Seven Swans A Swimming… in Booze

Drinking and Dessert; everyone’s two favourite things about the holiday season.

For the seventh day of Christmas, I have prepared a list of seven Christmas inspired cocktails.

This a cute serving idea for your next Christmas shindig!

This a cute serving idea for your next Christmas shindig!

Chocolate Candy Cane

1 shot Creme de Cacao
30ml light cream
1 shot peppermint schnapps

The Chocolate Candy Cane tastes exactly as you would expect it to from the name. For something special, you can also serve it over a small scoop of icecream!

Snowballs

2 shots Tequila
2 drops vanilla essence
Crushed ice
30ml skim milk
Cinnamon powder
Cinnamon stick

Pour all the ingredients – except for the cinnamon powder – into a martini shaker. Mix for ten seconds until combined. Pour into chilled glass, sprinkle cinnamon powder on top. Serve with Cinnamon Stick.

Tinsel Tinkle

1 shot Blue Curaco
1 shot Limoncello
1 shot Champagne
Lime wedge.

Combine in a chilled glass for a refreshing citrus cocktail.

Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake

2 parts  Raspberry Vodka
1/2 part chocolate liqueur
1/2 part Irish cream

Recommended by friends of mine who have this for ‘after-dessert dessert.’

Apple Pie

1 shot vanilla vodka
1 shot apple cider
pinch ground cinnamon

Super quick and easy to make!

Christmas Cosmo

1 shot vodka
1 shot ginger beer
60ml cranberry juice
lime juice

An edgier, seasonal alternative to the classic cosmopolitan.

Under the Mistletoe

1 shot champagne
60ml blood orange juice
60ml cranberry juice
1 shot Cointreau
splash of bitters to taste.

This is tart and delicious- easily one of my personal favourite cocktails!

Drink up, my friends, just six more sleeps until Christmas!!

– by Blaire Gillies

Are you a Grinch or a Scrooge?

The number six is commonly associated with evil and malice due to its devilish nature, so it’s only fitting that the sixth day of Christmas is solely dedicated to the fun-drainers of the festive season.

The Scrooge

Bah humbug.

Bah humbug.

“The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice…”

Good ol’ Ebenezer Scrooge; his last name is synonymous with being bitter and full of hatred. Literally. That gives you a fair idea of just how unhappy this man was. It only took him an intense supernatural journey to turn him into… well, I won’t spoil it for you just in case, but let’s just say there is still hope for you if you are anything like this man.

Scrooge qualities:
[x] You despise Christmas carols and Christmas decorations. Fair enough, if the same song gets played in your head, you would want to cause grievous harm to a plant, but come on – it’s a happy, festive holiday season for everyone! Smile!
[x] You get annoyed at Christmas lights on houses. How someone could NOT love Christmas lights on houses is beyond me!
[x] You have no sympathy for the poor and homeless on Christmas. Aww, c’mon…
[x] You would reveal the secret of Santa to those who don’t know it. That is just cold… North Pole cold.

The Grinch

Dem eyelashes tho.

Dem eyelashes tho.

A very similar character to the Scrooge, the Grinch is a green creature (colourless in the original version) who absolutely despises Christmas and is greedy and selfish, to the point of literally stealing Christmas from other people. Seriously, who wants to steal candy from a baby?

Like the Scrooge, however, he had a different ending to how he started, but you should all know that.

Grinch qualities:
[x] You feel it necessary to steal  from someone else during the festive season. I repeat: who wants to steal candy from a baby?
[x] When a random group of people knock on your door to sing Christmas carols to you, you shut the door in their face. Shame on you.
[x] You despise people who put antlers on their car. I am of the small percentage that thinks it’s quite cute; if people want to celebrate Christmas that way, let them, no matter how tacky or deluded it may seem.
[x] You have some sort of bitter retort for those who wish you “Merry Christmas”. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, that’s totally fine, but don’t be a sourpuss about it.

Now, the Scrooge and the Grinch bot had happy endings, so if you’re like either of them, don’t worry – there is still hope for you. I just implore you to be happy and optimistic during the holiday season and embrace the joy that usually comes around this time of the year.

Alternatively, if you still behave like a Scrooge or Grinch, seek a counsellor. Get that shit fixed.

– by The Black Widow

Avoiding Gold Rings at Christmas

It is impossible to deny that Christmas is the most romantic time of year. While Valentine’s Day is the day for heart shaped chocolates and long-stemmed red roses, Christmas is the time to spend with the people you love most, sharing in traditions and showering them with presents. It’s time to snuggle up with someone special and watch The Holiday, pretending just for a second that you’re actually cosied up to Jude Law instead of them.

It is not, no matter how much mistletoe you find yourself under or how many glasses of spiked eggnog you’ve had, a time to get engaged. As my brother so perfectly put it ‘A spouse is forever, not just for Christmas.’

