Metatalktail Hour: open thread and drinks December 28, 2019 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Happy weekend Mefites! Come in and tell us how things are with you. Also wondering, what are your favorite cold weather or hot weather or special occasion beverages?
posted by LobsterMitten to MetaFilter-Related at 3:08 PM (49 comments total)

It’s cold where I am, so I’ve been appreciating hot cocoa, but I bet other people have more creative spins.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:09 PM on December 28, 2019 [2 favorites]


I have recently developed a severe reaction to more than a little dairy at a time, so traditional cocoa is right out. My husband bought me some vegan coconut-based mix I'm enjoying.

I also LOVE lemon drop martinis and used to live near a friend that made them for us. We moved cross county and I miss then so much that I've learned to make then. YUM!

Other than that, I'm temping and looking for a full time job with benefits.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 3:24 PM on December 28, 2019 [3 favorites]


Hot cocoa with some peppermint. Simply delicious.

In other news, I don’t really get into Spring cleaning, but during the week between Christmas and New Years I always want to Clean All The Things. I love starting off the new year with a clean house. This year I’m off work until January 2 and I have a very detailed cleaning/tidying list that I’m working my way through. It’s productive and satisfying and it’s really the only time of year that I actually enjoy cleaning. Not very glamorous or exciting, but there we are.
posted by bookmammal at 3:47 PM on December 28, 2019 [7 favorites]


It's been ridiculously hot here in Sydney and half the country is on fire. The sun has turned into a baleful red orb and it really feels like we are living in the end times. Sometimes the smoke from the bushfires get so thick that you have to drive with your headlights on. Depending on how red the sky is, it's either like living in Silent Hill or Dune.

My mother has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer so I've moved in with her and we're going to radiation therapy every day and then sheltering at home with the AC blasting. My senior kitty also has an inoperable cancer so I've just brought her to live with us so I can look after everyone at the same time.

I've been living on plain sparkling water. It's a slightly expensive indulgence but I'm past the point of caring at this stage. I bought a water filter and a Sodastream and I'm just pouring cold fizzy water into myself - a couple of liters a day. As vices go, I think it's a good one. Kull wahad!!
posted by ninazer0 at 3:48 PM on December 28, 2019 [22 favorites]


Oh, nearly forgot to pay the cat tax.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:14 PM on December 28, 2019 [9 favorites]


Ninazer0, I have been thinking about Aus and it's people and critters. I can't imagine and I send you hugs, cool water and would send rain if I could. My Mom had esophageal cancer and survived it, good luck to your Mom and Fuck Cancer.

A week with family for holidays and I feel quite drained. Now off to visit friends- a Road Trip with the dog is always good. Took me a free days to get my sea legs, but planning to car camp tonight in a state park.
posted by theora55 at 4:30 PM on December 28, 2019 [7 favorites]


favorite cold weather or hot weather or special occasion beverages?

A new cold weather favorite: 12 oz pour-over Cafe Bustelo + one of those Abuelita chocolate discs + 1 tsp Grandmother's molasses + 1.5 oz El Dorado 8 year rum (optional)
posted by 23skidoo at 4:50 PM on December 28, 2019 [4 favorites]


I don't have a specific favorite cold-weather beverage. I'm not a big fan of sweet drinks, though during the holidays a couple glasses of either 2 parts Bailey's Irish Cream and 1 part Irish Whiskey, or eggnog and a generous dollop of rum or hazelnut liqueur, is verra nice.

If I have a cold I like a hot toddy made of lemon juice, a little honey, a cinnamon stick, a generous sprinkling of cracked black peppercorns, and a splash of of whiskey liqueur, topped off with hot water. One of those does a good job of soothing my throat, clearing out my head enough that I can breathe a little, and leaving me feeling slightly better about my doleful plight for a while.

In the summer I keep a bottle of gin in the freezer for ice-cold martinis - including vermouth, I was raised all proper-like - or tall glasses of a measure of gin topped off with lots of chilled lemon-lime seltzer and ice. Sipping either of those helps mitigate the heat of the day while I sit and ponder the decline of human civilization. Also, the ONLY time I like an IPA is when I've been working outside in the hot sun, but at that point it's an absolute godsend.

