Back at Work

It’s Monday, December 28th, and there are two kinds of people in this world: those back at work, and those staying home. It’s a sharp, harsh division, with some of us angrily muttering in the dark to get ready while a loved one (or not-so-loved one today) eases into the second phase of an awesome dream about riding in a speedboat with Spiderman.

To ease the inevitable, and huge, impending conflict, we’ve come up with (moderate) drinking strategies to keep both parties happy. Whether destiny’s decided you’re meant to sleep or struggle today, you can decide how to toast fate.

If You’re Back at Work

Sad at Work

MORNING: Clearly, coffee to start. But not just burnt Starbucks or a deli “milk and 2 sugars” today. Get something luxurious—insofar as your morning coffee routine allows it. Some kind of high-chemical totally coffee-inappropriate flavoring (blueberry actually works strangely well). Maybe a decent latte, or dive into the flat white trend. Whatever you’re drinking to caffeinate, just make sure it’s got a sprinkling of cinnamon or a cloud of whipped cream.

MIDDAY: OK, we’re gonna be real here. You’re at work sorting through Excel tabs or dealing with retail madness. Meanwhile, at least one of your friends is re-watching Lost to see if she missed any clues. A midday beer break is not out of the question. But only if your job does not involve heavy machinery, surgery, driving, or yeah anything else that proscribes intoxication. A good time to try a Winter Warmer, unless of course it’s 70 degrees where you are, in which case something a bit less rich and spicy—moderate alcohol, though, since you’re going back to work.

EVENING: You should absolutely try to leave work early today, but if you can’t, since fate hates you, why not treat yourself to a classic cocktail on the way home? Yes, your partner or friend or parent or dog is currently, eagerly anticipating having someone to talk to after 8 hours of Netflix, but dammit, you want a Negroni and some smooth jazz.

If You Have the Week Off

Happy at Home

“MORNING”: We put that in quotes, because chances are you’re waking up at noon, and bless you. When you do finally wake up, you luxuriate, and help yourself to some champion’s hot cocoa (like normal hot cocoa, except you’re not necessarily wearing pants—in which case make sure it’s not too hot). If it’s after 11am (it is, you devil), it’s probably OK to rationalize a slightly sinful, slightly boozy hot chocolate variation. (Assuming, once more, your day off does not involve heavy machinery, surgery, driving, Facebook, etc.)

MIDDAY: Staying home from work is basically like having one long midday, minus Maury Povich and the pit of emptiness that follows watching too much Maury Povich. By 2pm, you’ll have decided you’re not gonna finish Master of None today. Even though you’re so excited for Aziz Ansari’s Golden Globe nomination, it’s your week off, and you can’t ask so much work of yourself. Instead, you’ve decided to invite some friends over, and not only because you’ve begun talking to your cat (real or imagined). Since all the week-offers are winners, might as well dive into luxury, meaning forget Ritz and beer and go for a full-on tapas spread. Some jamón, Manchego, briny, oily olives, boquerones*. And yes, a nice Spanish wine, maybe a crisp white Albarino, or some other lesser-known Spanish wine, since you’re on a journey of discovery this week.

*Oh and since you’re not going out, make sure your friends can stop at a gourmet market.

EVENING: You wake up at 6pm, because you hear keys in the door. First thing to do is grab a beanie or leftover Santa hat, because you have not combed your hair and have, in fact, been sleeping like a baby for 75% of the day. Next, welcome your friend, partner, angry roommate in with a big, sweatshirty hug, and then pull out that surprise bottle of Champagne (or Crémant) you stole from your office party last week. This should keep the peace until tomorrow, when you may actually have to go out (PJs and boots are just fine) to buy some more “Sorry you have to uphold the economy while I revisit my Roger Rabbit skills” wine.