Shrimp Do Not Absorb Alcohol

Sex in the City made cosmos all the rage. I even purchased a beautiful set of etched martini glasses so I could make my very own.

For one holiday celebration—an open house—I mixed up a batch of Pom-itinis for my friend. