Dodging boxes of bean dip, Twinkies, sandwich meats, and snack chips—while pushing a wobbly grocery cart around—would drive practically anyone to drink. I’ve experienced horrendous shopping days when the frozen foods section looked like Marie Callender, Sara Lee, and the Jolly Green Giant threw up undigested boxes of dinners and desserts—and I had to nimbly get a wonky wheeled cart around all of them. Today was one of those days. The entire stock department at the grocery store went bonkers at 7 a.m. and filled the aisles with boxes and boxes of stuff. At one point, I found a clear aisle and had the audacity to push my cart through it. Suddenly, I heard the terrible sound of some kind of larger cart edging in on me—a gust of wind preceding its presence. I wondered if I had wandered into a subway tunnel and onto the tracks. No. It was the bread guy and he was shouting at me to get out of the way because he couldn’t slow down. I’m not sure what he thought I was supposed to do with my run-away train of germ-caked metal, but somehow, he scooted past me, and I decided that if I made it home alive, I would have some kind of celebratory drink.
The first thing I did, when I got home was park the car and hug Nate.
“I’m so glad to see you! It’s rough out there—really rough. I’m lucky I’m home—and that the groceries aren’t just lying around in the aisles, with their guts all hanging out,” I said.
“You okay?” Nate asked.
“No. I need a drink.”
“It’s 8 a.m.”
“At the grocery store, just now, I’ve lived my life like it’s 5 p.m. next Sunday night. A week’s-worth of nerves are shot. I need my pajamas and some kind of spiked apple cider drink, which I’m going to invent, right now.”
“Okay, well, I’m going to take a shower and get ready for the day. I thought we’d go to Kohl’s.”
Kohl’s sounded like a good idea, until I pictured the aisles and the parking lot on a Saturday afternoon. Hurricanes of shoppers would shred the aisles. Skirts and bras would fly. That’s probably when the bread guy would make it over there—for no reason at all—just to wreak more havoc. I’d need a stiff drink for sure.
So, I got to work. I pulled out a packet of hot apple cider mix and decided that I would only use half the packet, if I didn’t want my drink to be too sweet. Then, I poured the powder into a mug and filled it with 2/3 cup of water—heating the whole thing on “high” in the microwave for about 45 seconds. So far so good. Next, I took out the apple pie liquor and dumped about 2 ounces into the powder/water mixture. Then, I grabbed the bottle of Cinnamon Schnapps. When we moved to Washington state from Ohio three years ago, the moving van guys told us we were not allowed to take our liquor bottles with us (something about explosions? Carrying liquor across state lines? I don’t know), so we dumped what we could, including a bottle of Cinnamon Schnapps. (I had discovered that I actually liked a nip of Cinnamon Schnapps every once in a while. It’s like grown up Red Hots candies in liquid form.) However, when we got to the state of Washington, I soon realized that they sell everything here, BUT Cinnamon Schnapps. Well, just last week, that all changed, when we found this “Wine and Everything” store just a few miles from our house—and there it was: Cinnamon Schnapps. The store clerk told me that the reason why I couldn’t easily find it in any of the other grocery or liquor stores was because there wasn’t really a “demand” for it, which is a nice way of saying, “No one buys Cinnamon Schnapps. Like no one. Most people find it gross.” Well, I like it, so I poured about an ounce and a half into the drink and stirred it up.
When I sipped the drink I’d made, I thought it tasted great, but I needed a second opinion, so I found Nate—in the shower. I just walked right into the bathroom with a steaming mug of spiked apple cider and said,
“Hey, Nate. Try this drink I made.”
This was Nate’s reaction:
“No! I’m naked, and I’m washing my hair. I’m not trying a drink right now!”
I do not understand this reaction. If I were taking a shower and someone handed me a drink to taste, I would say, “Thanks! This is a great idea. Drinking in the shower—you’re clever and fun!”
So, I took a few more sips and waited on Nate. He tried the drink and said it tasted “like medicine.” I took a few more sips and decided that he was right. For this reason, I’ve adjusted the amount of Cinnamon Schnapps to about a half a teaspoon, which adds just a note of somethin’ somethin.’ Here’s the recipe:
Yield: One serving:
½ packet of hot apple cider mix
2/3 cup of water
2 ounces of apple pie liquor
½ tsp of Cinnamon Schnapps
Directions: Combine the powdered mix with the water in a mug and heat on “High” in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Add the apple pie liquor and the Schnapps. Mix well. If desired, you could serve this in a martini glass or cold as well.
Results: I was totally useless at Kohl’s. Nate had to prevent me from buying a rainbow sequined sleeveless top that I was going to pair with snowman print leggings. If you have this drink, and you must shop at Kohl’s, bring a designated driver and stylist.
Your Turn: If someone handed you a drink while you were taking a shower, would you refuse it?