How to Pace Yourself for the Holidays
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I'm assuming you'll have a lot of family to see who will riddle you with questions you've been avoiding for the past couple months or years. Theres most likely some heavy generation gaps which tend to include a couple closed minded aunts and uncles. So, ultimately, you'll probably want to start drinking early. But you want to make sure A. you make it to the feast, B. you don't cause too much of a scene and C. Aunt Shellie doesn't have to drive you home at 5 p.m. 

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I've put together a schedule for you to completely dominate the holidays without yaking all over the dinner table.

10 AM

good morning! Drink some water!

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1030 AM

We'll start off slow with a take on the classic mimosa with the glitter guide's pear nectar and thyme mimosa. You'll be rejuvenated with fresh fruit and get your buzz slowly starting with some bubbles. Switch up your citrus and herbs for the second drink and try a grapefruit and sage champagne cocktail from floating kitchen.

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12 PM

You won't want to go nuts with mixing different alcohols so we'll maybe pick 3 today - we have our bubbles (a necessity), gin (because it's very versatile) and baileys as a liqueur because that doesn't really count, right? So next let's hit you with some caffeine and sip on a baileys latte. I like Camille Style's version with a bit of orange extract and an orange garnish. Also - there is now Baileys Almande for all y'all anti milk drinkers and it's stupid good. I might actually prefer it. 

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1 PM

So now that you're caffeinated your brain is probably working a bit better. Before you jump to your next cocktail, help out in the kitchen to distract yourself from how badly you want to stay off the wagon. There's bound to be some herbs lying around for whatever main course is going in the oven. Snag some to make not without salt's honey herb soda. This recipe is great because it works with honestly any herbs. I like to add a dash of bitters as well. It will calm your belly before the storm. 

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1:30 PM

Alright, we're sneaking into a more socially acceptable drinking hour. About damn time. Let's try a honey sage gin fizz from how sweet eats. The best part about this cocktail is the smoked honey rim, which is simply honey salt and...the star of the show...crushed bacon. It's nice and light, which makes it perfect to sip while you start snacking on hors d'oeuvres. 

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2 PM

Speaking of hors d'oeuvres, let's not forget to snack hard all day. You have to be careful to pace yourself with food as well- you don't want to be too full when the main course makes its way out of the kitchen. Put together the perfect antipasto board like half baked harvest's greek inspired antipasto platter, the kitchen mccabe's caramelized onion cranberry swiss tartlets, or feasting at home's winter cheese board

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3 PM

We'll have another gin drink before we slip into our second intermission. Now for a blood orange elderflower gin cocktail from the little epicurean. This drink tastes as good as it looks. It's not too sweet and we love the floral notes paired with citrus. 

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3:30 PM

Take it easy with a white peach maple soda from quitokeeto. Warming the peaches makes all the difference to bring out the flavors and the sprig of lavender is a nice touch. Side note - Heidi Swanson (1/2 of the brains behind quitokeeto) has some of the best recipes I've ever come across - check out her favorite cookbook of mine: Near and Far. 

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4 PM

Let's celebrate your progress with some more bubbles: a plum & thyme prosecco smash from my diary of us. This drink is somehow really refreshing and warming at the same time. If you're feelin' stone fruit happy this is your 4 pm cocktail. 

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4:30 PM

Dinner should be ready soon, but not soon enough. Snack on a lighter salad like this mediterranean fresh herb and tomato, this delicious life's arugula radicchio salad with figs, humboldt fog, prosciutto and pistachios or two red bowl's grilled peach & burrata salad.

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5 PM

With a full belly, wash it all down with a mango black pepper gin & tonic. Mango pairs flawlessly with gin, bringing out the juniper and botanical taste, while the pepper adds a fiery bite. 

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6:30 PM

Time to take dinner down. Whether you're having slow cooked lamb shanks, apple and sausage stuffed squash, or cranberry balsamic chicken, you'll need a something to sip on. Try with food & love's winter champagne punch. It's simple enough to pair well with just about anything. 

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9 PM

At this point, you're either going to have a warm night cap and hit the hay, or dive head first into the night. Either way your dessert should be a broiled baileys hot chocolate, obviously. If you want to say goodbye to booze for the night, this super hot chocolate with coconut whipped cream will suffice. Then if you're not ready to call it quicks, stir together a coldbrew negroni to give you the perfect buzz to keep the night goin'. 

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