Cocktails for escaping Thanksgiving conversation, 2015

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 4-year-old daughter who doesn’t talk about religion or politics at the table, though she occasionally mentions poop.

It’s almost Thanksgiving – when families can get together at one big table and shout at each other about world events. It’s like Facebook, but you can only “unfriend” the others via divorce or death. Last year, I gave you some cocktail recipes to help numb you to the discussion of the issues of the day, and this year I’ve got a new slate of drinks for a new slate of arguments. Of course, American opinion has never been more polar and discourse never been so uncivilized as it is this year (Though, thinking positively, it will likely be much worse next year!), so it’s a perfect time to indulge in an adult beverage and go to your happy place.

The Refugee Refusal

How can you even sit there and eat turkey when millions of ISIS sleeper agents disguised as starving Syrian children are coming to steal your jobs, blow you up and disassemble your illuminated Peanuts nativity set? Well, I don’t want them in my state, buddy boy, I can tell you that. Thank goodness Bruce Rauner still believes in solid Christian values like turning families away from the inn.

While we protect our families from these sneaky frauds and their so-called “leaving everything behind and running for their lives,” let’s celebrate our no-nonsense approach to the plight of evacuees with Gin, Cream and Anisette shaken with ice. They love the anise flavor in the Levant, I’m told. Too bad they also love evil.

The Grain Pyramid

Ben Carson thinks the Egyptian pyramids were built by Jesus using dinosaurs as construction equipment and that Stanley Kubrick faked the Big Bang for the CIA. Donald Trump says he saw thousands of Muslims stand on the banks of Jersey City, eating Christian babies and cheering as the WTC fell. These statements are blatantly false, but evidently saying whatever you want to a stadium of howling neo-fascists makes it fact. Climate change? All in your head. Please ignore the water rising up around your ankles. Obama? A Muslim. Put him on the registry. We seem to be living in a “post-truth” era, in which political discourse has been replaced by trollish memes. George Orwell is looking down on us so smugly right now.

Celebrate the GOP’s takeover by yahoos with a favorite pyramid-stored grain: Rye. Equal parts Rye, Campari and Sweet Vermouth. Garnish with an American flag lapel pin.

The Race War

You know how they say you shouldn’t talk about politics and religion in polite company? Throw race in there and multiply it by ten. Chicago is teetering on the verge of major protests in the wake of brutal violence, a shocking video and a Spike Lee satire that most people judged before it was even edited. Ah, Chicago, a cozy den of racial harmony since 1968.

As your family discusses “those people” (whomever “those people” are to your particular family), stay out of it with a drink that doesn’t see, or have, color: ginger beer, citrus vodka, apple liqueur and a splash of bitters. It’ll calm you down quicker than someone can say, “But don’t ALL lives matter?”

The Bernie Bro

If you don’t #FeeltheBern yet, some college age cousin or aging boomer Bolshevik is going to grab you by the collar and tell you why you should, and the rest of your meal will be about the deregulation of Wall Street, the stigmatization of Democratic Socialism and the systematic eradication of the American Middle Class. It’s enough to make a person drink. So drink a tribute to the crotchety Vermont Senator with a maple cocktail: 2 oz. of Bourbon, a splash of Sweet Vermouth, a squirt of Maple Syrup, bitters and make sure you get $15/hr to make it at the very LEAST.

Satan’s Cup

The war on Christmas never tasted so good! This year, Starbucks removed the Stations of the Cross from their cups and replaced them with plain old red – the color of Satan, Santa and Papa Smurf; all evil magic users. But you still believe in the reason for the season, and darn it if you aren’t going to say “Merry Christmas” to every smarmy heathen barista from Pike Place to Lincoln Park, while drinking an icy concoction of vodka (2 oz.), espresso (1 oz.), coffee liqueur (½ oz.) and a splash of cream.

Drink up, friends. Good luck with dinner, and don’t forget – it all happens again four weeks from now at Christmas.

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