Culture / Family / Food

A Story and a Cocktail

Vikki Family Some of my most vivid memories from my childhood are from my parents’ annual Christmas eve party. My mother would spend the weeks before the party decorating the inside of the house while my dad focused on the outside. On Christmas eve day, they would work side by side in the kitchen and laugh as they prepared the food for the party. When everything was ready, they change clothes and then my mom would stay upstairs to greet the guests as they arrived and my dad would go to the basement where he had a full bar and I mean full. His custom built bar ran the length of one wall and the cabinets behind it were filled with the liquor needed to make any drink requested. I would sit on a barstool in the basement and watch my dad make drink after drink for the guests. He owned a bar so his skill as a bartender wasn’t surprising but what stays with me was the joy with which he made each of those drinks, like each one was a gift.

To this day, I revel in the ritual of a thoughtfully prepared drink and have incorporated part of the past into my own holiday celebrations.

Each year, Luisa and I host a Christmas eve party and, each year, I make a special cocktail in addition to the other drinks we have available.

This year, I’ll be making Ginger Martinis. I chose this one because I learned to make them this year and love them. The other fabulous thing about them is that they can easily be adapted for those who are sober. I always put as much care (and love) into a non-alcoholic cocktail as an alcoholic one. It’s the ritual of it all that makes it special.

This is the recipe I use which was taken from here:

Chula Vista Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces ginger simple syrup
  • Small sprig fresh mint
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Bayugan Directions:

Add all the ingredients and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake and serve in a martini glass. 

If you follow the link, you’ll find a recipe for the ginger simple syrup but I would suggest the following instead.


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • A piece of ginger the size of your hand


Slice the ginger and add to a saucepan with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain the syrup and you’re done!

In order to make a non-alcoholic gingertini, substitute club soda for the vodka and increase the ginger simple syrup to taste.

Merry Christmas eve! Now, go out there and make some memories! Good ones…make good ones…


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  1. I love this! A new cocktail every year for the Christmas party sounds a little daunting…we have our standard Dirty Santa cocktail (1:1:2 vanilla vodka: peppermint schnapps: milk + chocolate syrup) & Naughty Elf mocktail (chocolate milk + a few ‘elf drops’/mint extract) for our traditional Sunday before Christmas Open House.

  2. Looking forward to next Christmas Eve already.

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