Adventures in Lockdown: 25 Days of Drinkmas 2021

When we completed our 25 Days of Drinkmas in 2020, we had every intention of doing it again in 2021. What we didn’t realize was that it would still be categorized as an Adventure in Lockdown.


I learned a few things from Drinkmas 2020. The biggest was to not rely on double-sided tape to hold even a very lightweight tinsel garland in place for a month on finished wood paneling. My 2020 display started falling apart about 3 days in and I kept having to re-stick my decorations before every picture. So in 2021, everything was pinned/tacked/weighted down and not going anywhere.

The second thing I learned is, when the drinks are really good, we very often want a second round. But when we only had tiny bottles to work with, sometimes that wasn’t an option and we were sad. So for 2021, I tried to keep my mini booze purchases in two categories: staples that we have full-size bottles of in the bar, and specialties that are either only needed in small amounts or that we like enough to keep full-size bottles of around (looking at you, St. Germain and Dorda Sea Salt Caramel).

Also for this year I got a smoking gun with a little cover designed for cocktail glasses so I’m stupid excited about that.

Day the First – BAH RUMBUG

Salty and a little bitter. You know who you are.

2 oz light rum
1 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz Aperol or Campari
1/2 oz creme de cacao
4-6 dashes orange bitters
black salt & dried orange for garnish

Combine all ingredients & serve over ice in a rocks glass rimmed with black salt and garnished with a dried orange slice. If you can’t be effed to rim & garnish glasses, put the dried orange in the glass on top of the ice and sprinkle salt on top. Also if you use Aperol, be more generous with the bitters because it doesn’t have the bite that Campari does.

Day the Second – ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS BREW

Spicy fruity cold tart. You also know who you are.

1 oz Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind Vodka, chilled
3 oz unsweetened grapefruit juice, chilled
3-4 dashes Scrappy’s Fire Tincture
6 oz session IPA, chilled

Combine first three ingredients in a chilled mug, stir well and slowly pour in IPA. Enjoy while listening to the My Chemical Romance cover of the Mariah Carey classic because you’re sorta feeling festive but it’s still almost 80° and you mostly just want to drink beer.

Day the Third – WINTER WINEDERLAND

Seems sweet & harmless but will seriously mess you up. Pretty sure we all know them.

2 oz apple whiskey
3 oz Viognier
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz elderflower liqueur
1/4 to 1/2 oz lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 2 ice cubes, using 1/4 oz lemon juice for sweet or 1/2 oz for still definitely sweet but slightly less so. Shake well and serve in a large wine glass garnished with a dried lemon slice. Drop the lemon slice into the glass right away so it’s all boozy saturated by the time you’ve finished your drink because boozy-soaked dried lemon slices are my new favorite thing.

Day the Fourth – RUM, RUM, FAST AS YOU CAN

For all the times you’ve ever said “Gee if only this frosted gingerbread cookie could be cold & liquid & alcoholic.” You’re welcome.

2 oz spiced rum
1 oz eggnog
2-3 dashes Scrappy’s Orleans bitters
6ish oz ginger beer, chilled

Combine first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 2 ice cubes. Shake well & pour into a 10 oz highball glass, then slowly add the ginger beer. The “6ish oz” is because most bottles of ginger beer are just shy of 12 oz so use half the bottle. Also Crabbie’s is the best ginger beer and I will not debate this point with anyone ever.

Day the Fifth – THE NEW OLD-FASHIONED WAY

A floral twist on the classic

2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz honey liqueur
1/4 tsp orange blossom water
4-5 dashes lavender bitters

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with an ice cube, shake well & pour over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with Luxardo cherries and accept that Luxardo cherries are the only maraschinos that will ever be allowed in your house from this point forward. Stock up while Costco has them at the best price you’re likely to find.

Day the Sixth – FRA-GEE-LAY

It must be Italian!

1 oz Tuaca
1/2 oz amaretto
1/2 oz lemon juice
4-5 dashes Scrappy’s black lemon bitters
3ish oz brut prosecco, chilled
gold cocktail glitter or prism powder

Combine first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with an ice cube, shake well and pour into a 6 oz champagne flute. Add a bit of glitter/prism powder, then slowly top off the glass with prosecco. Give it a gentle stir to make sure the liqueurs don’t all settle at the bottle. Also make sure you have glitter that is designed for liquids because what I had is meant for cookies and it didn’t disburse as prettily. You could forgo the glitter, of course, but then this won’t look like a major award.

