Familiar Intoxication


“After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations”

-Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde did have the quote right but when it comes to major family reunions like Thanksgiving, it’s not always about forgiving a relative more like trying to get through the night without jumping over the table with a salad fork.  Some of you may feel I’m being a bit harsh and maybe your big family dinners carry on seamlessly.  Either way, an amazing cocktail can’t hurt the festivities so continue reading below for 8 awesome mixes that could either numb the negativity until Black Friday or keep the party going all night long…..whatever you need them to do


Zen Sangria

  1. One 750-milliliter bottle dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  2. 2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, chilled
  3. 2 1/2 cups pear nectar, chilled
  4. 2 1/2 cups apricot nectar, chilled
  5. 1 cup green-tea vodka (see Note)
  6. Ice
  7. 1 Anjou or Bartlett pear, thinly sliced, for garnish

In a pitcher, combine the wine with the pomegranate juice, pear and apricot nectars and vodka; refrigerate until chilled, 20 minutes. Pour into glasses over ice, garnish with the pear slices and serve.

Felicitation Punch

  1. 3 ounces Rich Simple Syrup
  2. 12 ounces fresh lemon juice
  3. 4 ounces maraschino liqueur
  4. 1 1/2 liters chilled club soda
  5. Ice, preferably 1 large block
  6. 6 ounces Irish whiskey
  7. Strips of zest from 4 lemons
  8. One 1-liter bottle gin

In a punch bowl, muddle the lemon zest with the whiskey. Add the gin and let stand for 2 hours. Stir in the maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and Rich Simple Syrup and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in the club soda and add ice.



  1. 12 ounces Fig Vodka
  2. 6 ounces chilled brewed Earl Grey tea
  3. 9 ounces fresh tangerine juice
  4. Ice
  5. 6 fresh fig wedges

In a pitcher, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and fig wedges and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Stir well. Strain into ice-filled highball glasses and garnish with the fresh fig wedges.

Monaco Friar

  1. Ice
  2. 2 ounces Scotch
  3. 1/2 ounce Bénédictine (brandy-based herbal liqueur)
  4. 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  5. 1 lemon twist, for garnish

Fill a chilled rocks glass with ice. Add the Scotch, Bénédictine and bitters; stir well. Garnish with the lemon twist.



  1. Ice
  2. 1 ounce apple vodka
  3. 1/2 ounce Macallan Amber (Scotch-based maple-flavored liqueur)
  4. 1/2 ounce Calvados
  5. 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  6. 1 1/2 ounces chilled apple lambic
  7. 1 thin green apple slice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, Macallan Amber, Calvados and lime juice; shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass, stir in the lambic and garnish with the apple slice.

Shinsei Sangria

  1. 3 pears, sliced
  2. 3 oranges, sliced
  3. 6 Granny Smith apples, sliced
  4. 24 canned lychees, drained
  5. 1 1/2 pineapples, peeled and cut into large chunks
  6. One 750-milliliter bottle vodka
  7. One 750-milliliter bottle Sauvignon Blanc or other dry, citrusy white wine
  8. One 750-milliliter bottle sake
  9. Ice

In an airtight container or large bowl covered with plastic wrap, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a punch bowl, discarding all of the fruit except for 18 of the lychees. Add enough ice to chill the sangria to serving temperature. Serve in ice-filled white wine glasses and garnish with the reserved lychees.

Mulled Red Wine with Muscovado Sugar

  1. Two 750-milliliter bottles (or the equivalent) fruity red wine, such as Zinfandel or Merlot
  2. Zest strips from 1 orange
  3. 1 1/2 cups muscovado sugar or other dark brown sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  5. One 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  6. 3 bay leaves
  7. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed

Put the peppercorns, fennel seeds and cinnamon in a large tea ball or wrap them in cheesecloth and secure them with kitchen string. In a large saucepan, combine the aromatics with the wine, bay leaves and orange zest. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the aromatics and orange zest strips. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Serve warm, in glasses or mugs.

Make Ahead Once cooled, the mulled wine can be poured into a pitcher and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.

Hard Cider Sangria

  1. 1 cup quartered and thinly sliced unpeeled green, yellow and red apples
  2. 1 navel orange—quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  3. 1 cup apple juice, chilled
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. 1/4 cup apple brandy
  6. One 22-ounce bottle hard apple cider, chilled
  7. Ice

In a pitcher, combine the apples with the orange, apple juice, lemon juice and brandy. Just before serving, add the hard cider. Serve in tall glasses over ice.


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