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The mother of invention

Now that the winter holidays season has mostly passed, I can speak.

I’m not saying when or where this happened, but I will say that I was able to offload a what-am-I-gonna-do-with-this? bottle of spiked eggnog that was brought to a small holiday party at my place, (but not taken home by the bringer of said drink) by bringing it to another party as a gift for their liquor table. Better that it move along to another party where it might be consumed, I figured, than to languish in the back of my refrigerator for months — or possibly even until next Christmas. (I brought some food to share as well in the off chance there were no takers for the spiked eggnog.)

A gift to myself this holiday season is I discovered a new category (for me) of things to bring to a party: possibly magical concoctions and drinks.

Necessity is the mother of Invention, so the saying goes, ja?

Truth be told, I found myself the day of the mod holiday party thinking, “Ahhh! I don’t have time to go to the store, and I don’t know what to bring!”

Then my eyes lit upon my stocked and broad-in-range liquor shelf, and I had an idea. A simple idea. A good idea. A smart idea: I would use up some of the don’t-quite-know-what-to-do-with-it liquor I had and make some fancy drinks.

I was able to acquire (via the wonders of my local Buy Nothing Project group on Facebook) two super-cute, cut-glass liquor bottles, which were very on theme–oh, yes, they were!–to this 1960s-themed holiday party I was attending that night.

The first drink I made using a bunch of espresso liqueur, coffee, half and half, vodka and vanilla-infused sugar. A white Russian, of sorts, heavy on the coffee. The second drink was simply Tang (the drink of the astronauts in 1969) and a high-octane caffeine powder drink with a tea flavor. I added some orange-colored mica to the Tang drink for an iridescent swirl and a bit of fun. Just fabulous.

For the New Year’s Eve party I attended, I did a repeat on the magical drinks (all with an eye to using up liqueur I’ve barely touched in ages) and made a drink of root-beer whiskey, coffee, half and half, and simple syrup infused with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. The second drink was initially just apple brandy plus simple syrup infused with vanilla, cinnamon and ginger; but it was too much of one thing and not enough of other. I didn’t care for it at all, but the minutes were ticking until I needed to get on the road.

Then my eyes lit upon this neglected jar of tea in the back of my fridge: a mix and medley of all sorts of whatever (honey-lavender tea, chili peppers and apple cider vinegar).

“Why not?” I thought, as I mixed a small amount of each and did a taste test.

Now, there are moments of genius and moments of inspiration and moments of pure luck–and I’m not quite sure what ratio of each of these influences were at play, but somehow two drinks I didn’t much care for individually became exquisite when mixed.

I added in some fuchsia mica powder to the apple-brandy drink for the magical-potion look and voilà !

Alas, no pics from the party, but the internet provides a small insight.

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