At Christmas, little tiny boxes are only good when they contain big diamond earrings

At Christmas, little tiny boxes are only good when they contain big diamond earrings

It’s easy to get brainwashed into dropping down on one knee this time of year, as everything from your girlfriend to Jewellery stores and Christmas carols are conditioning you to believe a grand proposal was your idea.

It all starts with the ‘casual’ linger near a jewellery shop window and a nonchalant “That’s nice, isn’t it?” as she points to the vintage Cartier.  It’ll take a while for that to sink in, and before you’ve really had time to realise what it means, the lady in your life will have moved on to step two.

You’ll start to notice the jewellery catalogues ‘subtly’ left around the house, open to the pages of big, shiny diamonds. Of course, at this stage she’s still playing coy and won’t mention them, or even ask if you’ve seen them.

Next she’ll start singing Christmas carols around the house with a flirty grin on her face. You think she’s just being cute but you’re wrong. If you listen closely, she’s singing All I want for Christmas and the one line from Winter Wonderland that goes “he’ll say are you married, we’ll say no man/ but you can do the job when you’re in town.”

Then, just when you think she’s given up, BAM! she invites her best girlfriends over for pre-Christmas drinks. Directly upon arrival at your house, they will begin with the subtle-as-a-sledgehammer comments like ‘So, any special plans for Christmas?’ and when they’re slightly more drunk the classic ‘Just between you and me, what have you got *insert name here* for Christmas? Diamonds, hmmmm?’ Finally, when both the bottles of champagne are gone and they’ve cracked open the red, those three drunken women will simply start humming the wedding tune while your girlfriends pretends to admonish but is secretly reading your reaction for signs of an impending proposal.

At this point, you’re starting to think it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to drop down on one knee and surprise her at the annual family barbeque. After all, her whole family will be there and a ring is better than the melamine mixing bowls you’ve bought her for Christmas, right? WRONG.

Stay strong, my friend. Your New Year’s Resolutions were going to be to spend less money, stress less and eat healthier. You can’t do any of those things when you’re still dealing with the residual stress of spending time with your family and your new fiancé is already planning your wedding at a million miles an hour.

Pick a random Tuesday at some point in March, take her to the local pub and pop the question over a parma and beers. No muss, no fuss and hopefully no regret.

– by Blaire Gillies

Christmas Bucket List

Erma Bombeck once said “there’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” In many ways I agree with this statement. There is something beautiful about a child’s innocent belief in Santa and the goodness of people. Unfortunately, as we get older, many people become disenchanted with the holiday season.

I am most definitely not one of those people. It doesn’t bother me at all the Christmas decorations make their way into Supermarkets in October and I love hearing carols play on an endless loop throughout the city. Come December 1st I’m like a red and green hurricane that blasts around the place leaving presents and infectious joy in my wake.

To help those of you who are more Scrooge than St Nick, I have created a sort of ‘bucket list’ of things you’re never too old to at Christmas.

  1. Get your photo taken with Santa. Pretending, even if just for a moment, that you still believe in Santa goes a long way towards filling your heart with cheer.santa-vern-stan-1985-in-mall
  2. Buy and decorate a real Christmas Tree. Forget that the pragmatic side of you doesn’t want to vacuum up the dropped needles every other day, and focus only on the glorious smell of pine that’s infiltrated your house and your heart.Ways-to-Decorate-The-Christmas-Tree
  3. Go to your local ‘Carols by Candlelight.’ Eat, drink, sing and be merry. There is something very beautiful about kinder kids dressed as reindeer singing ‘We WISH you a MEry CHRIStmas!’ with emphasis in strange places.christmas-carols-ts
  4. Make a sandman. The fact that Christmas falls in the middle of the Aussie summer will not stop being sad. Half the Christmas carols we sing don’t make any sense in context (‘Walking in a Winterland’? No, you’re waking in a 45 degree heatwave).  So, even though we don’t get to make snowmen as kids, we can still go to the beach and make a pretty decent Sandman instead.1476677_10152078190509254_1880516485_n
  5. Go and look at the Christmas Lights. My favourite part of Christmas Eve as a kid was when my family would bundle into the car and drive around at night looking at all the light displays in our town. All the Dads in our street would compete to have the best display and it was such a beautiful tradition.72968490_5d4f550e0e
  6. Watch Love, Actually. For the ladies, there’s Liam Neeson and for the men there’s…well…Liam Neeson. I’m sure there’s a plot in there somewhere but I just keep getting distracted.images (6)

There are 364 other days in the year for us to be busy, stressed, workaholic, alcoholic nutcases, but on Christmas, we should forget everything but our families and allow our inner children to run rampant once more.

– by Blaire Gillies