This holiday season is unlike any other. With stay at home orders and travel advisories in effect across the country, many of us are foregoing our annual family get togethers this year, settling instead for more intimate gatherings with our immediate households or bubbles. But that doesn’t mean we can’t instill a sense of festivity into the holidays—and boy, do we deserve it after this year—which is why we’ve tapped our network of chefs, hoteliers, bartenders, editors, and more to find out how they’re planning to make the holidays feel special, wherever they’re spending them. Keep reading for a whole slew of holiday tips and inspiration, from the recipes to cook and the drinks to make, to ideas for creating brand new traditions.
All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This article was last published in November 2020. It has been updated with new information.
Master some new recipes
Throw a Zoom baking party: We’re all experiencing a bit of virtual gathering fatigue at this point in the year, but with a little coordination and imagination, it’s a great way to get your loved ones together for a good baking session. Sometimes I take it another step and send ingredients [in advance] (it ensures most fun levels of participation!). If anyone finds themselves with leftover treats: pack your goodies up in a cellophane bag, write a little note, include a gift tag, and give them to your neighbor, doorman, mail carrier, local volunteer squad, you name it. Baking is altruistic—and treats are meant to be shared. —Christina Tosi, chef and founder of Milk Bar
I’m from Brazil and part of a large family, and I’m used to spending the holidays surrounded by all of my loved ones with no shortage of excitement or entertainment. Obviously, this year will be very different. I plan to make some of my favorite Brazilian dishes that remind me of home, like pao de queijo, which I’ll bake with my son. He’s six, and is at the perfect age to join me in the kitchen; it’s also a great activity to help keep him entertained. —Jayma Cardoso, owner of The Surf Lodge and The Snow Lodge
Firstly, I’m planning to take this MasterClass with Massimo Bottura between Christmas and New Year’s, and make a new dish from it every night. Secondly, I’m treating myself to this absolutely over-the-top cheese: Vacherin Mont d’Or. It’s made from the winter milk from the same cows that make gruyere, on the border of Switzerland and France. As such, it’s only available from around October to April, and it’s a Christmas delicacy in both countries. Murray’s Cheeses, which ships wheels of it around the country, calls it “one of the most sought-after cheeses on the market.” —Jessica Puckett, transportation editor
Dropping off snacks and recipes with loved ones helps create memories and a shared experience—two things we really crave during the holidays. I’m making aperitivo snacks to drop off with friends: spicy sumac and pomegranate nuts (a recipe from Ernesto’s), jars of cured lemons I’ve been stealing from my neighbor’s tree, buckwheat banana bread from The Smile, and orange zest and turmeric granola. I also bring a batch of fresh pasta everywhere I go these days. I’ve been making trofie with chestnut flour, the nutty flavor is so comforting and it fits all diets. —Melanie Masarin, founder of Ghia
I’m planning to do a lot of cooking over the holidays (without a crowd to serve, it actually sounds relaxing this year), so I’m treating myself to a few kitchen essentials I’ve been eyeing for months. For my spice rack, a few jars of single origin spices from Diaspora Co., plus a jar of Sichuan Chili Crisp from Fly By Jing; and to pour onto everything I eat, bottles of olive oil from female-owned Kosterina and Brightland. —Megan Spurrell, associate editor
I’m a big snacker, so I’m going to make the fun spin on Chex Mix that I had when I dined at Tokyo Record Bar, one of my favorite restaurant experiences in all of New York. Even better: the chefs shared the recipe in Serving New York, a cookbook celebrating New York City restaurants that has just released a new hardbound printing. All proceeds go to ROAR and Robin Hood’s Restaurant Relief Fund, which provide cash assistance to area restaurant workers. —Corina Quinn, director, city guides
Or pre-order an extravagant meal
My new favorite New York City find is Milu, a Chinese family-style restaurant run by Connie Chung, an Eleven Madison Park vet. We ordered the two-person feast for $45, which comes with an incredible slow-cooked duck, Sichuan cauliflower, duck-fat rice, pickled cucumbers, and a bunch of other sides. It was a fantastic celebration meal (that, yes, we just had on a regular weeknight because why not?) where we didn’t have to lift a finger. —Stephanie Wu, articles director
To ease the burden of meal prep [of holiday meals], we’re ordering a date pecan pie from Minneapolis’ excellent Vikings & Goddesses Pie Company. And because I don’t want my parents to feel left out, even virtually, I’m shipping them an old-fashioned pecan pie from Blue Owl Bakery in Kimmswick, Missouri via Goldbelly. —Ashlea Halpern, contributor
For my D.C.-area family, the must-order meal delivery this year has become Officina Provisions, from local chef Nick Stefanelli, who presides over some of the area’s finest Italian kitchens. Designed to deliver a week’s worth of quality dishes straight to your doorstep, each kit includes oven-ready prepared meals, premium cuts from the Officina butcher, fresh local produce, and other extras, like artisan baked bread or the ability to add on a curated selection of top-notch wines. Each box feeds a family of four, and the restaurants deliver throughout D.C. proper, northern Virginia, and Maryland. —C.Q.
