According to everyone from Saturday Night Live to the Huffington Post to Salon and beyond, a horrific encounter with right-wing relatives is sure to bespoil every liberal’s sacrosanct celebration of Native American Empathy Day, taint the turkey, and leave them utterly despondent at their own inability to successfully communicate their superior ideals to their troglodyte aunts and uncles.
Now, I, for one, have never had an experience like that, even being slightly right-wing and prone to occasionally imbibing (I mean, I cook the feast, after all, so I’m entitled to a glass of wine or two), but it seems that the terror is so widespread that every liberal organization and media outlet seems poised to infect its donor base and readership with enough talking points to successfully alienate everyone they’re related to by blood. And make no mistake — it’s more likely that you, the responsible Republican looking for a day off from your capitalist ways, full of gorging on murdered animals, will be blindsided by a liberal itching for a fight. Heck, the White House even encourages its acolytes to turn Thanksgiving dinner into an unpleasant argument about gun control in America. And no doubt Bernie Sanders is refreshing his youth inculcation program with an updated list of free items that those college students you wish would stay at school can politely request from their taxpaying relatives at the dinner table. Income inequality is real!
Anyway, we at The American Spectator are here to help you out. In lieu of our usual Saloon Series post, I asked members of our editorial and publishing team to submit their favorite way to ease through the holidays. The results:
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Editor-in-Chief
“My favorite tipple is a Martini. I drink one occasionally much as George Jean Nathan drank his: ‘To make my friends interesting.’
“Into a properly chilled Martini glass pour 4 ounces of Beefeater Gin (occasionally Hendrick’s Gin if Beefeater become monotonous) cut with the merest whiff of vermouth. Then plop down two plump olives. If anyone inquires as to why the olives, tell them you are a vegetarian.
“Arrange a designated driver.”
Wlady Pleszczynski, Editorial Director
“I’m not a teetoler but might as well be, mainly because I forget that one can drink in this world and even get dizzy and hungover by morning. Maybe it’s because I come from a culture where drinking is de rigueur at the risk of one’s manly reputation. So I’ve learned to order one of the best outcomes of the Mad Men/New Frontier era, the Arnold Palmer. Arnie was a great golfer and all-around charismatic guy who no doubt in time found he was too dependent on the spirited stuff.
“Hence his solution: Mix in some lemonade and ice tea atop some rocks and you’ve got yourself a cool drink that will allow you to keep lining up those putts with confidence. At this rate, he was always ready for another round, just the right display of what doubles as the Holiday spirit.
“Once at lunch with journalist friends everyone ordered the real stuff while I settled for the usual. Why an Arnold Palmer, a newcomer asked. Because I’m a co-religionist of Mitt Romney, I replied. Sometime later I heard he’d asked around, “Is Wlady really a Mormon?” After what Mitt went through in 2012, it would have been an honor. I wonder if they serve Arnold Palmers in Salt Lake City…”
Kevin Kosar, American Spectator Saloon Series Author
Bakers November Manhattan
1/2 ounce of Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce
“Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes, cover and shake gently. Strain into your favorite martini or rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
“Or, for anyone who wants a more straightforward path to bliss, pour a few ounces of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon
. This Kentucky Straight Bourbon is aged a short time in port casks, which adds a lovely fruit flavor. And at 127 proof, within minutes you’ll be floating and caring little what Uncle Ed is saying about Donald Trump or why your cousin Alice gave you dark meat instead of white.”
Melissa Clouthier, Associate Publisher
“Here’s my I-need-to-keep-my-wits-about-me-around-these-vipers drink. It’s simple and easy but gives a warm glow:
5 Parts Ginger Ale
2 Parts Amaretto
“It is warm, goes great with fall/winter heavy food, and it’s not too much alcohol.
Equal parts fresh squeezed orange juice and champagne.
Pour in a bit of Grenadine.
Drop in a maraschino cherry.
Daniel DeFonce, Office Manager
The Scot-Irish Godson
2 parts Scotch (or Irish whiskey)
1 part Amaretto
1 part Baileys Irish Cream
Stirred and poured over ice to enjoy chilled.
