For most of us Thanksgiving means two things – good food and good times with the ones you love. But sometimes even the ones you love the most can fall into the category of “difficult relative.” So this is where the wine comes in.
Difficult relatives can be especially hard to handle during an election year. We’ve all seen how one politically fueled comment can turn a perfectly civil Thanksgiving dinner into round three of the Republican National Debate. So with the 2016 election just around the corner, Thanksgiving celebrations across the country need more than just wine.
Tonight is the night of the 85th Annual Academy Awards and I’m super excited! Not because I’ve seen most of the movies, but to watch the red carpet of course. The suspense of what Hollywood’s hottest celebrities will be wearing is enough to drive any fashionista insane. Though the Oscars are a night of glamour for some, I much prefer to watch the red carpet, awards ceremony, and after parties at home in the comfort of a stylish pair of pajamas. To make this night a celebrity status experience, there are a few must-haves every girl who isn’t walking the red carpet should have while watching the Academy Awards:
1. Champagne: Everyday is a good day to drink like the stars. When you’re celebrating a great year in film, champagne is a must.
2. Popcorn Cakes: To go along with the whole movie theme, you’ve got to break out the popcorn. I personally, recommend low calorie popcorn cakes.
3. Stylish Pajamas: If you’re not in the market for a best dressed worthy evening gown for Oscar night, pick up a stylish pair of new pajamas. I love these Bedhead Pajamas from Bergdorf Goodman.
4. Comfy Slippers: Even for a casual night at home, footwear is still important, especially on a cold February night. My pick for this award goes to these Jessica Simpson Faux-Fur Slippers.
5. Drink Accessories: Aside from drinking champagne in your pajamas, I love coming up with cocktail recipes that go along with the nominated films. These Ice Princess Ice Cube Straws are perfect to put the finishing touches on your Oscar-themed cocktails.
I love a good cocktail just as much as any blue blooded New Yorker. In the city that never sleeps and never drives, we take the after work cocktail to another level making Manhattan just as much a drink as it is an island. At the age of 26, I’m slowly becoming a more sophisticated drinker which is why I recommend reading The Socialite’s Guide To: Choosing The Right Cocktail by Cristal Carrington, Cocktail Columnist for Examiner.com and Washington D.C. Socialite.
The book serves as a guide to personal branding that profiles the 5 different types of female drinkers (The Party Animal, The Conservative, The Maverick, The Light-Weight, and The Connoisseur) explaining the messages they are unconsciously sending when socializing at bars, restaurants, and parties based on their drink choices while a tequila drinker can be seen as a party girl, a champagne drinker such as myself can be viewed as an elitist. For the young and ambitious professional looking to make a positive impression at upcoming holiday parties, The Socialite’s Guide To: Choosing The Right Cocktail is a must-read. Aside from great advice on personal branding and finding your signature drink, Carrington also provides excellent drink recipes that I can’t wait to try.
Keep reading for my exclusive cocktail Q&A with Cristal Carrington:
What should you drink when you have top shelf taste on a waist-high budget?
My best advice for ladies or gents on a budget when at the bar is:
Step #1: Order a shot of chilled vodka or gin (order the drink in a snifter, so you can still look classy, however, don’t throw it back, savor it).
Step #2: Follow up with a glass of Pinot Grigio or Riesling with a splash of Chambord. The trick is to look great while drinking, not necessarily to get drunk in public.
Belvedere or Grey Goose?
Definitely Grey Goose, but I also recommend the always delicious and timeless brand Stolichnaya.
You certainly seem to have a dream job as the Cocktail Columnist for Examiner.com. How did you land such a great gig?
In graduate school at Georgetown, I came up on an opening for writers with Examiner. I originally wanted to be a food writer, but the position was already filled. I had to think about what I liked as much as food and the answer was cocktails, so I applied with a lengthy article application and landed the gig. I thought, now I have a license to drink all the best cocktail creations and couldn’t be happier with the choice.
Since I prefer the finer things in life, my go-to drink is champagne. But, if you were to make an Aspiring Socialite cocktail, what would be the recipe?
A great Aspiring Socialite cocktail would have to be a creation that a bartender made for me on a whim called The Thing: (feel free to call it A Socialite Thing or Glamorous Thing or whatever)…but it contains:
Cherry Vodka, Cranberry Juice, and Ginger Ale
I like it because it was easy to make, tastes great, is unisex, and certainly not hard on the Aspiring Socialite’s pockets.
To make the perfect cocktail, what is the ideal amount of times liquor should be distilled?
I like any liquor distilled over 3 times and if we are speaking of aged liquors anything over 10 years is acceptable. I think at that point the liquor can be consumed neat or mixed. Also, don’t be afraid to ask what the rail liquor is at the bar. Often times, it is a quality brand; it’s just not Ciroc or Patron. Last note on this is to remember that the higher quality the brand, the less likely you are going to want to dilute it with additives such as juices and liqueurs. This rule includes Champagne.
Can people fall into more than one drinking category?
Absolutely! I personally fall into the Maverick/Connoisseur category. However, I tend to lean more to the side of the Maverick. The categories listed in The Socialite’s Guide To: Choosing The Right Cocktail were simply ways to identify stronger drinking habits/patterns. There is nothing wrong with any of them as I do offer ways for all the personality types to strengthen and refine their behaviors, even the Connoisseur who seems to do no wrong in their own eyes
All this bitter cold weather we’ve been having in NYC has me craving an epic Girls’ Night In. When the holidays have just ended and it’s not yet Fashion Week, it seems to call for a few weeks of a more relaxing social calendar filled with sweets and even later brunches. Throughout my recent time spent inside avoiding below freezing temperatures, I’ve derived a formula for the perfect relaxing evening with the girls (and guys if they want to join, but I’m guessing they’ll want to skip this one.) Listen carefully to the three parts of my secret formula:
1. Forget your diet and make lots of cupcakes! Aside from eating these sweet little cakes, decorating them using different themes is the best part.
2. Get lots of champagne. It’s the socialite thing to do.
3. Make sangria! I know sangria is supposed to be red, but lately I’ve really had a thing for white sangria. You are also going to have a buy lots of fruit both to put into the sangria and on top of the cupcakes. It’s a lot of sugar, but it’s worth it.
4. You can add your own touch to this evening of sweetness with movies, games, or just your usual crazy conversation.
Seeing that I have no plans for Valentine’s Day as of now, I may be repeating this formula with my single friends come February 14th…sigh!