Yes, you can get your holiday meal prepared by one of the best restaurants in the world. Since the pandemic began closing down restaurants all over America, Dan Barber began putting together farm boxes from Stone Barns (not only a regular fixture on world’s best restaurant lists, but also a leading light in a resurgent American farming movement). For Thanksgiving they included hazelnut and mushroom stuffing, koginut squash soup, honeynut pumpkin pie, and roasted half turkey (there’s a whole menu but those are a few highlights). You can also order one of their pasture-raised turkeys to cook yourself. I picked one up a couple years ago and I can verify it is worth the much-elevated price tag over what you pay at the grocery store. If you’re in New York City, Tarrytown, NY, or Sharon, CT, check back on their website in December to see what they’re cooking up for Christmas and New Year’s. —Noah Kaufman, editor, city guides
Rediscover your own surroundings
My fiancé and I were supposed to go to London this year, which didn’t pan out. It’s a bummer for many reasons, but chief among them because I’m really interested in Medieval history, something the city is incredibly rich in. To substitute, we’ll head to the Met Cloisters in Washington Heights, which showcases European Medieval art and architecture, to see the famed Unicorn Tapestries and other works. I’m also planning to order these incredible Unicorn’s Garden pajamas from Printfresh that I’ve recently discovered, to help stay on theme. —Betsy Blumenthal, associate editor
In a true holiday miracle, I was actually able to take my family to see A Christmas Carol this year. Our local theater, the Center for the Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, New York, managed to pull off an outdoor version of the classic show. We watched with delight from the comfort of our car, bundled up with hot chocolate and blankets. —Juliet Izon, contributor
When you have already had a Zoom Passover seder, attended Zoom high holiday services, and a Zoom bar mitzvah, Zoom Chanukah is not so big a deal. We normally spend a few days in December at Whistler, but since Canada is off-limits, we’re going to take my daughters to play in the snow a little in the nearby mountains. It rarely snows in Seattle, so even though it’s only 45 minutes away, it still feels special. —Naomi Tomky, freelance food and travel writer
Plan a local excursion and become inspired by the beauty that surrounds you. Gift one of the Audubon Society Field Guides (one of my mother’s very favorite go-to gifts) and embark on a nature walk with a perfectly packed picnic filled with pre-made personal lunch sacks and your favorite bottle of wine. —Bronson Van Wyck, event designer and author of Born to Party, Forced to Work
Create new traditions
As a Brit based in Los Angeles, we’ll sadly not be making it home for Christmas this year. Instead we’ll head to the beach for a bracing cold-water swim—a family “tradition” that we first instigated over Thanksgiving this year. It feels like this fits somewhere between the icy swims on Christmas Day that happen across the U.K. and summer celebrations on Sydney’s Bondi Beach. We’ll go to Point Dume, a rocky bluff and marine reserve in Malibu, where we’ve never not seen bottlenose dolphins close to the beach, and can sometimes spot grey whales moving south for the winter. —Sam Highly, founder of All Roads North
My schedule is hectic before the holidays, but I always find time to bake with my kids and make our favorites—salted brown butter cookies, Pepparkakor (Swedish ginger cookies), and the best sea salt caramels. On Christmas morning, I’ll order a traditional Dresden Stollen from Balthazar for everyone to indulge in. —Ulla Johnson, fashion designer
I love playing the ukulele and our family loves singing Christmas carols. This season will be a little different—instead of walking around the neighborhood, our family plans on spreading Christmas cheer through Zoom and FaceTime videos. —Sheldon Simeon, chef
Put a Christmas record on the turntable or queue up a holiday Spotify playlist. There are some great collections out there, and even though I hate being forced to hear holiday music in retail stores right after Halloween, I really love hearing Odetta’s Christmas Spirituals while drinking wine and making a special dinner, or Vince Guiraldi’s O Tannenbaum on a quiet morning. If not now, when? —Liz Lambert, principal, Lambert McGuire Design, and founder of Bunkhouse Hotels
I haven’t seen my family in nine months and neither has my son, who’s two, and not being able to see them for the holidays is crushing. To bring a bit of home (Chicago) and my Filipino culture to our holidays, I’m starting a tradition of making dumplings for Thanksgiving. My mother always made pancit molo, Filipino wonton soup, with shrimp and chicken. I’ll make that this year with my family, and have my son help make the dumplings. —Dale Talde, chef at Goosefeather at the Tarrytown House Estate, New York
