Seasonal drinks offer up an instant cure to the winter blues

As upstate New Yorkers, we need something to help us in these coming months as a reminder that we’re warm-blooded creatures. What’s better than preparing a wintery drink to take away the pain that seasonal affective disorder and post-holiday boredom bring? Knowledge of those drinks that are easily homemade – as both going outside and movement are painful experiences – will be crucial this winter. Consider yourself Don Draper with a greyhound; it’s simply 2 fluid ounces of vodka mixed with 5 fluid ounces of grapefruit juice. Easy and classic, a greyhound is a dapper drink; at mediocre holiday parties, don’t forget, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”

Citrus drinks such as this one, plus the traditional screwdrivers and mojitos, place you on tropical sands far, far away, where it’s always 5 o’clock.

Spiking heavier warm drinks is a really comforting way to celebrate the holidays or assuage stress. Explore with eggnog, hot cider, coffee, hot chocolate and even tea. A boozy mint hot chocolate calls for tequila and peppermint schnapps – it’s a Girl Scout cookie with some beneficial side effects. The double whammy of rum and coffee might induce insanity, but it makes for an equally entertaining morning.

On a more elegant side, Nigella Lawson calls this one Christmas in a Glass. It’s a mix of Prosecco or other sparkling white wine and gingerbread or cranberry-flavored syrup – that’s all. If Christmas in a red Solo Cup is better fitting for this weekend, I assure you that the drink will still work its magic.

But a classic end-of-year holiday, winter or finals party, in my opinion, is not complete if it’s missing a large bowl, bin or jug of punch, sangria or jungle juice. I prefer sangria because of its healthful addition: fruit. For festivity, mix apples, pears, cranberries, a sprig of rosemary, a bottle of pinot grigio, club soda, white grape juice and vodka, when necessary, in a deep bowl. Serve up, and watch your messed-up life or bum-filled house gloriously come to life.

In the end, what matters most is that you attempt to enjoy yourself, amidst the snow, slush and below-freezing temperatures. Whether it’s board games or tequila shots – or both at once – do what you must to fight through what may be a lackluster six months.