HOLIDAY STAYCATION GUIDE

by: Doug Usher

 I don’t mean to sound like a Scrooge, but the overabundance of impending holiday movies is not something I’m looking forward to. I have nothing against the holidays, but Christmas movies are not my favorite. But assuming you want to socialize with anyone else this season, chances are you’re going to be pressured into a few holiday cinema sessions. So I’d like to suggest a few options for you, along with some snacks and (more importantly) cocktails to enjoy while you watch.

>>WITH FRIENDS:DIE HARD<<

Quite possibly the greatest Christmas movie every made (don’t argue), Die Hard is the perfect  popcorn flick for a cold winter night. To that end, you should make popcorn. But don’t settle for the microwave variety, do it right and make it on the stove top. Get creative and top it with browned butter, sea salt and nutritional yeast. In honor of one of the greatest movie lines of all time, I present my cocktail Yippy Ki Yay Motherf*cker. Fair warning, this is a strong drink, proceed with caution.

In a mixing glass combine 2 oz añejo tequila, 1 oz Carpano Antina Formula Sweet Vermouth, 3 dashes chocolate bitters and 1 tsp spiced simple (simple syrup with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger). Stir over ice until very cold, strain into a rocks glass with a single large cube. Top with a flamed orange peel. Toss back a couple of these, and you too can pick glass out of your feet with minimal pain.

 

>> DATE NIGHT: LOVE ACTUALLY<<

It’s honestly hard not to love this multi-storyline film, following the relationships of a bunch of interconnected Brits. The subtle tie-in to the holidays makes it a great choice for a romantic movie night, without bombarding you with too much Christmas cheer. Put together a simple cheese plate, with a few different fromage choices, some salami and accompaniments (think olives, dried figs and candied nuts). In honor of my favorite storyline, I’ve crafted the Aurelia cocktail: In a mixing glass, combine 1 oz single malt Scotch with 1 oz tawny port, a few dashes of Angostura bitters and stir slightly over ice until chilled. Strain into a coupe and add a twist. This balanced cocktail can win over those who don’t particularly like Scotch, and pairs well with a variety of cheeses (not to mention it’s boozy nature will make you a little weak in the knees).

>> WITH FAMILY: HOME ALONE<<

The still funny, go to choice for family movie night, Home Alone is perfect when you have a varied audience. It’s hard not to enjoy watching Kevin McCallister get the better of the Wet Bandits while his poor mother goes through hell to get home (only to find she could have just waited and enjoyed her first class seat the next morning). Home Alone is a junk food flick, so order some pizzas and serve root beer floats. For those of age, I recommend Not Your Father’s Root Beer for a boozy alternative. For the kids, check out Oskar Blues root beer, B. Stiff and Sons.

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