by Robin Benzle
It's prime time holiday season; Christmas lights are glimmering everywhere, there's a wreath on every door, Santas of all ages are crowding the streets, Johnny Mathis is singing, shoppers are shopping, bells are ringing, glitter is glittering....and you only have forty more people to shop for, not counting the family.
You haven't started wrapping yet (let alone purchase the paper), the tree is still in the garage (squirrels are now living in it), that's not greenery on the mantel (that's mold), you just got a dozen notices from catalog companies that your orders are temporarily out of stock, the dryer just died, the cat just died and you would kill for just enough time to make one lousy Christmas cookie.
What a perfect time for a drink.
Splurge on a creamy, decadent Russian Egg Nog or a sparkling Christmas Diamond when you can grab an hour alone with your lover. Or, to heck with the laundry - invite a few close friends over at the last minute to share a blenderful of Tannenbaum Slush or a Scrooge Special. Or,....... go into a closet, turn off the light, shut the door and have yourself a Green Martini. Don't even pay attention to the dog barking that the barn is on fire and Grandpa's caught under a yule log.
RUSSIAN EGG NOG
1 shot vodka
1 shot Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
Freshly grated nutmeg
Place two ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass. Add vodka and Kahlua, then fill with egg nog. Stir gently and grate nutmeg on top.
THE SCROOGE SPECIAL
1 1/2 shots bourbon
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Black licorice sticks
Stir together bourbon, sugar and lemon juice in old-fashioned glass. Add several ice cubes and garnish with about a 4" piece of licorice.
Makes a blenderful
1 small can frozen limeade (or 1/2 of a large can)
1 small can's worth of rum
Red or green maraschino cherries
Put limeade, rum and beer in a blender. Fill with ice and blend until slushy. Pour into glasses and garnish with cherry.
1 shot vodka that's been in the freezer
1 chunk rock candy
1 lime wedge
Pour chilled vodka into a small glass. Add rock candy. Run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass and set aside. Serve.
ST. NICHOLAS SHOOTER
1 shot tequila
1 small candy cane
Fill shot glass with tequila. Clink glasses with someone, down the tequila and immediately suck on candy cane.
1 1/2 shots chilled gin or vodka
1/4 teaspoon creme de menthe
Pour gin in martini glass. Gently stir in creme de menthe. Sprinkle in a few cinnamon candies.