Edward McFadden, American Spectator Foundation Board of Directors
“I tend to adhere to Chesterton’s guidelines for drinking, and there is no better vehicle to aid in living under his dictum during the holidays than a good punch. It is easy to make. Serves many. And this one actually packs, well, a wallop, and is seasonally adaptable. You can replace the nutmeg in the spring and summer with fresh mint and it’s suddenly a far superior version of an Arnold Palmer.
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 quart black tea
1 quart bourbon
2 cups dark rum
2 cups cognac
1½ cups fresh lemon juice
1½ quarts water
“Dissolve the sugar in the hot tea so your final beverage doesn’t have unblended sugar in the bottom of the bowl. Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl, pot or bucket, whichever is more convenient. Add a block of ice. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg over top, and if you must, add a few lemon slices to the bowl to make it appear more festive. Serve in coupe glasses with no garnish whatsoever.”
Aaron Goldstein, Contributing Editor
“I am a teetotaler. So I’m afraid I cannot offer anything in the way of cocktails to this Thanksgiving party.
“But I can bring something to the table. What party is complete without dessert?
“For this party, I offer halva. I first had it when I was four years old and absolutely loved it. It’s not easy to find, so it is a rare treat.
“If you are unfamiliar with halva, it is a dessert popular throughout Asia as well as Northern Africa and Central & Eastern Europe. It is either derived from sesame or a variety of nut butters.
“Should you have to encounter leftist relatives and their liberal friends with sour dispositions, offer them the sweet taste of halva. In fact, your leftist relatives and their liberal friends will have a great deal in common with its substance — it’s quite flaky.
“Halva comes in a variety of colors. If your leftist relatives and their liberal friends aren’t so open-minded, you can simply tell them to give it halva chance.”
Me (Emily Zanotti), Digital Editor
The Kentucky Apple Pie
1.5 oz Jim Beam Apple Liqueur with Bourbon
3 oz Ginger beer (I recommend the Fever Tree, if you can get it)
Splash of Fireball Whiskey (or any cinnamon flavored whiskey)
Chill a copper mug if you have it (otherwise a highball glass will be fine), fill with 4-5 ice cubes, then pour in your bourbon. Top off with ginger beer — just enough to almost fill the glass — and then finish with a tiny splash of cinnamon whiskey.
This drink retains everything that’s fantastic about eating the traditional autumn apple pie, with the added benefit of being rather alcoholic, which will make any number of intense family discussions more tolerable, from the political to the personal. You’ll feel festive, warm, happy and sophisticated enough to pass for a hipster without having to glitter up your beard
, or squeeze into skinny jeans. Just — and I speak from personal experience here — don’t follow up your modified Moscow Mule with a commitment to polishing off the Fireball Whiskey. That will give “Black Friday” a whole new, unfortunate meaning.
And finally, a favorite, classic holiday recipe that I gratuitously stole from my husband, James Skyles — our “house version” of eggnog, the Flip.
A flip is a traditional American cocktail, closely related to egg nog. It was my great grandfather’s favorite drink. The flavor evokes memories of Christmas and time spent with family, though the drink has passed out of favor in modern times, mostly because of the raw egg. As with most classic cocktails, though, it’s seeing a comeback, thanks in part to the advent of pasteurization. We still, of course, have to use the disclaimer that the use of raw eggs increases the possibility of foodborne illness. But, then again, so does eating your aunt’s cooking.
3 oz liquor (traditionally, rum or brandy, but good bourbon works very well)
1 pasteurized egg
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 Tbsp heavy cream (optional — the traditional recipe omits the cream)
Fill a martini glass with ice. In a dry shaker (no ice), add the egg and the liquor and shake until well mixed: until the egg is completely broken and the mixture is frothy. Add simple syrup, the optional heavy cream, and ice to shaker, and shake the mixture again until its cold. Discard the ice from the glass and strain the delicious goodness into the ice cold glass. Top with freshly shaved nutmeg.
We at The American Spectator wish all of our readers a happy (and peaceful) Thanksgiving! Cheers!