, fill the rest with cava, Prosecco (Ruggeri is my favorite) or champagne and you’re all set!

Spiced Pear Sangria de Cava

This one is definitely more luxe than the other two, but it’s divine.

Add a healthy (very healthy) pour of Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka to a pitcher of cava that’s been allowed to sit for awhile with chunks of pear, apple, slices of orange, lemon, and a handful of cranberries. Sprinkle in some ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon for spice. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

from Rachel:

PEPPERMINT SNOWFLAKE MISTAKE

Ingredients
vanilla ice cream (1/2 cup?)
4-6 peppermints, the gross pinwheel kind your grandma always has
rum (a lot) (or peppermint schnapps if you have that, whatever)

Put the ice cream in a blender. Add the peppermints. If your blender isn’t that strong, you might want to put the peppermints in a ziploc bag and hit them with something heavy first, like a cast iron pot or your L Word DVD box set. Add rum. Add roughly the same amount of rum as you would add milk if you were making a real milkshake. Blend. Remember that you don’t really like peppermint and the ice cream will be really sweet because you bought the discount supermarket brand, so add more rum. Really, the key here is a lot of rum.

Pour into a tall glass and drink. It should taste gross. Continue drinking until you don’t care that it tastes gross.

Candy Cane Infused Vodka

The day I found out you could “infuse vodka” just by putting vodka in a jar with some other stuff and walking away was a real turning point for me. The day I found out it didn’t even have to be classy stuff like raspberries or lemon – Skittle vodka exists, people – was maybe what I would pinpoint as the beginning of my downfall. If you pick out some stuff you think tastes good and put it in some vodka right now, it will be done right around Christmas! Or if you don’t remember til your great-aunt shows up on Christmas day and her gift is a “Becoming Heterosexual in 12 Easy Steps” DVD, that’s fine too, maybe it will be ready for New Years or the Epiphany or something.

Anyways, what I would recommend doing is putting some candy canes in a Mason jar with a bunch of vodka (the nice stuff, if you can afford it) and sealing that shit up, then leaving it for 2-3 weeks. After that, open it up, take out the candy canes and strain it. DONE. DRINK. Maybe in some hot cocoa. Aunt Mavis can’t touch this shit.

from Gabby:

COQUITO

Coquito pronounced (koh-key-toe) is kinda like Puerto Rican Egg Nog.

My beautiful and awesome cousin Gloria seriously makes the best Coquito I’ve ever had. Thankfully she agreed to share her recipe with me and all of you lovely Autostraddlers.

Estimated Prep Time: 30 mins. Works best if you get some of your cousins or friends to help you open the cans, taste test to make sure you have enough Bacardi and swap stories about how drunk you got off Coquito last Christmas.

Ingredients
1 can of Bordens Egg Nog (or like any kind of egg nog you like)
1 can evaporated milk
1 can coconut cream
1 can condensed milk
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Bacardi (or whatever rum)
ground clove and nutmeg for garnish

I stole this action figure from my brother when we were kids and decided to give him a few awesome minutes of holiday fame.

Tools:
can opener
whisk
two large mixing bowls
one blender
two large empty liquor or wine bottles (cleaned out)

Separate egg from yolk. Empty contents of all cans into one large mixing bowl along with the cinnamon. Add the separated yolk and one liter of rum, feel free to be heavy handed. Stir it all up.

Slowly pour mix into blender. You may need to repeat this step in three or four batches to blend all your mix. Don’t want the damn thing to spill everywhere. Blend.

Whisk all blended contents into final mixing bowl. Add sprinkles of nutmeg and ground cloves.

Pour the mixture into empty liquor bottles or, if you’re fancy and have a nice container, feel free to use it. Serve over ice.

One sip and you are officially Puerto Rican for the holidays. Also, feel free to edit and alter the recipe to make it your own. No two coquitos are alike.

cousin Gloria and action figure enjoy some banging ass Coquito

from Stef:

NIGHTLY STANDARD

Bourbon. Garnish with ice. Serve generously.

from Laneia

BLOODY CAESAR / MARY / OHIO / WHATEVER WHO CARES

A) What Stef said.
B) Bloody Mary! It is vegetables AND LIQUOR. It’s essentially the most perfect combination of any two things.

This recipe is from my newest chef crush, Chuck Hughes, who could quite easily be my next boyfriend if he’d just come and get me. I obviously omit the giant crab claws here because who the fuck has money for giant crab claws? Not me! Ridiculous.