In the past year or two I've developed a taste for black tea. I have no idea what's changed, I've always been a coffee person because tea tasted bitter and astringent to me. But now sometimes instead of coffee I'm in the mood for a hot mug of strong Scottish Breakfast tea with just a little sugar and a sliver of lemon. Next summer I might make a big batch of sweet (hey, I'm from the south) iced tea to keep in the fridge.

In non-beverage news, I haven't felt at all festive this month for some reason - not bad, just not festive. I had a Christmas-adjacent dinner with some friends, which was nice. But otherwise it's just been the daily grind through the typical dark dreary Pacific Northwest winter days. Feh. Maybe I should call a pub meetup to cheer us all up!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:50 PM on December 28, 2019 [3 favorites]


Found out today during a very stressful house call vet visit that one of my new kittens has 2 broken baby teeth that need to come out and also probably a UTI. I feel so bad, these poor things & I, we can't catch a break.
posted by bleep at 5:40 PM on December 28, 2019 [5 favorites]


Beverage? Drank too much good Scotch and wine over the holidays. Looking forward to a quiet beer or 2, machine even some water. My dog is a great travel companion, he fulfills the job of emotional service critter, albeit without credential. I should make him a cape.
posted by theora55 at 5:54 PM on December 28, 2019 [2 favorites]


Every year I get one jar of Penzeys Hot Cocoa; it's my go-to for when I get home from a subzero commute or have to shovel some heavy snow.

Today was ridiculously icy - mutliple stories on twitter of people putting on their old ice skates to go down the block, that sort of thing. It's mostly melted now, but it was a great excuse to spend the entire day inside, not even changing out of my pajamas. Yesterday I scheduled massages for myself and Mr. Dinty, exchanged gifts with him, and got to catch up on sleep. The actual holidays (and run-up to the holidays) were incredibly stressful on us both - his uncle died, my mother neglected to tell me that my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer;He lost out on a job he was hoping to get and I've been dealing with increased work stress for the last few weeks; my brother, his wife, and their son all came down with the norovirus so they couldn't make it; it goes on. So the last two days have just been very nice and refreshing and quiet, mostly under some blankets and cats.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:00 PM on December 28, 2019 [2 favorites]


Sparkling water, my drink of choice when it’s hot, cold, and anywhere in between. The SodaStream is one of my favorite kitchen appliances, I’d get a second one for my cubical if I could.

I got all the holiday decorations down today, and it’s making me so happy. Loved having them up but hetting them all packed into one box with the gift bags I hope to keep reusing for years to come is making me feel more caught up on chores then I’ve probably earned, but hey it’s still something off the to do list!
posted by lepus at 6:07 PM on December 28, 2019 [2 favorites]


Well obviously I like a hot toddy but I'm kind of off alcohol at the moment. I've slipped back into anemia and my ferritin level is 2 and alcohol makes me even more desperately exhausted than I am normally. But I was invited to a ton of parties over the holidays and drank anyway and ugh. Mistake.

However I have 12 days off in a row and they're my first days off in a year so it's hard to complain too much. This has actually been the best Christmas of my entire life despite being so tired. The days have been packed with one fun social thing after another and now I just have to cohost a dinner party tomorrow night and then I'll have a few calm days to rest up before going back to work. I've gotten my house clean and organized top to bottom in preparation for the new year, and my finances are in order too. It's a great feeling. Once I get this series of iron infusions life should be pretty okay.
posted by HotToddy at 6:20 PM on December 28, 2019 [6 favorites]


This time of year my favorite is coffee, black, from a thermos, in the truck, taking a break from snowboarding.
posted by hilaryjade at 6:28 PM on December 28, 2019 [4 favorites]


I may be getting a new job in January (stressful/good) but I've been spending the last few days planning how to remake my potential new office into a splendid home away from home with replete with a tea station, lush plants, and noise-cancelling headphones. Just spent the last three days of the Xmas holiday in a hot tub overlooking the Puget Sound ruminating on this sort of minutiae between rounds of binge-eating and Uno and I decided it's the only way I want to spend the blasted holidays ever again. It was a merry, if muted Christmas.
posted by missmobtown at 6:41 PM on December 28, 2019 [5 favorites]


I spent a week with my folks, and thanks to the purchase of angostura bitters and sweet vermouth to round out their liquor cabinet a little, I know there is now at least one place in Garrett County, MD where I can get a decent Manhattan.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:48 PM on December 28, 2019 [6 favorites]


Here in the northern hemisphere it is winter and that makes it time for hot beverages.