We always go see the Nutcracker and make a huge, festive outing out of it. Regardless of the city, we go big. In New York, it of course meant dressing up and going to Lincoln Center, with pre-ordered treats for the kids at intermission, which they think is so classy, and Champagne for me. Last year we saw the Oregon Ballet Theatre perform it in Portland and then went out for an insane Russian meal at Kachka. This time, we’re going to keep the tradition alive, just in new ways. I’ve purchased a few traditional nutcrackers to decorate, I’m trying to get my hands on the 1977 version of the ballet where Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland danced, I’m ordering Champagne, I’m buying smoked fish and caviar to make blinis with all of the fixings (chopped eggs, dill, crème fraiche, red onion…), and of course, we’ll be in velvet and silk, channeling 1890s St. Petersburg. —Rebecca Misner, west coast editor
The holiday season this year comes with a silver lining. As whenever pushed out of our comfort zones, it is an invitation to reflect, reconnect, and even shed what needs shedding—it is a time to send love not only to loved ones, but moreover to yourself. There is no better way to do this than a fire ritual and perhaps even a rite of passage, where you can write down and then burn anything you want to shed, closing a door on the life that has been up to now, while opening up for the beauty ahead. —Anna Bjurstam, creator of the Wellness Programming at Six Senses New York
One of my last big trips before the pandemic was taking my pseudo in-laws on a surprise vacation to Las Vegas. Since we won’t be able to see them this Christmas, I made them a custom Article Uprising hardcover photo book to help remember our trip—and hopefully inspire future travel plans. —A.H.
This holiday season is a great time to consider fostering a pet from your local shelter. Since we’ll all be traveling less, it’s the perfect time to take in a cat or dog (or two or three!) in need of a home. As the weather gets colder, shelters are working extra hard to get strays off the frigid streets. I’m fostering three sweet kitties and it’s been such a fun and enriching experience. —Vanessa Pham, co-founder of Omsom
Friendsgiving has been the name of the celebration for me in Paris for many years. This year, the tradition is obviously disrupted—Paris is still in a “light” lockdown, which prohibits gatherings of any kind outside of our own homes. Not one to cook an entire feast on my own, I’ve outsourced to a restaurant in Paris, Sunday in Soho, that could really use the support. I also ordered a vegan pumpkin pie to try from Izzy’s Paris whose co-founder, Allison Kave, is something of a pie expert: She co-owns Butter & Scotch in Brooklyn. Beyond the food, I plan to wear something special (more than pajamas, at the very least!), set a nice table, and put on music to make it feel festive. It won’t be the same, but I can still be intentional about seizing the opportunity to celebrate the little things in a year that has been so very trying. —Lindsey Tramuta, Traveler contributor and author of The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris
This pandemic has taught us how to truly cherish L.A. and become tourists in our own city. While we usually fly to New York for the holidays, this year we’ve decided to rent a beach house in Malibu and celebrate by the ocean for a few days. Soaking up the winter sun and building bonfires in the sand will definitely become a new family tradition. —Dominique Olowolafe, CEO and founder of Lightly
I am normally one to evangelize the new, and [experiences] laced with curiosity, discovery, and exploration, but this year I’m advocating for the comfort and familiarity of the tried and true. What are the activities, rituals, food, and drink that are deeply embedded in comfort and joy? How can you bring that into this holiday season in a meaningful way? The tradition that we are upholding this year is to honor slowing down, with craft, and care as the tenets of our Thanksgiving—that is, wherever possible, to make things from scratch. Just the five of us, we will spend Wednesday in the kitchen, doing all the prep and cooking, including setting the table, so on Thanksgiving, we can do our morning hike and then just truly enjoy the meal. —Luis Vargas, founder of Modern Adventure
Abuse Facetime. Make a schedule and block off time with those you know you’ll be hurting for. Maybe it’s: I’m going to do appetizers with this group of people, I’m going to do my main dinner with this group of people. Make cocktails, and do it with a person on the other end. —Jessica Nabongo, founder of Jet Black and blogger at The Catch Me If You Can
Rethink your home
We tend to get pretty granular about our music playlists at Ace. For the holiday season, we’ve settled on a universal crowd pleaser: 1973’s A Motown Christmas compilation. We’ll put that album on at home and dance around while I unpack all of the cozy stuff I’d put away over the summer. Ace recently released a new collaboration with Pendleton called the Wavy Blanket—it’s been great for staying warm during socially distanced backyard hangs. —Julie Saunders, head of global marketing, Atelier Ace
