Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 12- here we have the Gifted Grapefruit. Citrus is in season and this drink takes full advantage with both freshly squeezed grapefruit and orange juices at play. Alongside Chambord raspberry liqueur, Grand Marnier and vodka, this would make for a nice brunch cocktail for Christmas morning too.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve never been any good at sleeping in on Christmas morning. I’m not an early riser on any other day of the year, but on Christmas Day, it’s a struggle to keep myself in bed until after 7 a.m.
Now that I’m a full-blown adult (for the most part) and know that my Mom loves sleeping in more than I do, I have managed to contain myself until at least 8 a.m. I find it helps if you stay up a bit later on Christmas Eve and maybe overindulge just a touch.
When I was little, I was a total brat though. I would bound out of bed and demand that my parents rise before or with the Sun so we could open presents. They would be wiping sleep out of their eyes and struggling to remember the order of opening. We’re not the kind of family that tears away at wrapping paper all at once, no, no, we follow in order, each person opening one present at a time.
I find this practice lets you draw out the joy of opening gifts until your stomach is rumbling and you’re ready for a mid-morning nap. As I admitted earlier, I always had two stockings when I was growing up, so, as you might imagine, I would always be the last one opening presents. I would often take charge of organizing the presents so that everyone’s presents were neatly piled in front of them. My parents would have a modest pile and I would be confronted with a mountain.
I was terribly spoiled, and frankly, I wouldn’t recommend this to people with children because now I’m a consumerist monster and have no hope of ever pursuing life as a Buddhist and achieving enlightenment.
But before you choke on your own disgust, rest assured, things have levelled off now that I’m older. I try to be more reasonable and only ask for a few things that I really want. You’ll usually find an Hermès scarf on my list because it’s part of my signature look – timeless silk scarf, lipstick and a meticulous cat-eye.
I do my best to invest in something special for each of my parents that I hope they’ll be excited by. They have certainly wowed me on a number of occasions. To date, my favourite gift I’ve ever received was a piece of original artwork from Toronto painter, Judith Geher. It’s a 3’x4′ painting that hangs above my couch in my living room. It’s a painting of a man kissing a woman on the cheek. It’s romantic and beautiful and it makes me smile every day. It’s definitely an investment gift but one that keeps on giving, as I’ve been fortunate to see this work appreciate in value in the few years that I’ve owned it.
Artwork is a very personal choice, so kind of hard to pick out for someone else unless you know them very well or they’ve explicitly said that they want a particular piece. If you want to hit out of the park this year, try to remember something they’ve said they liked, and surprise them with that. If you come up short on that memory test, creep their wishlist on Amazon/Etsy/whatever online shopping destination they most often frequent.
At any rate, if they’re not happy with what you got them, you can give them the gift of this cocktail to brighten their spirits.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add ¾ oz vodka, ½ oz Chambord, ¼ oz Grand Marnier, 2 oz orange juice and 2 oz pink grapefruit juice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Recipe adapted from: Hunt, Michelle P.E. and Laura Panter. "The Great Rake." Food & Drink. Autumn 2004.