Personally, strong black coffee with warmed brandy. For my wife: a hefty jolt of bourbon—maybe 3 oz.—warmed in the microwave with a cinnamon stick and a long strip of lemon peel and a couple teaspoons of brown sugar, then topped with hot water and a grating of nutmeg.

For the grandkids, hot chocolate: warm a little water in a pan with Dutch cocoa, sugar and cake spice or cinnamon, then add milk and maybe some cream and warm it up, then pour into cups with as many marshmallows as the party of interest chooses. One or none for the older ones and pretty much as many as will fit for the youngest.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 7:15 PM on December 28, 2019 [3 favorites]


It really is impossible to overstate how depressing the Sydney smoke is. I've just got back from a week in NZ with the relatives, so I feel lucky to have briefly escaped, but I felt the fog of misery descend right away when we got back. It's like the seasonal depression of winter darkness, in that you barely see the sun for weeks on end, but with the added bonus that every time you look out the window you not only see murky gloom but also get to wonder about whether your friends' houses are still standing or not, and think about impending climate disaster and how fucked we are for the future more generally.

We got solar panels just before Christmas as a contribution to improving the world, but it's amazing how badly they work on the heavy smoke days. You can really see how much sunlight it blocks just looking at the app that shows the energy output of the panels.

That said, I feel very lucky to have family and health, and good friends coming later with baguettes and feta to contribute to using up the vast pile of tomatoes that were waiting in the garden for our return from overseas.

My favourite warm weather drink lately has been sparkling kombucha. I'm not a huge fan of kombucha as it comes straight from the vat, but mixed with sparkling water and some fruit flavours it's delightful. I've also been enjoying old fashioneds, which are refreshing in hot weather and yet the citrusy flavours and bourbon make them work well in winter too. But I think it's been more than six weeks since I last went a day without alcohol and I should probably cut back.
posted by lollusc at 8:29 PM on December 28, 2019 [11 favorites]


There used to be a coffee shop about a mile from me that had really killer hot cocoa, rich as all get out. They changed ownership, though, and no longer serve it, to my chagrin.

Tea with honey and lemon is my beverage of choice for sore throats and bad coughs. So much tastier than NyQuil or whatever!

Life is pretty great right now. After months of escalating struggles, Little eirias finally seems to have gotten the hang of school, and finished the calendar year with a good solid month of sitting down, shutting up, and doing the thing. Also, she is now with her grandparents for a few days, and so Mr. eirias and I got to play a complicated board game this afternoon, and then we went to a grownup party tonight and talked about grownup things. I wound up in a long and lovely conversation about plants with someone who is either a retired botanist or just a very nerdy hobbyist. I have been informed that it would technically be possible to dig up a wild violet from my neighbor’s terrace and transplant it into mine. Technically. Not that I would lower myself in this fashion. *cough*
posted by eirias at 8:42 PM on December 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


The best alcoholic drink I've ever had was one really weird evening where I coerced two friends to go with me to see a documentary about Sign Painters ("Sign Painters"), and then somehow we ran into someone who might have been my internet crush and went for drinks.

One of the friends I brought ordered "something with bourbon"; I ordered something basic, and I think our drinks got swapped so that I got his bespoke bourbon drink. All I remember is that it had a mango sliver perched across the rim.

lollusc's answer reminded me of another magically delicious beverage: Shen Zen [sic] Oak Cask Champagne Kombucha. I was desperately bored one weekend and found a kombucha and water kefir tasting, and it was _amazing_ because there were so many delicious things to taste, most of which were sort of local, none of which had much sugar. It inspired me to try to make my own water kefir, which was fun until I got tired of having to manage my inventory.

As for hot beverages -- the office sometimes has urns of pre-brewed oolong, and that was the first time I had a tea that I loved for the sake of its flavor. Also known as "milk oolong", it was a good Jin Xuan oolong. It's nothing like the charred red stuff at restaurants, which I love because I associate it with going out to eat with friends and family. I considered owning good tea for a while, and then decided that it could get expensive.
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:43 PM on December 28, 2019 [5 favorites]


Incidentally, "Pre-Brewed Oolong" is the name of my new psychedelic 70's cover band.