Now that I’m working from home full time, I’m decorating parts of the house I hadn’t considered before—especially my guest bedroom turned home office. I bought a Christmas tree (decorated with a 2020 dumpster fire ornament, naturally), strung lights on my bulletin board, and swapped my regular plants for a poinsettia. The real indulgence is lighting a balsam-scented candle—something that would be strictly banned in the office. —Valerie Marino, contributor
My gift to myself this year is to invest in anything that saves me time, and my best recent purchase is the iRobot. We set it to vacuum weekly, so now we only have to hand-vacuum the hardest to reach spots. Truly the gift that keeps giving. —S.W.
Being snowbound in Minnesota, winter is particularly long and harsh—often six months, with snowfall between 36 and 70 inches. Because I can’t spend my discretionary income on travel this year, I’m investing in purchases big and small to lessen the winter doldrums. This includes splurging on a new 55-inch 4K UHD TV set (all the better for watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in exquisite remastered detail), the world’s coziest wool slippers, an array of holiday candles (Diptyque’s Moonlight Fir is a gift to the senses), the most sumptuous hand cream for combating winter skin, and a whole bunch of Winsor & Newton oil paints—’cause there’s never been a better time than right now to start a new hobby. —A.H.
This year, for the first time, I won’t be heading back to the U.K. to spend Christmas with my family. My holiday plans are going to be very different and much smaller, so I think this is the perfect time to get fancy. Use your best china and glassware, get out your favorite tablecloth, and add candles at varying heights, from elegant tapers to tea lights scattered across the table. Of course, beautiful flowers always make everything seem very special—I like to have multiple smaller vases on the table to both make room for dishes and to not block anyone sitting across the table from each other. —Emily Mathison, creative director of McQueens Flowers New York
These are some weird and funky times, so I take every opportunity for self-love. My favorite indulgence as of late: I invested in what I call a “Rihanna robe”—a thick, plush Turkish cotton bathrobe that I imagine Rihanna rocks around her house in heels and a glass of red wine. We’re spending a lot more time at home, so treat yourself to something comforting, yet a little decadent! —K.P.
Most people will be traveling short distances this holiday season—from the bedroom to the living room and back again!—but you can still bring the excitement of travel into your life in small and easy ways. Here’s a fun tip: I’ve started breaking up the large bouquets that sit in the front hall and the dining table and using some of my favorite Paul Arnhold glassware from Brooklyn to make small bouquets on bedside tables. It’s a simple luxury and a beautiful thing to see when you wake up. —Lizzie Tisch, chief curator, of LTD by Lizzie Tisch
This is a moment for creativity, not so much in terms of decor or design, but in improvising in a way that is fun, safer, and hopefully, not banal. Drinks and grateful fellowship will be in the orchard around our wonderful (COVID-inspired) fire pit, which features site-made log seats with beautiful backs, before Thanksgiving dinner in the garage, with the doors open to the fresh air. It will still be festive, with candles everywhere, the tables dressed with my beautiful Portuguese tablecloths, and the chairs sporting deep orange and white chinoiserie fabric from my collection in partnership with Holland & Sherry. [There will be] good food, nice wines and lots of laughter. It’s just the medicine we all need today: the love of family and friends. —Alexandra Champalimaud, founder and president of Champalimaud Design
Many of my favorite designers throughout Latin America now ship to the U.S. I [plan to] splurge and treat myself by buying plates from the Anfora Cabo collection to make my holiday meals feel extra special, with a bit of wanderlust. —Katalina Mayorga, founder of El Camino Travel and owner of Casa Violeta
Candles. A fire in the fireplace. There’s nothing better than warming up the lighting in a room to make it feel special—hang some string lights, attached to a dimmer. Even twinkle lights have their place during the holiday season. I [also] love using garlands for holiday decorating, because it’s easier than a tree (you can use them on the banister or around the door or on the fireplace), and still get the scent of fresh pine or cedar. Your local garden center usually has strands of 25 – 75 foot newly cut garlands. I have also been known to cut branches of berries from trees in the park, to put in a vase at home. —L.L.
