Sunshine State Christmas 2014

I’m back from a warm and plenty Christmas holiday vacation in my homeland, Florida. Four fast nights were spent with friends and family plus a gracious amount of fresh seafood, citrus and delight. Gag gifts, small dogs and cocktails amused the small moments between catching up on a year’s time of weddings, graduations, vacations, achievements and television shows.

Christmas morning included my grandfather’s traditional Brandy Alexander – just a third each of brandy, creme de cocoa and heavy cream served in thimble sized servings by the Christmas tree and occasional fire (it’s Florida after all). That drink reminds me of my great grandmother’s favorite bourbon, Four Roses, served straight or with holiday eggnog. Two eggs, a dash of vanilla, 3 heaps of sugar, 2ish cups of cream blended with a nice helping of Four Roses will cozy you in any state. Don’t forget the nutmeg garnish. Finally, nothing beats my favorite winter drink – the greyhound. Fresh grapefruit juice with a splash of vodka will cure any winter blues. I pick grapefruit like a sport for these cocktails. Try Crystal Head Vodka the next time you’re in the ABC – the bottle alone will make you giggle.

Shrimp, oysters and Florida lobster paired well with just about anything this Christmas. I hope your holiday was full of new and old tradition. And, you’re looking towards a new bright 2015. Cheers!

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