Milk! - huh! - what is it GOOD FOR?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:01 PM on December 28, 2019 [4 favorites]


I'm so sorry about what's happening in Australia, and also that it's not getting more attention in my part of the world (US).

Well, Christmas is following in the steps that Thanksgiving took a few years ago, in that there isn't much of a celebration with blood relatives. Sister, who - like my parents before - insisted for many years on having holidays at her house (couple hours away), abruptly stopped hosting T'giving a few years ago, & began going to her hub's (right-wing) relatives.

Now Xmas isn't much to write home about either, so to speak. I'm glad I still have mom to visit in a nursing home. I see sister / bro-in-law at the same time. But this year sis didn't even have a card to exchange with me, nor the card "from our mother" that she usually arranges.

I would have quite understood that, as she's been preoccupied with some weird health issues for months. But I ended up a bit hurt when I learned that in the five days leading up to Xmas she found energy to get together with his side of the family three times, including hosting one party.

So, um, thank you for this partial therapy session. At my next visit we can further discuss the not-so-buried buried origins of why I've passively let that fam run my life and have their way. :p

As for the initial topic (beverages), I've gone through a phase of liking bottles of Starbucks mocha frappuccinos. I also buy the cheap powdered hot cocoa mix.

The past couple of weeks I'm getting hooked on sodapop again, this time orange flavored. I'm off and on re alcoholic drinks. But I like a little cheap pink Moscato or some gluten-free beer.

In other news, I'm continuing to do more creative writing, having veered back into the short story arena that I've tried off and on for about 8 years.

Writing for performing arts (scripts, songs) had always been my first love. But in a way it's easier to whip out a bunch of short stories.
posted by NorthernLite at 12:19 AM on December 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


Every Christmas morning, we have mimosas for breakfast and it was delightful this Christmas to get mildly tipsy with my children over bacon and eggs. The little one got her own flask with a ribbon on it of seltzer and orange juice, so she was delighted to toast with all of us with her own mimosa.

This year, we picked mugs for everyone except the littlest who got toys as well, and it was so great and made shopping easy and fun. Next year will have to be something equally utilitarian because we now have nearly 30 mugs ranging from Star Wars to glitter to happy unicorns, all over our kitchen.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 1:06 AM on December 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


I'm a cheap coffee guy, to be honest, and maybe a week ago Burger King had a deal where for 4,900won (less than 5 bucks US) you would get a Whopper Jr and a BK coffee a day for 30 days. There is a Burger King right next to my apartment, so why not? Because of that I have been drinking cheap BK coffee every morning and will continue to for the next three weeks or so.

At work, we not too long ago got a new coworker who also spent several years in SE Asia and also loves that teh tarik style milk tea. He is less lazy than me though, so regularly buys the mix and shares it in the office. Yummm.

For alcohol, well I drink whatever is cheap, honestly. Usually that's soju, but in Korea there is always makkeolli available after races, and I do love day drinking. It's a bit cold for running and drinking outside though, so it is mostly fish cake soup and soju for the time being. Oh, but (and this is ridiculous) for some reason this "beer" called Filgood is only 1,900won (less than 2 bucks) for a 1600cc jug at the supermarket. It isn't good, but it is cheap and that's good enough.
posted by Literaryhero at 1:59 AM on December 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


I love mochas, hot in the winter and frappucino in the summer. It’s the only kind of coffee I like. I’m home for Christmas and having a really nice, calm time. I normally plan loads for this trip as I’ve lived in a few places around the south of England but I’m glad I listened to my body and accepted the low energy new normal. I am hanging out with my lovely dog.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:20 AM on December 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


I work in a public garden and we have our (free) holiday lights display going on. It goes with (free) hot chocolate so we have giant cans of Swiss Miss around all the time.

