A Drink for Every Dysfunction: How to Survive Your Family Thanksgiving

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Rx: Put 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice and 1/4 oz. fresh orange juice in a cocktail shaker. Stir in 1 teaspoon superfine sugar. Add 2 oz. straight rye or bourbon whiskey ("or, indeed, any whiskey at all"). Fill the shaker 3/4 of the way with ice, cover, and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and carefully float 1/2 oz. of red wine on top by pouring it slowly over the back of a spoon. (Note from Wondrich: "A nice, oaky Cabernet Sauvignon works best, although whatever your prissy sister-in-law is drinking will work fine; it's easier to float the wine if you put it in a small cruet first.")

Picture this…: You're a liquor lover trapped in a strictly mocktail clan.

Cocktail cure: "Occam's Razor says a vodka soda would be the clear choice here—no tattletaling booze breath, and it looks like you're drinking club soda," says Pouring Ribbons' Simó. "But that's not terribly original, now, is it?" Instead, Simó takes an approach similar to Adkins', recommending cider. "Try bringing a few bottles of nonalcoholic cider for the guests and a bottle of hard cider for yourself. Everyone looks like they're drinking the same thing, so no one feels left out or put out, and few things pair better with rich fall dishes than a tart, bracing cider."

Rx: Though you can't go wrong with a traditional French cider, and some Spanish versions would be nice for variety, Simó says, "The more patriotic choice is to stick with the homegrown stuff. Isn't that what Johnny Appleseed would've wanted?" Simó recommends Doc's Draft Hard Apple Cider, made in Warwick, New York. "It's funky in that apple-orchard-floor kinda way—a perfect pairing to cut through a gluttonous Thanksgiving meal." Finally, he adds, "Don't forget to pack a tiny bottle of Underberg bitters—the best aid to start digesting that massive turkey leg you just took down."

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