Forgive and forget

Salon Bar Challenge: Our winner has no hard feelings, with the help of a little vodka, chamomile and pomegranate

Topics: Kitchen Challenge, Cocktails and Spirits, Family, Food,

Forgive and forget

This winning entry for the Salon Bar Challenge — in which we asked readers to come up with drinks to help holiday hosts prepare for or unwind from the stresses of hosting  — comes to us courtesy of Rebecca Farwell. Check out this week’s Challenge here.

You’ve gone and done it: agreed to have the whole stinking bunch over. All they needed was a small opening, and you gave it to them. “Sure,” you said, in a moment of weakness, “we could have dinner at our house this year. Why not?”

Food is not the issue; I know you have that covered. What you need is a battle plan for traversing the minefield of dysfunction. That requires a medicinal pre-funk, mid-event funk options, and some post-funk serenity. My advice? Half an hour before the slavering hordes descend, make the coldest martini known to man, pull out your stash of cheese and crackers, and give yourself 15 minutes of quiet consult with Mr. Gin. Hello, sweetheart! Thusly girded, you will be a relaxed yet buoyant host.

In the event of emergency, and by emergency I mean a homicidal passive-aggressive direct hit, go to the powder room, where you have cleverly stashed a vodka mini inside the cardboard tube of an extra roll of toilet paper (not the one that will likely be used next, the one behind that). Toss it down, hold your wrists under cold water and say to the mirror, “Water off a duck. Water off a duck. Water off a duck.” You may add, “She has an ass the size of Mount McKinley.” You’re good now, go on back out there and serve the damn dinner.

You Might Also Like

Let’s say you’ve survived and closed the front door behind the very last hugger. Hooray for you! If you’re like me, the food is stowed, the first load of dishes is in the washer, and the second load can just sit there in the sink until you’re ready to go the next round. All you Virgo overachievers close your gaping traps and get busy washing by hand. The rest of us are going to make a cocktail for ourselves, a little something I like to call the “Forgive and Forget.”

It’s a bit of everything, just like your guests: sweet, simple, bitter, twisted. And, as a bonus for your rattled nerves, it also contains the soothing solicitude of chamomile. Super-delicious.

The Forgive and Forget 

2 jiggers chamomile-infused vodka (4 tea bags to ½ liter vodka; soak in a cool, dark place for four hours, strain and store)
2 jiggers pomegranate juice (Not the sweetened juice; try to find “Just Pomegranate” pure juice. If you use sweetened juice, forgo the simple syrup)
2-3 shakes of bitters
1 tablespoon simple syrup
Lemon twist

  1. Shake with ice and strain, toss in the twist and go to your living room. If you have a Christmas tree, turn off all the other lights and sit there with your spouse (or spousal equivalent). It’s your time, and nothing bonds a couple more securely than having battled a common enemy.

Now, raise your glass and recite the special Forgive and Forget toast:

Here’s to you, Auntie Num Nums, you are a bitter old bat, but your dentures are weak. I forgive you.

And here’s to you, sweet but simple Uncle Morty. I forgive your staring at my breasts as though they belong to you and not someone to whom you are related.

Cousin Wayne, your twisted soul and foul mouth belie your gentle fondness for the animal kingdom, what with all your pet iguanas and ferrets and hamster condos and whatnot. I forgive you, too.

With this drink, its piquant pomegranate symbolizing forgiveness and the 364 days (and counting) ahead to do better by each other, I hereby reclaim my happy place and bestow upon each of you a very big break.

We can’t all be well-adjusted and fabulous, can we? No, we can’t. Now, get another drink and make sure the forgetting is good and forgotten.

Happy holidays. 

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>