One night recently (either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day) while I was helping with the hot chocolate distribution a random visitor brought in an aerosol whipped cream can. That person is my favorite person of the week.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:39 AM on December 29, 2019 [9 favorites]


I'm better than I've been in a while. I have a job that isn't gaslighting me and doesn't induce self-loathing from dissonance with values, so that's pretty cool. I am on Long Island just outside of the city for Christmas with my boyfriend's family - hoping to propose before same sex marriage goes away again in this country. It's been good practice in not trying to talk others through emotional transitions in favor of holding their hands - where I was estranged on and off from my blood relations almost from when I was 16 with some bare reconciliation when I went back to help with my father's hospice, spending nearly all of my adult life at least 800 miles away from them, he's very close to his family and has lived within a three hour train ride until a couple of years ago. And he should be close to them! They're lovely! But it's very hard to not want to comfort him in his distress at the idea that there's an extremely finite number of holidays left with them by relating from my own experience in some way, even as I would recommend my own path to roughly no one. I need to get better at just holding hands and validating. It's really hard to be around them without dwelling on my own blood relations.

But the armor exhibit at the Met is lovely and Kent Monkman is an extremely interesting artist.

I have a soft spot for Glugg and other mulled wines. I'm not religious about Christkindlmarket but I am sad to have missed it this year.
posted by PMdixon at 5:32 AM on December 29, 2019 [9 favorites]


This past week has been Week of Chai. I mix a chai spice blend with a can of sweetened condensed milk, and then I put that by the spoonful into black tea. It is amazing and addicting and by the end of Week of Chai I am drinking 4 cups a day and am quietly relieved when the spiced milk mixture is gone because I know I would easily be up to 6 cups per day if the week was longer.

I only let myself have Week of Chai a couple times per year.
posted by Maarika at 7:05 AM on December 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


I'm a seltzer person regardless of weather, but I particularly love Polar's Ginger Lime Mule. I was given a soda stream for Christmas/Chanukah/my birthday so I've got to figure out good things to do with that.

I had a really lovely holiday - my boyfriend, who has never celebrated Christmas or Chanukah, did both with me this year. I made latkes and lit the menorah, and he came up to my parents' house and helped trim the tree and we got him a stocking and I came up with some good presents... All in all, a very nice way to spend time. Today we're off to a train exhibit and IMAX movie! And then the last night of Chanukah.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:18 AM on December 29, 2019 [5 favorites]


We had some good (and early) snow just before Thanksgiving, which means a 3-6 inches. Yesterday, we got a bit, but it was snow mixed with little ice pellets, so it's not so scenic.

It's pleasantly cold (writing this from inside, in fuzzy pajama pants and slippers), and my favorite drink from this time of year is coffee + egg nog. My favorite experience with this was when the egg nog mostly settled to the bottom, so I had some slightly sweetened coffee, followed by a surprising sip of egg nog.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:52 AM on December 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


This morning I gave my dear old cat some gabapentin, after which he slithered down the stairs and into the back back corner of the furthest back room in the basement. His back legs are both pretty non-functional at this point. I gave him 10 minutes, then extracted him and hand fed him some wet food mixed with warm water and cuddled him up in a blanket, and he seems to have settled down. He has a vet appointment on Thursday afternoon that seems like it might be The End, so I am trying to have some good moments before then.

Lately I drink cardamom tea bought at a middle eastern market in Chicago this fall, well milked and sugared. It is strong enough to hurt my stomach without the milk, but it's delicious.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:09 AM on December 29, 2019 [7 favorites]


Mostly I drink coffee and water, but my alcoholic drink of choice is gin. And a new gin bar near me is in the almost, not quite, ready to open stage. They had a preview fundraiser for charity event during a neighborhood shopping crawl so I got to see their space and have a quick midwinter gin and tonic a few weeks ago. Their location is right on my bus line home, so perfect to stop off if I want a quick after work drink. I don't really go to bars much but I am quite excited for this place to open.