Go all out on decorations
I usually go home to the Jersey Shore for the holidays. Locals truly get in the spirit by painting clam shells green and laying them in the sand to form a Christmas tree. One man always puts a live Christmas tree in the rocks on the jetty and decorates it with fishing lures—and Santa is always keeping watch from a lifeguard tower. Since I won’t be able to make the trip this year, I’m channeling the beach vibes in the mountains of Colorado and have topped my tree with a giant starfish and hung seashells from bows, and I decorated my gingerbread men and ladies in board shorts and bikinis. —Jen Murphy, contributor
This year I bought my parents and myself matching Cody Foster & Co. Dr. Fauci ornaments for our trees. You know that inspirational quote about how even when we’re apart, we’re all staring at the same moon? This is my Christmas version of that. —Julie Vadnal, writer and founder of the Jules newsletter
Nothing will make the little ones in your life feel more excited than their very own Christmas tree. Select all the toys and animals from your home ornament collection or create a themed tree of a favorite sport or book—everyone will go wild for a Madeline or Where the Wild Things Are tree! —B.V.W.
This might be the year I really go all-out with the holiday decor. I’m rethinking garlands and lights (and where they might possibly hang in my Brooklyn apartment), as well as one creative approach to my tree: Making it travel-themed. I saw the idea making its way around the internet, and was hooked. I’ll make or use ornaments that commemorate beloved trips. And once I can travel more widely, I’ll prioritize buying a new ornament in each place I go. —C.Q.
Reconnect with past travels
I love collecting mailing addresses from new friends I’ve met during my travels around the world and sending them handwritten holiday cards with a little message reminiscing about our adventure. In this day and age of pre-printed cards and text greetings, there’s something so powerful about knowing something I held in my hand is now in the hands of someone so far away that I once shared such an amazing experience with. Bonus: Support the USPS! —Rachel Chang, contributor
To do something special for the holidays, we’re encouraging people to connect with destinations they hope to visit someday. Wildlife Conservation Network is a way to discover individual conservationists around the world and support community-led projects that protect endangered wildlife. They host TED Talk-style events where you can learn about conservation work, and donors can specify which program receives 100 percent of their funds on their website. We also recommend checking out Fairtrade products from places on their bucket list. —Jeremy Townsend, marketing director at Next Adventure
This winter, I’m forgoing traditional holiday cards for the postcards and stationary I’ve acquired on my travels. I’m selecting a specific destination for each of my family members and dedicating my inscription toward a trip we should take together post-pandemic. My brother studied abroad in Kathmandu, so I’m writing his card on Nepalese rice paper from Dwarikas Resort, with the promise that we’ll return to Nepal together when borders safely re-open. And I’m giving my Bob Marley-obsessed father a print from the legendary Strawberry Hill Hotel (where the Stones also recorded)—hopefully, the two of us will be up in those Blue Mountains one day soon. —Katherine Parker-Magyar, freelance travel and culture writer
Send a holiday care package to loved ones. Build the package around the theme of the next locale you want to explore together. If a Scandinavian trek is at the top of your list, include a pair of stoneware mugs and Rene Redzepi’s Noma cookbook to keep their kitchen busy and their bellies full all winter long. Don’t forget a few sentimental items, like a framed photo from a past journey together and a handwritten note. —B.V.W.