Ingredients
lemon wedges
steak spice
worcestershire sauce
hot sauce
fresh horseradish (I’ve used horseradish from a jar and lived to tell the tale)
tomato juice (Clamato is SO GOOD; V8 works in a pinch.)
vodka
salt & pepper
celery stalk
snow crab claw if you’re covered in money / live near the sea
ice
straws from Dunkin Donuts

Put the steak spice on a plate like you would for margarita salt. Wet the rim of your glass with a lemon wedge and then stamp it into the steak spice plate. Yay you just rimmed your glass. Hot damn.

Fill your rimmy rimmed glass with ice. It’s really important that you FILL the glass with ice. Lots of ice. Now add a few dashes of worcestershire and hot sauce. Grate some horseradish into the glass. Don’t go overboard or anything – like a quarter teaspoon or less (or more, whatever). Salt the ice! Pour in some tomato juice until it’s about four inches from the top of glass. Fill the rest of the glass with vodka.

Stir that shit with a celery stalk. Garnish with a lemon wedge, which you’ll immediately squeeze into the Bloody Ohio and then add more salt and pepper and stir. Just keep stirring and stabbing the ice with the celery stalk until you’re getting on your own nerves. Put a straw in it and drink it. As you drink, adjust all ingredients as necessary. Like it probably needs more vodka. Maybe prepare a second Bloody Jimminy Cricket while you’re drinking your first one. Glasses come in sets of at least four right? Just go ahead and make three more drinks now while you can still count.

Think of this as your Holiday Libation Open Thread. What is your go-to holiday cocktail / punch / flask-filler? Low-brow / high-brow / whathaveyou etc. — tell us how you self-medicate through I MEAN CELEBRATE the holidays! Prosit! Peace be with you!


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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and she thinks you're fucking rad. She's 36, has two kids, two dogs, one Megan, some personal essays and a lot of emails in her inbox. More at LaneiaJones.com.

Laneia has written 659 articles for us.

60 Comments

    • 0

      Same. I’m too poor to buy all of those ingredients, so I just buy hard liquor and drink. If you’re lucky, I’ll share.

      This might be too much information, actually it is, but if you want to be amused, get McCormick vodka, Mt. Dew, jolly ranchers, and kool aid.

      Pour out 1/3-ish of the Mr. Dew, and refill it with McCormick vodka
      Take 1-2 package of Kool aid; the blue raspberry is always good
      Throw 5-7 jolly ranchers, all of different flavors
      And then shake your money maker, or when everything dissolves

      If you drink about 3/4 of the bottle like I did, you’ll have a great surprise.

  1. 0

    As soon as the temperature starts to drop I reach for the mulled wine. Ina Garten has a quick/simple recipe that not only tastes good, but also makes the house smell like heaven.
    4 cups apple cider
    1 (750ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
    1/4 cup honey
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 orange, zested and juiced
    4 whole cloves
    3 star anise
    4 oranges, peeled, for garnish
    Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

    • 0

      *need* to make mulled wine this season. I had it for the first time in London last spring (semester, that is – ie: I was there starting in January) where they sold it at every outdoor market and you could drink it while you walked around – so delicious.

      Though I also recommend Port. Port is so freakin’ delicious. It tastes like toffee and sex… or something like that. Particularly Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV) because it feels/tastes fancy like a Vintage Port (or so I hear… never had a vintage port… haha) but you can probably afford it. :9

  2. 0

    usually single malt neat but if I am getting fancy it has to be this drink.. Once described to me as the manhattan of new orleans. The Vieux Carré.

    Vieux Carré

    3/4 ounce rye whiskey
    3/4 ounce cognac
    3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
    1/2 teaspoon Benedictine
    1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
    1 dash Angostura Bitters

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice; stir well for 20 seconds and strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry although I usually prefer lemon skin.

  3. 0

    The fanciest drink I’ve had is a vampiro because i’m 18 in the us. I take what I can get. But but but thankfully vampiros are delicious I think it contains grapefruit soda, something red and sweet, vodka (?), lemon salsa unicorn saliva Idk I can’t tell what I’m mixing under the cloak of night

    • 0

      To toast in German you say “Prost” and clink glasses, but while you’re doing that you have to make eye contact with the person you’re drinking with, otherwise the superstition is that you’ll have seven years of bad sex.
      Gotta love the Germans.

  4. 0

    OK, I haven’t tested it, but a friend recently posted it and it looks AMAZING. (Stolen from leitesculinaria.com!)

    This can’t be left off the list:

    Bourbon Milk Punch Recipe

    Ingredients
    4 cups milk, preferably whole milk
    1 cup Kentucky bourbon
    1/4 cup vanilla extract
    1/4 cup simple syrup
    1 pint vanilla ice cream
    Ground nutmeg or cinnamon, if desired

    Directions
    Combine the milk, bourbon, vanilla, simple syrup, and ice cream in a blender for about 8 seconds. Pour into cups or mugs or glasses of some sort. Sprinkle with the nutmeg or cinnamon, if desired.

