What always helps old jokes and holidays stay hilarious and fun? This is not a trick question. The answer is your company and your booze, of course. This year after Thanksgiving, my brother Charlie and I opened up my liquor cabinet and found an old favorite but not much else – talk about and “oh shit” moment. Luckily, I’m a little crafty and I keep some eccentric items in my pantry and fridge that I was able to mix up into a really great cocktail. More on that after a little background…
Fast forward to now, Christmas plans are buzzing, the tree is dressed and lit, our new balcony/fire escape is even adorned with garland and lights. The season is here and in my house we are enjoying it as a family. Of course, we are regular humans, like all of you so there are interludes of stress. That said, this has already been a wonderful holiday season and I am sure it will continue that way through the New Year.
Thanksgiving kicked it off with visits from all of my siblings, my beautiful niece, her “laugh a minute” little brother, and my parents. Plus, there’s me, Emily, and the boys. And, all of us spent Thanksgiving day at my sister’s house where she and my newest brother (in-law) prepared a feast for the books! It was a blast!
Now, the tradition in my house growing up was to watch Christmas Vacation … laughing at the same parts every time we watch and quoting the movie in real time as we encounter our favorite lines. Basically, we are in stitches over the same crap every year. And, our lovely wives love us so much, they laugh along or just watch it unfold – yes, we are both very lucky guys.
So, back to where we started. I ask Charlie if he wants a whiskey for the movie – big arm twist later, he agrees. The most promising bottle was the steadfast Jameson. We grab that and I go work. What came of the toiling is what we now call the Leland Holiday and it is a gorgeous drink with aroma, taste, and effectiveness for days.
Here’s how it goes:
In a low ball cup, add a large single ice cube and 2-3 bourbon cherries.
Hit that cube with 5 dashes each of cranberry and aromatic bitters.
Drizzle in 2 tsp. of the cherry flavored bourbon and rim the glass with the essential oils of a peel from a blood orange.
Pour 1.5 ounces of Jameson and 1 oz. of fresh squeezed blood orange juice over the ice and stir gently for 15-30 seconds.
Add the orange peel, wait a couple of minutes.
AND Happy Holidays!