Had a lovely almost week off from work over the holidays, and have loads of homemade cookies and candies to pawn off on coworkers when I return tomorrow.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:45 AM on December 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


Yesterday was moving day. I’ve been in the same apartment for more than a decade, so I wasn’t sure how it would go or how long it would take. I really didn’t have a concept of whether have more or less stuff than the average person, or if it was ok that I couldn’t figure out how to pack the stand mixer (answer: we put it into a rubbermade tote but left the lid off because it was too tall). My friends came through in a big way - with seven people (including myself) we emptied my old apartment in ...45 minutes. Everyone said it was the least painful friend move they’d ever done. I will spare you all boring photos of my pile-of-junk new living room, but will link to this picture of my cat pretending to be helpful.
posted by janepanic at 9:49 AM on December 29, 2019 [6 favorites]


I drink Virgin Marys in the summer. Actually I like to drink them in all weather. Just a Bloody Mary without the vodka. In a pint glass: V8, ice cubes, big splash of lemon juice, big splash of Worcestershire sauce, splash of hot sauce of your choice and/or horseradish if you have any. Stir and serve with celery stick. It’s really refreshing, easy to make, and satisfying like a savory snack.
posted by snowmentality at 11:17 AM on December 29, 2019 [4 favorites]


I love mulled wine. When I lived in Paris we would drink way too much of the stuff, bought from vendors on street corners. Now I only get to drink it once or so a season, usually when I go to Leavenworth, our local Bavarian village. I took my dog up on Christmas Eve to play in the snow and then I got gluhwein and fondue. Heaven.

Other than that, I'm a sucker for chai lattes from Starbucks. I've been going way too often the past two months- I think the sugar fix has become my coping mechanism for how we only get 8 hours of daylight this time of year.
posted by mollywas at 11:28 AM on December 29, 2019 [5 favorites]


My normal morning beverage is hot black tea with milk and a bit of sweetener of some kind.

What I *wish* I was having is some of my German grandmother's old family hot punch recipe that is a holiday favorite (I've shared this previously; recipe sounds odd, but is actually quite good; trust me.)

Egg Punch
Mix 1 bottle dry red wine (or white wine, but we always used red), with one quart of brewed black tea (normal strength regular tea), 1 cup sugar (or to taste), one piece of lemon rind, juice of 4 lemons, and eight eggs. Beat mixture over low heat until thick and foamy. Don't let it boil. When hot, remove from heat and add a little rum to taste while beating. Serve in thick mugs to hold the heat.

However, due to diet stuff, I'm instead having a 40 calorie "hacked" version of Swiss Miss Light hot cocoa: to one packet of the hot cocoa mix, add 2 teaspoons Dutch Process cocoa powder, and 2 teaspoons erythritol. Mix/whisk together with boiling water in a mug that holds at least 10 ounces.
posted by gudrun at 1:15 PM on December 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Example and I like a good whisky, but generally have to settle for the mid-range stuff. For special occasions, though, we'll get a really good bottle of Ardbeg and try not to completely go to town on it all at once.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:35 PM on December 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


I make a pretty nice thing that I call a "hot toddy." It's tea - usually either strong black tea, or a mix of camomile, rose-hips, and other random herbal stuff - lemon or lime juice, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, honey, and rather a lot of brandy or whisky. In the past I used to warn people that it's not really a hot toddy. Then I sampled the hot toddies in several 80-year-old bars and came to the conclusion that "hot" is the only actual requirement for calling something a hot toddy. (The prohibition-era one in San Francisco that's just milky hot chocolate with a shot of brandy. . . I don't quite get.)

Last night I made a gin drink with freshly pressed cucumber, celery juice, and very bubbly soda. It's not really a winter drink. But, it's still T-shirt weather here in the great lakes and there's no sign of coming winter, so iced drinks seem appropriate.

Otherwise, I'm four months behind on critical work that I've promised other people. That's a little better than usual. My spouse is moving from one distant state to another next week, but is in town for a few days in between, which is nice. I've very nearly conquered the scale bugs that have infested all of the plants in my apartment. "Throw the whole plant away and re-pot a tiny trimming, after thoroughly soaping and washing it," followed by rigid quarantine protocols has been working better than anything else I've tried. (The idea that anyone who has ever smelled neem oil would recommend it for indoor use is astonishing. It's incredibly foul. I'd happily trade it for dog poop tracked in on shoes. It also doesn't seem to do anything to the bugs.) And everybody I'm collaborating with or buying things from is on vacation, which is great for them, but also personally frustrating. Except for the emptybuses, the holidays are almost entirely annoying.
posted by eotvos at 1:57 PM on December 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


Last year around this time I made a big ol' cauldron of mulled wine for my housewarming party. I had never tried it before and neither had most of my guests. It was delicious! Perfect, really--warming, hearty, festive, etc.
posted by scratch at 2:05 PM on December 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


Hugs to all those in Australia.

