Old Fashioned Passive Aggressive Barb
Served by your mother-in-law, this multi-layered concoction includes everything from your parenting choices to the fact you use avocado based mayonnaise and returned a shower gift nine years ago. Top with a maraschino cherry, unless that’s “not organic” enough for you.
Whiskey Sour Grapes
Add one shot of Jim Beam and three and a half decades of resentment over that scholarship, along with Dad’s matching gift, that went to your entitled, solipsistic half-brother. Serve it directly in his face.
Dark n’ Stormy II
For the teens at your gathering! Two parts angst and one part hormonal rage with optional eye roll. Mixed for your high school twins, now at the adult’s table, not of drinking age but spectacularly intoxicated on self-absorption.
Long Island Iced Tease
The beverage of choice for your promiscuous cousins from the wrong side of the Hamptons. Mix one part everything in the liquor cabinet with a dash of superiority and a twist of fate it wasn’t you born there. Serve on the rocks of Montauk, because they’ve never been there.
Hot Toddy & Horny Sheila
For the neighbors who came over because they “lost power” and are now recruiting for a threesome at your holiday meal. Mix one part vermouth with a dash of bitters and middle age ennui.
Mort’s Mai Tai
How Uncle Mortimer refers to his own neckwear, a long-standing joke that was never funny and refuses to die despite the entire family’s best efforts. Chase with a roofie to silence the suffering pun once and for all.
Double Bloody Mary
A harmonious blend of liquid Vicodin and ibuprofen, it’s what you served your 13-year-old daughter after she got her period on your grandparent’s chintz couch on Thanksgiving and had to sit there for six hours insisting she was “too full to get up” until everyone went home. Garnish with shame and feminine resignation.
The Petersen’s Pina Colada
Four your aunt and uncle who attempted simultaneous affairs by answering personal ads in an honest to God newspaper but ended up at O’Malleys followed by making love in the dunes of the Cape after getting caught in the rain.
The Shot of Honest Feedback
Remember, you asked for it. Seemed like a good idea at the time but days later, you still want to crawl into a hole. Lacerating blend of mezcal and decades old stuff from your spouse’s emotional baggage.
Tracy McArdle Brady is a published novelist, essayist, screenwriter and communications executive from Boston. She is the 2020 recipient of The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program, a writing residency specifically for emerging humor writers. Her writing has appeared in Fortune, Adweek, The Boston Globe Magazine, Muse by Clio, Skirt, The Carlisle Mosquito, the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette and on her humor blog, FestivalofNeed.com.
Her novels Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa and Real Women Eat Beef, (Simon & Schuster’s Downtown Press) remain widely unread and critically unacclaimed. One of her stories was also included in the Downtown Press anthology In One Year and Out the Other.