There are a lot of holiday family boozing traditions out there. I come from a very large family. My grandparents had 10 kids and I am the oldest of 40+ grandkids. This led to pretty big Christmas events and none of the family shied away from the drinks. My dad is a Jack and Coke man. Always was and will be, amen. My mom would share those or try a little bit of whatever was being highlighted as the “must try” drink of the year. My uncles were always bringing some “new” liquor into the house, experimenting with something they heard about but usually falling back on the old tequila or Crown Royal standbys. My aunt’s ridiculous ass of a husband is a big wine guy and is probably responsible for my very first forays into the wine world. Another aunt is famous for bumming smokes and drinking the last of your beer, cocktail, eggnog, cereal milk, or whatever the hell you were trying to drink before you got up to go to the bathroom (but she is my godmother and I love her). Then there were my grandparents… they would have a few drinks and tell each other how much they loved each other. Once in a while they would say it in Czech. Finally, in the fray, you had all of us kids sneaking, sipping and snitching our way into our early buzzes.
Those days are gone, for the most part. My grandparents died a number of years ago, the rest of the family has spread out across the country and the cousins are growing up, forming families and traditions of their own. I have a lot of great memories from my big family holidays and two drinks were ubiquitous from those days. They will pop back up from time to time at smaller family get-togethers and we are all quietly reminded of those gone family mobs.
Frankly, try either of these drinks and you might just get over the Christmas gift-giving doldrums. Hell, combine a drink with A Charlie Brown Christmas and you may just burst a button due to all of your holiday spirit.
I am submitting two drinks for the 6th Cocktail of a Wagon Christmakwanzakah because I am not a big fan of one of them. The thing is, it is nasty, but if I did not mention it, I would be haunted by the ghosts of my Christmas past. I just don’t like creamy drinks like eggnog and my grandma’s Tom And Jerry is no exception. It is thick, foamy, creamy and most of all, boozy. Find yourself one of the milky glass Tom And Jerry sets that are out there and you will be good to go. Mix the stuff up and get fired up, holiday-style. My grandma will smile upon your event.
Tom And Jerry (as done in the Karsky household):
- 6 eggs (yolk and whites to be separated)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup brandy
- ¼ cup rum
- 4 cups milk
Separate egg whites and egg yolks. Beat the 6 egg yolks to be airy and light. Slowly mix in the 3/4 cup sugar to the yolks. To the egg yolk mixture, mix in 1 cup of brandy, 1/4 cup of rum and 4 cups of milk. Separately, beat 4c whipping cream fluffy. Separately, beat the 6 egg whites fluffy. Fold together the 3 (egg yolk mixture, whipping cream, and egg whites) parts and ladle out into cute cups. Top with cinnamon or nutmeg.
My favorite holiday drink is well… um… slush. I don’t even think it is supposed to be capitalized. Slush is a citrus juice based slushy drink that is a varied and depending on the individual, deadly concoction. Now, the stuff has booze in it. Any old booze that you like, nothing specific. It is best mixed up in a 1.5 gallon plastic ice cream bucket. Those of you from South Dakota know which ones I am talking about. You toss that stuff in the freezer and let things stiffen up a bit. Due to the alcohol content, it shouldn’t freeze completely thus allowing you to scoop/scrape the slush into your glass. Leave some room in the glass though. Conventional styling would have you top it with lemon-lime soda of some sort. Cola has also been tried with favorable results. That’s fair but my thinking is that Sprite is for suckers and I usually just pour Jack Daniel’s over the top of it. My brother’s preferred method is designed to address and alleviate symptoms of SAD on cold Christmas mornings and he applies a generous portion of gold rum to his. (Note: that 151 is gold.) He says he feels tropical and happy when he drinks it. (Note: that 151 is tropical, too!) Strange, I remember him drinking this during Easter, too. (I guess SAD lasts into spring.) Regardless, however you make it, that stuff will take me back to the windy holidays in South Dakota. If you opt to mix some up this year, let me know and I will bring some 7-up over or something.
- 7cups water
- 2cups sugar
- Boil sugar in water until dissolved
- 2cups strong brewed black tea
- 12oz can frozen orange juice
- 12oz can lemonade
- Pint of vodka or gin (or brandy or whiskey or moonshine or antifreeze etc)
Mix and freeze scoop into glasses and top with 7-Up
Drink up and be safe. Veselé Vánoce všem!