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Tag Archives: Holiday cocktail

A Merry Christmas Wish

Image credit: A Merry Christmas Wish, 2022

So far, my holiday season has been pretty lackluster. Not only are decorations nixed because of ongoing home renovations, but I haven’t had time to watch a single made-for-TV Christmas movie. It’s a TRAVESTY, I tell you! But for the sake of this blog, I managed to carve out 90-minutes to watch a flick that kept taunting me from the Hulu home screen, screaming, “Watch me!” Finally, I listened, and hit play on A Merry Christmas Wish.

As I’ve probably said before, I could write an entire dissertation on the lackluster male leads populating holiday movies. I call them “Potato Men”, as in they look like someone stuffed a beige potato into a Rudolph sweater. Shapeless, colorless, utterly forgettable. So naturally, the first thing that drew me to MCW was the presence of Cameron Mathison, an All My Children favorite from way back, and someone far too good looking to ever be confused with a Potato Man. Here, he plays a small-town charmer who’s been looking after the farm of a recently-deceased man; the same farm that’s just been inherited by the dead guy’s city slicker niece (Jill Wagner). A high-powered advertising exec, she gives herself two weeks to clean out her uncle’s house and throw one last holiday market, the Winter Wonderland, without succumbing to the charms of small town life. Spoiler alert: she fails miserably when she realizes she likes the looks of both Cameron, and knotty pine walls.

Something I can’t help noticing is how similar this movie is to my other favorite NYC ad exec-out-of-water story, Baby Boom. MCW is basically that, without the baby. But where Diane Keaton turns her marketing prowess to gourmet baby food, Jill Wagner shines a spotlight on local honey. This rosemary honey is perfect in a cocktail, so while you’re watching A Merry Christmas Wish, I recommend drinking a Rosemary Honey Old Fashioned.

Rosemary Honey Old Fashioned

3 oz Whiskey

1 oz Rosemary Honey Simple Syrup (boil ½ cup honey + ½ cup water + 2 rosemary sprigs, then cool)

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

1 Rosemary Sprig

Orange Garnish

Combine whiskey, rosemary honey, and bitters in a shaker with ice. Stir to chill and combine, then strain into a glass filled with a large ice cube or ball. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and dried orange.

Tasty cocktail inspiration aside, A Merry Christmas Wish features so many things I love in a holiday movie. Cookie baking! Baby goats! Wrong-for-you boyfriend who wants to tear down the farm and build condos! But the thing I love most is that it doesn’t succumb to the tired enemies-to-lovers plot that somehow never lives up to the gold standard of The Goodbye Girl. For once, our hero and heroine are not mean-spirited grumps until the Christmas spirit moves them. They are kind, fun, and flirty, and the only impediment to them running off into the sunset together are their jobs, not their personalities. If you ask me, kindness, and a little whiskey, are the best examples of the Christmas spirit. Cheers!

Top Five Holiday Heroines

This holiday season, I’d like to draw your attention to some truly fabulous on-screen heroines. These are women who eschew an apron and gingerbread house in favor of a glamorous party dress and strong cocktail.  If I could, I would toast them all with this festive drink I whipped up with my favorite spirit Goodnight Loving Vodka (because every great heroine should have a favorite vodka), and I would tell them, “Thank You.” Thank you for being an inspiration to me and all the other women who view the holidays as a time to look fabulous, to have that second or third cocktail, and to never apologize for one’s domestic shortcomings. This year, even if you’re staying home, I encourage you to put on a nice outfit, mix the following drink, and watch one of the five films listed below. Leave the baking to somebody else. Cheers!

Hollywood Holiday Martini

2 oz Goodnight Loving Vodka

¾ oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur

1 oz Pomegranate Juice

½ oz Cranberry Juice

½ oz Lime Juice

Dried pomegranate or lime for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a dried pomegranate or lime.

1) Carol Aird, Carol

Image credit: Carol, 2015

I’ve often said that nobody drinks a martini like Cate Blanchett, and this film is no exception. With Carol’s effortless style and seductive gaze, that cute shopgirl never stood a chance.

2) Gillian Holroyd, Bell, Book and Candle

Image credit: Bell, Book and Candle, 1958

Is she a witch? Or just a cat-loving Greenwich Village gallery owner with a penchant for spells and backless cocktail dresses? Come for the dark/quirky love story, stay for Gillian’s mid-century modern apartment. THAT COUCH.

3) Elizabeth Lane, Christmas in Connecticut

Image credit: Christmas in Connecticut, 1945

Throw a city-dwelling, child-free writer into a country home with rotating babies, a dreamy war hero, a clueless “fiancé”, and a meddling Hungarian chef, and see if she can learn to make pancakes. From one Liz to another, “Pass the vodka, please.”

4) Fran Kubelik, The Apartment

Image Credit: The Apartment, 1960

The epitome of Complicated Female, Miss Kubelik hides her inner demons behind a smile and crisp white gloves. But when confronted with a charming Jack Lemmon at the office Christmas party, she must decide who she wants in her life come New Year’s Eve—the womanizer at the downtown tiki bar, or the sweet man and his tennis racket full of spaghetti.

5) Mame Dennis, Auntie Mame

Image credit: Auntie Mame, 1958

The only thing that changes more frequently than the décor of Mame’s apartment is the liquor in her glass. Even during the Great Depression, Mame never sacrifices when it comes to her personal style. No money for a fancy hat? Grab some Christmas decorations, put ‘em on your head, and walk with confidence!