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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Christmas Eve Fiasco 2010

In a Shot:  Christmas Eve Cocktail party leads to a cocktail misfire and yet another water pipe exploding in our house.

I swear, I have no idea where we wrong in life to have so many ridiculous things happen to us.  Granted, I am truly blessed, the final outcome of the holiday season ended with lots of family, good times and the development of new relationships along the way.  The plan each year is to create a mixing bowl of both my wife's family and my own at our one bedroom apartment with the classic holiday music playing.  It's a night where everybody enjoys Mary's fantastic food and fabulous decorative displays, my ingenious seasonally themed cocktails, diverse and nice quality wine/beer selection and an always fairly spectacular display of high end or old cognac's, calvados', bourbon's, scotches and fortified wines.

The setting was there, the plan was set, the feelings were good and was ready to be a success, until.....time ran out.  I had planned weeks ago for a Chocolate Marshmallow Martini.  Time however, has not been on my side this week or so and therefore, couldn't even begin experimenting until the day of the party.  however, we were drastically behind on prepping our food and getting the house fully cleaned up so there was a lot of running around before we could truly begin what needed to get done.  It was when I had to leave to fill an empty tire with air, get a car wash, buy liquor and grab ingredients for the cocktail where time just slipped away.

I get back home and we have an hour left to do it all and the wife needed my help finalising our ham, cheese plate and roasted thyme-garlic pork roast.  That's only the to do list things I remember having to do, but the good Lord willingly has left out whatever else had to be done.  I didn't even begin messing with my ingredients to make this marshmallow cocktail until guest begin arriving.  It was at this moment when the fire place goes out, guests are asking to get that restarted, asking for coffee we haven't brewed yet and the first cocktail, my brother in law, A Bourbon With Character (My take on an old fashioned that requires a minimum of 5 minutes to make) so when it was time where my sister asked for a martini, I thought she was referring to my themed one and had her waiting for quite some time while I recklessly threw together creams, cacao's, vodka's spiked with marshmallow baking oils and just a series of other things that, if given time to marinate, if properly proportioned, tweaked and slightly more thought out, would've turned into a creamy dessert that would echo a Brandy Alexander, Bourbon Milk Punch or even a Rum Eggnog.

Instead, an artist named Prodigy said "That's like mixing vodka with milk" - a statement he was making that said "You simply would never do that because that's just crazy" - He was right in this instance.  The drink tasted like vodka and heavy whipping cream.  Just, disgusting.  Woopsie!  So there are a lot of things that can be done here to salvage this horrible nightmare.  But with little time to think, and little time to correct, the pitcher of creamy vodka had to be tossed out.  It was just too awful to drink.  I immediately turned to classics, offering up my famous martinis and old fashioned's while really gassing up the liquor, beer and  wine selections.

Again, in the ending, we had so much fun and everyone had such a great time along with several other surprises.  Both of my brother in law's had family from across the pond stop in plus an affiliate to one of them that got stranded in the states that ended up partying with us.  It was just a spectacular time.

Furthering the fiasco though,  post party, Mary and our Niece, Madison, decided to go out to a church where carols were being sang and had such a great time.  Upon returning, we began washing our dishes.  Within moments of this we hear a very frightening and familiar sound of mist and gushing water.  For those of you who don't know, we lost two months of our lives attempting to rebuild the home from a pipe that exploded in our bedroom closet that exploded yet again, 2:30 in the morning Christmas Eve.  We frantically remove everything from the closet and turn the water off while I feverishly mopped everything up.  Upon getting hold of the condo association, we were declined help due to holidays and needing to speak directly with the land lord.  When I finally got a hold of the land lord, he was in New Jersey and wasn't going to be back until Monday and said we couldn't get help until then.  The wife and I are frantic.  We get up and do Christmas with a burdensome melancholy that tried it's best to break our spirits but failed to in the end.  This will be the year remembered, however, as The Christmas Eve Fiasco.

The supposed blizzard that circled around NOVA but never hit it, caused our land lord to come home early, meeting with us Sunday morning to assess damage.  Meanwhile we take all of the dishes and towels and clothes that were left disgusting from the party and box them/bag them and head to my oldest sister in law's house to clean up the devastation.  Now, as I sit here in my living room filled with boxes from our closet, we are thankful that a plumber came, and patched up yet another leaky pipe above the previous one that cracked.  All that's left is to patch up some dry wall and we can go about our normal lives.  We do, however, now have hot and running water again.

Turning a negative into a positive is something I always strive for.  I plan on taking this experience and perfecting that Marshmallow cocktail and either in my future cocktail book or a cocktail list coming near you.  As always, thanks for the love, I hope every one's holidays were as good as mine with not as many glitches, otherwise an epic Christmas, a spirit I wish for you and yours.

Happy Holidays,


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