And finally, fix yourself a drink
Bars like Dukes in London and the Polo Bar in New York City make perfect martinis, but there’s no reason you can’t master making your own while you’re at home for the holidays. It’s simple, really. Put your 4-ounce martini glass and your gin in the freezer several hours before you plan on making your cocktail, then take them out when it’s time, pour a little extra-dry vermouth in the glass, swirl it to coat the sides of the glass and then dump it out. Pour in the frozen gin, cut a generous lemon twist (no pigtail curly Qs that look nice but do nothing), squeeze the twist skin-side toward the surface of the drink to release its oil, brush the lip of the glass with the twist and drop it in. Boom! You have the perfect martini. If that’s too strong for you, you can pour gin and a drop of vermouth into a mixing glass over ice, stir for a minute to make it ice cold, then strain it into your chilled glass. Squeeze the twist, brush the lip, and drop it in. Boom again! A slightly diluted but just as perfect martini. And if you like vodka martinis, now’s the time to teach yourself to like gin martinis because, my friend, a gin martini is a real martini. —Paul Feig, actor, filmmaker, and Artingstall’s Brilliant London Dry Gin maker
One of the silver linings I have found with having a little more time at home this holiday season is that I’ve been able to delve into many different types of creative projects. One of my most memorable holiday moments has been in the kitchen spending time with family. I [recently] had the chance to work with chef Dani Garcia to try one of his famous Mediterranean recipes paired with my tequila Villa One—we co-hosted the virtual Taste of sbe, creating a meal and sharing a toast of Villa One Tequila with everyone tuning in. —Nick Jonas, singer and actor
Wine is best shared with friends, family, and our communities. With the pandemic creating a void in these important human connections, there has never been a better time to be intentional about which wines we share this holiday season. There are a handful of impact wines that aim to foster socioeconomic empowerment among disadvantaged communities. Our high-elevation wines drive sustainable development in Bolivia, Kitá Wines seeks to empower Native American winemakers, and the remarkable McBride Sisters seek to build communities through wine. If you’re like me and my wife, I suspect you’ve opened a few more bottles of wine than usual this year. So, consider throwing in a few impact wines into your rotation. Or, as we like to say, do good by drinking good juice. —Ramon Escobar, Founder, Chufly Imports
Let’s face it: This has been a challenging year for most. So for gifts, I sent my family and friends the chicest cocktail kits from Dante, as I figured we could all use a drink or two. It comes with several of their delicious cocktails already made, such as a gingerbread negroni and a toffee apple Manhattan. I made sure to treat myself to a kit as well. —J.C.
If I think of a festive cocktail, especially this year, I think of one that honors two very important places. Lake Como, where I was born, and London, my current home. I will be raising a glass to my friends and family from both countries with a cocktail inspired by both these places. Classic London gin, blended with sweet Italian vermouth, adding mandarin leaves and cocoa husk for sweet herbaceous notes. It’s a simple recipe filled with flavor. Just stir ingredients and pour over ice in a highball and top up with champagne for that celebratory touch. —Ago Perrone, director of mixology at The Connaught Bar in London
Vermont is one of my favorite places in the world, especially during the winter months—early morning ski runs at Sugarbush, dinner at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, cozy fireside cocktails at the Pitcher Inn in Warren. The state’s COVID-19 travel restrictions are going to make it pretty difficult for me to visit this winter, so I’ve stocked up on plenty of Vermont farm-to-bottle WhistlePig rye whiskey, so I can have a taste of Vermont while safe and sound at home in Massachusetts.” —Todd Plummer, contributor
My family usually does mimosas on Christmas morning, but this year I’m doing my own twist, using blood orange juice instead. It’s modeled after a delicious version I’ve had during brunch at Newport’s Castle Inn. A simple change, but it makes all the difference. —J.P.
This holiday season will certainly be a bit different and your celebrations may be much much smaller, but you can still be festive. At Leyenda, we are selling gift baskets full of pre mixed cocktails, my book, Spirits of Latin America, and festive cocktails with awesome glassware. But if you can’t get to Leyenda, you can probably get to your favorite bar: a lot of bars in the country are offering cocktails to go, so go support your local establishments. Lastly, if you’re just depending on the USPS to deliver your goods, I recommend going online to buy some festive glassware—it’s bound to make your whiskey that much better. —Ivy Mix, owner of Brooklyn’s Leyenda and author of Spirits of Latin America
If quarantine has taught me anything, it’s the value of taking cocktail hour seriously, even if it’s happening in your own kitchen. I’m not knocking drinking wine in your sweats, but after nine months at home, the extra effort required to fix yourself a fantastic martini (or two), with a little music and no blaring Netflix, makes all the difference. My greatest holiday tip is to lean into the spirit of that: I’m stocking up on a new set of coupe glasses, fancy Spanish queen olives, a bottle of Dolin vermouth, and the nicest gin I can find in my neighborhood. On the nights before Thanksgiving and Christmas, when I would usually be with having cocktails with family and friends, I’ll at least have the drinks covered. —M.S.
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