  5. 0

    I find that Laneia’s “just go ahead and make three more drinks now while you can still count” advice is fantastic. I’m a cheap date, so I make a fancy drink and then can no longer function. My drink making skillz turn into: if it’s clear, pour it into whatever yummy juice is in the fridge, and if it’s dark, pour it into soda.

    • 0

      “if it’s clear, pour it into whatever yummy juice is in the fridge, and if it’s dark, pour it into soda.”

      These are my drink-making skills 100% of the time (I am a crap measurer at everything except baking so when I try to mix drinks they are gross). Now I’m an adult sometimes I add lime to the dark ones. I figure, it’s worked for me for seven years, why change a cheap & winning strategy?

  6. 0

    Do you know what’s also lovely at Christmas is Pimms, it’s a super English drink and I know it’s mainly a summer drink but you can pretend it’s the summer when you’re drinking it, imagine you’re at a music festival or something, or recreate one in your living room, it’ll be great.

    Im pretty sure you can get Pimms in the US aswell. Oh, and what you do is pour half a bottle or more into a big jug, then pour in some 7-up and West Coast cooler as a mixer, add some chopped up fruit and you’re sorted! If you’re in the mood for drunkeness add some vodka to the mix aswell but be careful, it’s easy to drink and gets you pissed pretty quickly! West Coast cooler makes a great mixer for most spirits I think…..and using alcohol as a mixer for stronger alcohol may seem totally irresponsible and the behaviour of a lush but I can assure you….well, it is!

  7. 0

    Hot Toddy. The old man drink for over the hill lesbians, by which I mean me.

    In a coffee cup put

    1 big spoon of honey
    1 jigger or more of whiskey (also works with scotch, if that’s how you roll)
    juice from half a lemon, plus a slice of lemon if you want, for pretty

    Top up the cup with boiling water.

    Also can drive away the nastiest of colds if you start drinking early enough.

  8. 0

    Even though I’m allergic to alcohol, vodka infusion is part of my process for refining capsaicin. According to friends, the infused vodka tastes like chilis, but without the heat.

    And here’s how you do it:
    Go to a grocer’s (or a farmer’s market, ideally) and buy a handful or two of the hottest peppers you can find. Habaneros are really good.
    Also it really really helps to have some latex gloves on hand so that you don’t end up with capsaicin in your eyes, which will a)sting like a mofo or b) make you blind.

    Go home and set out your peppers on a large cutting board. Put on your latex gloves. Cut off the tips and leafy stalk bit, then throw it all in a blender. You can add vodka to help it blend, then add some vegetable oil (if you’re planning on getting the delicious spice).
    Once it’s all blended, throw it in a jar or something.

    Leave it for a couple of days.

    Using a turkey baster, separate off the oil, which should have by now risen to the top. You don’t want to leave it in your delicious alcohol, you’ll burn your throat. Take the oil and dilute it with more vegetable oil about ten to fifty times, depending on your love of heat. This then goes in a little spray bottle for your food.

    The voka is now chili flavoured, and allegedly delicious.

    FINAL NOT AT ALL OPTIONAL STEP: clean your turkey baster, knife and chopping board. Clean them seriously. You don’t want to be making a sandwich and suddenly have to drink like three glasses of milk to make the burning go away.

    Looking this over, it sounds almost like chemical weaponry. I promise it’s delicious though.

  9. 0

    This actually has nothing to do with alcohol (even though they are the closest things I have to best friends at the moment)..
    Holy shit, the action figure! And JC enjoying a refreshment (jesus juice?)!
    I love you guys.
    Srsly.

  10. 0

    Gin is totally the way to go.
    My drink of choice is a gimlet, it about 2oz of gin and lots of fresh lime juice (none of that bottled crap!), with some home made simple syrup. Pour this over ice into a rocks glass.

    cosmopolitans, while cliché, are really tasty if done right.
    They should be really citrusy and tart.
    my recipe is:
    2oz gin (vodka is the classic, but I’m half british, so gin is in my blood)
    1.5 oz of cointreau or triple sec
    juice of one lime
    1oz of cranberry juice (not cocktail. real juice).

    pour over ice into cocktail shaker, shake vigorously, and strain into a cocktail glass.

  11. 0

    Where i’m from, we’re wayy beyond where is my drink? Drinks are in three strategic locations, in your first hand you have your egg nog, second hand you have your ginger beer, and on your plate you’ve got rum in your cake.

    Seriously, my cake makes people tipsy.

    • 0

      According to my grandmother, Jesus would certainly not drink anything with alcohol in it. Christmas day is like a giant game of hide and seek for me. Hide my sexuality and seek a way to hide the fact that I’m drinking something alcoholic….

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