Last week I posted “14 Photos of Queer Love to Get You Through The Holidays” and chatted a bit about my personal hatred for the season. After that post went live, I received more emails, comments and DMs from you guys than I have for any other post I’ve ever done.

Lots of you could relate to my feelings of distaste and abandonment. Others talked about the families of choice they’ve developed. But the stories of loneliness within the family home are the ones that resonated with me the most.

That’s because those are the ones I can’t relate to my own experiences. I choose not to engage with my family for many reasons. For some queer people, they still want to be involved with their families despite the microaggressions or misunderstandings that can occur. Lots of queer adults choose to maintain their relationship with homophobic family members despite the pain it may cause them. They value the relationship over the personal pain. That’s not what I’ve done with my life, but I respect their choices.

The holidays are also a popular choice for people coming out to their family for the first time. Remember, we don’t just come out one time, we come out over and over again. Every time we interact with someone new, it’s another coming out process. Coming out for the first time at a holiday gather is like pulling a band-aid off quickly. All the hard conversations are done at one time. If that’s what you’re dealing with this holiday season, Autostraddle did this great guide for surviving your first holiday after coming out. 

This post is not that warm fuzzy holiday tip sheet. This guide will not tell you how to handle your second cousin’s awkward questions about scissoring or your racist uncle’s love of Donald Trump. This post WILL help give you a little liquid courage to just get through the day. With that being said, please drink these fancy holiday cocktails safely and remember to engage in a bit of self-care before and after your holiday gatherings.

 

1. Cherry Bellinis

There is something about drinking champagne before noon that makes me feel a little more classy and a little less like a drunk. This recipe is the perfect “looooookkk I’m fancy” addition to your holiday gathering.

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Photo Credit: Eat Drink Love

2. Ampersand Cocktail

Ampersand Cocktails are the dapper drink of choice for folks trying to add a little bit of bougie pep to their step. It’s simple, delicious and only calls for 3 ingredients. It’s great for the lazy queer who forgot to run to the store.

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Photo Credit: Serious Eats

3. Apple Cider Gin Fizz

This delicious recipe for a new spin on a classic apple cider. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit tart and all around satisfying. Be careful though, this is one of those drinks where the alcohol sneaks up on you. You don’t want to end up having one too many and engaging in a “Trump for America” debate with your racist uncle.

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Photo Credit: Yes to Yolks

4. White Peach Sangria

Peaches. White wine. Vodka. Three of my favorite things. This sweet and sassy drink looks like a cross between a desert and a beverage. PRO Tip: add more fruit to give it more sass.

5. Boozy Vietnamese Coffee Jelly Shots

I don’t need another excuse to drink coffee, but I couldn’t pass up this unique Vietnamese recipe. While this isn’t a drink I’d have if I was trying to get wasted, it is a suitable desert. Or breakfast… ya know… whatever… no judgement.

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Photo Credit: That’s So Michelle

6. Black Cherry Sangria

This is probably the easiest drink to make. It’s sweet, simple and deceivingly strong. Be careful.

7. Disneyland Copycat Mint Julep Recipe

Who says mint juleps are only for the spring? BLASPHMEY! They’re the perfect pairing for all the chocolates and sweets that we’ll be stuffing our faces with. This recipe is a replica of one found at Disneyland. It kinda tastes like the kind of thing Mary Poppins would have been sipping on after a particularly rough day with the kids.

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Photo Credit: Rick A Bam Boo

8. Cranberry Margarita Cocktail

At holiday parties it can be frowned upon to do straight shots. Enter cranberry margaritas. It looks cute and casual, but this baby packs a punch. This one’s for those of us who aren’t messing around. We go straight for the strong shit.

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Photo Credit: Gimme Some Oven

9. The Poison Apple Cocktail

Okay… Okay…. this one is technically a Halloween themed drink, but change the garnish and call it something different and it’s perfect for the family holiday party.

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Photo Credit: 17 Apart

10. Peach Bourbon Spritzers

This kinda tastes like the liquid version of a peach cobbler with less sugar and more bourbon. You’re welcome.

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Photo Credit: Life as a Strawberry

11. Harvest Apple Sangria with Bourbon and Thyme

This is one of those drinks that should be presented in a mason jar and garnished with something that reminds you of a weekend trip to the country. It’s basically a bourbon infused sangria, it sounds fancier than it is… trust me… try it.  

12. Grilled Kiwi Martinis

This one is complicated and intense, it will DEFINITELY impress your foodie aunt who only drinks top shelf.

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Photo Credit: Yes to Yolks

13. A Very Merry Berry Martini

This is basically a vodka-cran in a fancy glass with some holiday themed garnishes and extras. NOTHING wrong with that. Keep it simple.

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Photo Credit: Eat. Drink. Love.

14. Great Pumpkin

This is the alcoholic version of your standard basic bitch beverage. For those of us who “Just Can’t” winter.

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Photo Credit: Serious Eats

15. Strawberry Sangria Recipe

This one is great in large batches. It looks super pretty all set up surrounded by other holiday foods. I’d bring this to a holiday gathering to look like I put a little more effort than my usual store bought veggie tray while, not actually submitting anyone to my less than awesome cooking skills.

16. Pumpkin Pie Sangria

This one tastes less like pumpkin spice lattes and more like liquid pumpkin pie with a kick. It’s made with Moscato and butterscotch, which in my head don’t really go together, but they actually came out gorgeously.  

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Photo Credit: That’s So Michelle

17. Frozen Peach Berry Cocktails

Remember those tubes of iced kool aid we used to eat as kids? This is that. Except with alcohol. Make it a little thicker and it’s a slushy. Either way, yums.

18. Raspberry Margaritas

This is a super simple recipe that packs a punch and is bound to impress when you present it well. You can use raspberries or really any kind of berry you want. SIMPLE

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Photo Credit: Life as a Strawberry

19. Lemon Lychee Martinis

This one made the list because I had a conversation with my Indonesian friend the other day about how much we both liked Lychee. It’s a tiny little Asian fruit about the size of a really large grape that tastes kind of like a sweet pear. This is a drink for the adventurous eager to try something a bit different.

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Photo Credit: Yes to Yolks

20. Apple Cider and Buttered Rum Jello Shots

This recipe is perfect for the annual “Orphan’s Holiday Party” I used to attend every year in NYC. All my queer friends who didn’t have family gatherings to attend would get together, eat Thai food and get shit-housed. I mean… that’s one way to deal with your issues.

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Photo Credit: That’s So Michelle