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Quick Cocktails to Sneak Past Your Family

Even though you’re well beyond legal age and your parents are beyond aware of your wine-chugging habits, peeling lemon rind into a homemade cocktail at Grandma’s over the holidays will make your family think you’re a lush. These people think of you as a tall version of the cutie-pie they used to put in Aladdin footie pajamas, not the boozehound who eats bagels in the morning out of necessity, not choice. The less they know, the better!

If you’re the kind of girl whose mother will start sending liver-related Prevention articles on the regular if she realizes how much liquor her daughter actually enjoys consuming, it’s time to get your sneaky holiday drinking on.

Shirley Whirly Temple:

1. At the dinner table, ask those li’l nuggets you call nieces and nephews if they want a snazzy jazzy Shirley Temple made by their big cool Aunt.

2. Tell your sister you meant yourself, not her.

3. Excuse yourself like the hero that you are, and proceed to wherever the booze is housed at festivities.

4. Throw some ginger ale and grenadine in a cup for the young’ns, and pour a half-glass of your favorite clear booze of choice into yours.

5. Add a handful of maraschino cherries to each cup.

6. Add another handful. It’s Jesus’s birthday, y’aaaalll! Time to celebraaaate!

7. Head back to the table, and use whatever skills you learned from that time you waitressed in high school to make sure you don’t serve a seven-year-old your boozy cherry float.

Long Island Iced Tea:

1. Lounge around the drink/bar area with a can of Coke like you’re just hanging, just chilling, just being one of the adults like the adult that you are.

2. Casually pour tequila, rum, and whatever sweet liquid that’s closest to triple sec or sour mix into a cup. (Think fruit punch, sweetened tea, or Squirt, if your family has a preference for imposslble-to-find lemon-lime sodas.)

3. Taste it, quietly make an “eeyyyuuguhh!” noise, and put it beside you like you’re done with it even though you’re not. Mild lying: also an ingredient.

4. Pour vodka and gin into a new glass, and when no one’s looking, combine the two cups.

5. Continually add Coke whenever a close-talking aunt comes nearby, or when the room starts swirling into a rainbow of red and green.

Side note: if your parents are old-school and you’re concerned about your mouth being like a Dentyne Ice commercial with vodka breath instead of icicles, keep a jar of peanut butter nearby. One of the bad kids at my high school said it covers up any boozy scent, and she once went to a rainbow party, so she probably knows.

Makeshift Martini:

1. Walk around wherever the pre-dinner snacks are, casually putting a cracker, some blue cheese and an assortment of olives on your plate.

2. Eat half the cracker. It’s a decoy. (Don’t you feel like James Bond right now?)

3. Push some of the cheese into each of the green olives while slyly asking the nearest teenager to sneak you some gin. Your family almost expects them to steal booze, and they’ll feel like they’re on some secret fun adult liquor mission.

4. Eat the other half of the cracker. Eh, you have a few minutes to kill, you were gonna eat it anyway.

5. Get the cup of gin back before they attempt to drink it all, and pop the olives into your glass like it’s nothing. If anyone asks what’s floating in there, say your yoga instructor told you olive water is full of antioxidants and you’ll be in the clear. No one wants to hear anyone talk about yoga, ever.

Vodka Ice:

1. Get crushed ice from the refrigerator door.

2. Add vodka.

3. Apologize later.

Carlye Wisel spends most family functions eating black olives off each finger and avoiding conversations about why she won’t move back to the Midwest. Find more of her debatably terrible ideas on Awkward City, Population 1.

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