Holiday Elixirs 2: Sparks, Sangria and Cider

I admit it — I’m no sophisticate with regards to alcohol. My formative drinking years involved coffee tables built entirely of Natty Light 12-packs and garbage can-brewed Jungle Juice. When The Simon enlisted me to talk about the perfect Christmas drink last year, my response was Olde English and Tang.

I still stand by that decision. Unlike fine wine, my bouquet has not mellowed one iota. True, I’ve sipped a variety of the better beverages — bourbon, brandy, a bottle of rum or two and some vino — but the white trash haze in the back of my brain eventually wins out. The drink I’d press into your hands at this year’s holiday festivities? Sparks.

The only preparation needed is for your mind, because it’s about to be blown. Sparks is that rare hybrid of Red Bull and low-grade malt liquor, all in one battery-shaped can. Feeling a little run down? Sparks picks you up and sets your head spinning at the same time. Itching to get toasted but buzz around your posh gathering like a hummingbird? Look no further — Sparks can do it all.

Dress it up with Riedel and be one of the true Cognoscenti. Half the people at my Christmas party did the same when they discovered Sparks was a featured beverage. These people are lawyers, intellectuals and movie moguls… but when push came to shove, they bypassed the chardonnay for a drink you’d be priviledged to find in the sleaziest liquor store.

Maybe they know something you don’t. Throw some Sparks down your gullet and find out.