Some mornings you already know that it’s going to be the kind of day that deserves a cocktail. For example, if you get ready to leave for work 45 minutes earlier than usual on a Monday morning, but then you slip and fall on ice on your way to start up your car. Then, once you clean yourself up, you realize that one of your tires is almost flat, but you think, “That’s okay, there’s a gas station around the corner and I’ll still be early.” Lo and behold, that gas station’s air pump broke last night. The next gas station doesn’t have an air pump at all. The third gas station you visit has duct tape covering the coin slot for the air, and you find out that it doesn’t work, either. The fourth gas station you visit has a 4 car line waiting for air, and by the time you fill your tire, you’re 15 minutes late to work. You know, something that may or may not be exactly what my morning looked like today.
Mondays are always rough, aren’t they? And it’s only 10AM.
It’s Monday! Usually that’s not an exciting revelation for me, but today happens to be a little different– I just came back to the office from a nice, relaxing weekend and we’re closed for the holiday tomorrow and Wednesday. It’s what dreams are made of, really. So, for the first time I can remember, I think this Monday calls for a special sort of celebration.
It calls for champagne. Champagne punch, to be exact.
Okay, maybe we’re not on the same page here with the Monday celebration. If you absolutely must wait, New Year’s Eve is tomorrow, so I suppose you could hold out to make it until then. However, I gotta tell ya, if I wasn’t in the office right now I’d be having this punch for breakfast today.
It has a lot of grapefruit juice in it, so it can count as a breakfast beverage if you want it to. That is a scientific fact. But wait! There’s more….
Am I the only one who is completely blown away by how close to Christmas it is? Where did the time go? What have I been doing for the past month? I feel like Anchorman 2 has gotten more attention than the holidays this year, or maybe I just have selective hearing. Either way, I’m not ready for the 25th.
However, I am ready for holiday-themed cocktails, which you may or may not already have realized when I posted Boozy Raspberry Hot Chocolate a few days ago. Some of my favorite flavors shine this season– flavors like chocolate, mint, cinnamon, cranberry, and pomegranate– so I’ve been trying to think tasty libations that use all of them. (But not all together. That might be overkill.)
I originally was going to make a dessert-like mint cocktail, but last year’s Peppermint Mocha White Russians seemed to have all of my ideas covered. I was really aggravated over my inability to come up with something new, minty, and exciting.
I am a heavy proponent of two things at family gatherings:
1) Serving yourself, because the potatoes won’t seem to cook, there are kids running around everywhere, Aunt Terry is discussing conspiracy theories, the potatoes still aren’t done, you can’t remember your third cousin’s name and you don’t know how much longer you can avoid saying it, your dad keeps making inappropriate jokes, DAMMIT POTATOES!, your ex decided to make good on your half-hearted invitation, you burnt the potatoes… and you have neither the time nor the patience to plate everybody’s meals for them.
2) Alcohol. I don’t think I need to further elaborate here.
Truthfully, my family get-togethers aren’t messy like that at all, but no matter how much you love your family and how smoothly everything goes, serving yourself just makes everything easier. As does alcohol. And when you can do both together, like with a huge bowl of Cranberry Punch, magic happens.
So, this punch isn’t actually strong at all, mostly because many members of my family can’t handle much alcohol. However, if your family is made up of booze-chugging aficionados like myse— er… like… well, if you guys would prefer more alcohol, you can always add a bit of your favorite orange or raspberry flavored tipples.
I love that word. Tipples. Gotta use it more often.
This punch would be great for your Thanksgiving feast or upcoming holiday parties. I just keep making it to keep in the fridge because it’s tasty, so you could do that, too. Also, it’s insanely easy to make. Like, the open these bottles, pour, and mix kind of easy, which makes it perfect for this very busy time of year! Check out the recipe below, I’m serious when I say this is pretty much as easy as it gets.
The nights have already become crisp and there’s an unpredictable chill in the air throughout some of these mid-October days, laced with the faint aroma of damp trees and spice. The leaves are just beginning to turn from their subdued green to brilliant reds and golds, reminding us of the fireplace flames that we’ll soon be huddled up by. All of these scenes and smells are amplified by what is undoubtedly the tastiest seasonal flavors– cinnamon and cider, ginger and vanilla, pumpkins and apples and mountains of brown sugar. I’ve found it impossible to resist diving into the season headfirst, so my kitchen has been filled with all of these ingredients for everything from mixing up cakes to mixing up drinks.