I am an egg nog person basically three days out of the year. I'm in Southern MA for holidaytime and there is a local dairy that makes it. We get a small bottle and I take mine with rum and Jim and Kate take theirs without. The rum is also a joke because I think Jim got it 3-4 years ago. I said "Get some rum for the egg nog" and he came back with a gallon bottle of Bacardi ("It was on sale!") which is more rum than we will drink in the next half-decade.

We went over to family friends for the day after Xmas. We're more Hannukah than Xmas people but whatever, we like our friends. They were making a goose. Unbeknownst to us they also had made latkes and bought candles for their menorah (they had not known it was a menorah until we told them... "Oh is that what that thing is?") which we lit before dinner. They have a great blended family with Korea, Canada, US, Portugal and Dominican Republic represented, so they're pretty open to everyone doing their own thing and acknowledging everyone's cultures. I was super touched. This year we will have managed to light the menorah all eight nights which I am also pretty stoked about. Low key holiday. Mostly worked. Better than most.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:38 PM on December 29, 2019 [4 favorites]


Homemade hot chocolate with orange liqueur is my cool weather splurge. Sprinkle with a side of catlap and all is good for the evening. Yes.
posted by mightshould at 4:03 PM on December 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


This is what I do when I have a sore throat or feel a cold coming on:

Combine:
- thin slices of fresh ginger,
- thin slices of fresh turmeric,
- chopped liquorice root
- ground black pepper
... in your favourite tea pot. Add hot water, steep for 10 minutes, and keep hot (and steeping) for at least an hour, and keep pouring yourself cups of this comforting and warming Golden Tea.

The funny thing is, it helps. Turmeric apparently desinfects and dulls the soreness, ginger and pepper are warming, and liquorice root soothes. But be careful with your intake if you have high blood pressure.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:11 AM on December 30, 2019 [2 favorites]


Our house hot toddy recipe is as follows. Build in a mug:
A slug of honey (somewhere between ¼ and ½ oz depending on viscosity)
½ oz Becherovka
½ oz blackstrap rum (Cruzan is the one we can easily get)
1½ oz whatever bourbon is good and cheap (Very Old Barton when we can get it; Four Roses yellow label when the Barton is inevitably unavailable)
Boiling water to fill.
Optional garnish: drop in a lemon slice. Even more optional: drop in a cinnamon stick.

If neither of us has a hint of a cough, I'll sometimes use cane syrup (or Lyle's Golden Syrup depending on what's on hand) instead of the honey. But if we're drinking hot toddies at all, we're probably drinking them therapeutically (as a follow-up to, or replacement for, hot tea, naturally with honey and lemon). Becherovka brings warming spices and blackstrap adds some molasses for richness. Mmm.
posted by fedward at 11:32 AM on December 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was given a soda stream for Christmas/Chanukah/my birthday so I've got to figure out good things to do with that.
I know this is not an Ask, but ... best thing to do with that is add a brass adapter dingus so you can screw on a paintball CO2 tank. I use ours exclusively for soda water, but I have it on good authority that carbonating your favorite cocktail is definitely a thing and has the potential to be great. The instructions say not to--I say, stick it to the man.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 12:39 PM on December 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


Regardless of the weather, I drink hot tea (or, less often, hot coffee). Your "this tea is just about cool enough to start drinking" is probably my "this tea is already too cold."
posted by pracowity at 2:52 PM on December 30, 2019 [2 favorites]


Cold brew! Year round! Finally got a colleague who also subscribes to this ideology after many years of whole office bemusement.
posted by ferret branca at 8:08 PM on December 30, 2019


Oh, it's beer. It's always beer. It was cider for a while but I'm over that now.
posted by h00py at 4:36 AM on December 31, 2019 [1 favorite]


For whatever reason, when the weather begins to cool down, I start making myself Manhattans. Now featuring Luxardo cherries.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:16 AM on December 31, 2019 [1 favorite]


My wife gave me/us an espresso machine for Christmas, and then she had to leave right after the holiday on a trip, so I had about 5 days alone with it. So a homemade latte has become my new favorite drink to make myself.
posted by emelenjr at 8:17 AM on December 31, 2019 [1 favorite]


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