The 12 Drinks of Christmas – Tenth Drink

We are almost there. It can be tough sometimes, the holidays take a toll in the best of times. Even just going through the motions can be a challenge. Especially this year, with so many losses, so many things that did not work out as planned and honestly, just so many differences from our usual traditions. Getting in the holiday spirit has been hard, if not impossible, and that’s ok. As the man said, it is what it is. All the worrying in the world won’t suddenly make our hearts grow three sizes this day, so don’t beat yourself up. If you have found your good cheer, congratulations; if not, don’t worry about it. Like the song says, we will muddle through somehow. So in that spirit, please join me for this tenth of The 12 Drinks of Christmas. Sing along at home, if you like, because, “For the tenth drink of Christmas, Uncle Monkey made for me, a Pom-Pimm’s Fizz.”

I often have trouble finding my jolly place during the holidays, I generally hide it and put on a good show, but this season tends to be a down time for me. It got better when the kid moved into our spare bedroom, seeing his eyes light up helps. To be fair, I am a bit too introspective and as much as I look forward to Christmas, I also sort of dread that moment when it is over. When we go back to everyday life, take down the decorations and lights and the joy and wonder and pack them away for next year.

This year has been especially challenging, we did not go home for Thanksgiving with Laura’s side of the family. It may seem silly, but Thanksgiving is really my kickoff to the holidays. As soon as the turkey is cleared I begin my countdown to Christmas. Hoping to catch the buzz early enough to peak right at the 25th. I rarely accomplish this, either peaking the week before Christmas and having to avoid the humbugs the rest of the week or I never hit the high at all. Missing Thanksgiving with the family this year has had us all out of sorts. Here it is two days before Christmas and Laura and I are still stuck in mid-November. We’ve done all the things, sung carols, gone to see light shows, donated to the things we care about, but still it doesn’t feel much like Christmas. But, Santa is coming. Ready or not he is on his way and the boy could not be happier about that. So let’s make a drink to celebrate.

Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of pomegranate juice, 1 ounce of Pimm’s, 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup and 2 stabs of Cardamom Bitters. Add ice and shake well to the beat of John Denver’s “When the River Meets the Sea” because no Christmas should be without Muppets or otter led jug bands. Seriously, I just love Emmett Otter and I don’t care who knows it. When well chilled strain into something tall and pretty, preferably with its rim encrusted in red frosting sugar. Top with ginger beer and serve.

This is lovely enough and a great excuse to use your Pimm’s in something besides it’s eponymous cup. This is not as complex or refreshing as a Pimm’s Cup, but it is really nice and easy to make as a batch to serve at holiday parties and isn’t it pretty? This one is also relatively low proof as well, great for parties, if you don’t want folks getting too tipsy and endangering any Salvation Army drums.

We’ve got two more sleeps till Santa comes. Do whatever you need to get through to it. I have tried a bunch of stuff, even watched Die Hard for the first time. Yes, Virginia, it is a Christmas movie. I am feeling the Christmas spirit, it is just different this year and that is going to be fine. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, even in these “unprecedented times”, but if you don’t feel up to it, that is perfectly ok. Maybe you don’t feel that magic this year. Don’t sweat it. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t be a dick about it either, just carry on. Wish other folks a happy season’s greeting, have a smile for those you see, help where you can, be there for friends, you know the usual. We all handle things in different ways, yours doesn’t have to match anyone’s expectations, even your own. Good old Uncle Ebenezer said, “Nephew, keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.” So, that is also an appropriate seasonal message, always. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay festive, you humbugs.