Day the Seventh – DON’T EAT YELLOW SNOW

Sage advice in sweet spicy savory lemonade form

3 oz coconut rum
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz cocktail onion brine
3-4 dashes Scrappy’s Fire Tincture

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well & pour into a martini glass garnished with cocktail onions. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s a recipe I came up with during last year’s Drinkmas that remains not only one of the best drinks I’ve ever concocted but one of the best drinks I’ve ever had, so I wanted to have it again.

Day the Eighth – DRINKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Fruity & fizzy & festive

2 oz apple schnapps
2 oz Midori
2 oz unsweetened grapefruit juice
7.5 oz (one mini can) lemon-lime soda, chilled

Combine first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well and pour into a 16 oz glass. Slowly add soda, and garnish with candied fruit. Also for the love of 8 pound 6 ounce newborn infant Jesus make sure you use unsweetened grapefruit juice otherwise this will be just way too sweet.

Day the Ninth – GOOD KING WHAT’S HIS NUTS

This is a literal glass of peanut butter cup so thank me while you’re still sober

2 oz Skrewball peanut butter whiskey
1 oz creme de cacao
1 oz Dorda Sea Salt Caramel
4-5 dashes chocolate bitters
a pinch of coarse salt

Combine first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well and pour into a rocks glass or some other cuter small glass like I thought I had. Sprinkle salt into glass and garnish with a snack-size Reese’s peanut butter tree.

Day the Tenth – SOME SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS POTION

Warm flavors in cold chuggable form

2 oz elderflower liqueur
1 oz glögg concentrate (I love Saturnus but there are a lot of good ones out there)
4-5 dashes cardamom bitters
4 oz semi-dry hard cider, chilled

Combine first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well and pour into a large wineglass garnished with a dried orange slice. Slowly add cider. Drink while lamenting how long it’s been since you’ve watched The Ref and promise to remedy that very soon because Glynis Johns is flawless.

Day the Eleventh – CHRISTMAS THROUGH YOUR RYES

Reminiscent of childhood flavors without being a glass of candy

3 oz rye
1/2 oz creme de cacao
1/4 oz coffee liqueur
1/4 oz Marasca syrup from those Luxardo cherries that we’ve already established are the only maraschinos you’re keeping in the house now

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well and pour into your fancy schmancy martini glasses because what are you saving them for? Why aren’t you using them every day? Why were they dusty when you took them down? You deserve holiday cheer and nice things and fancy schmancy martini glasses. Garnish with Luxardo cherries.

Day the Twelfth – HAVE YOURSELF A CHERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

Pretty basic. But it went well with spaghetti. Also we finished watching ‘Brand New Cherry Flavor’ while drinking this, so, layers.

1 oz cherry brandy
1/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz grenadine
3 oz raspberry lambic
3 oz brut prosecco

In a large wineglass, swirl brandy, lime juice, and grenadine until combined. Slowly add lambic, then slowly add prosecco. Garnish with candied cherries.

Day the Thirteenth – OVER THE LIVER & THROUGH THE FOODS

Because evidently the only limits on Bloody Marys now are imagination & gravity

2 oz vodka
2 oz gin
2 oz olive brine
5 oz Bloody Mary mix
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp BBQ sauce, Kansas City style, the smokier the better
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 tsp granulated garlic

Put all ingredients in a heavy-bottom glass pint mug and stir until thoroughly mixed. I don’t like ice in my Bloody Marys because you lose all the subtleties of the flavors, but I will not make that choice for anyone but myself, so add ice if you want it. Garnish with cocktail onions, dill pickle chips, French fries, and an Impossible cheeseburger.

Day the Fourteenth – CINDY LOU’S BOOZE

The Dubble Bubble of adult beverages

1 oz banana schnapps
1 oz triple sec
2 oz guava nectar
2 oz whipped cream vodka
7.5 oz (one mini can) lemon-lime soda, chilled

Combine first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well and pour into a hurricane glass. Slowly add soda, stir gently to combine, and garnish with mini marshmallows. I anticipated this would taste like the ambrosia salads of my 70s youth but, in the “bunch of random ingredients that will surprise you with their combined end result” tradition of such things as Long Island Iced Tea, this tasted like bubble gum instead. I’m not even a little mad about it.
 
 
 
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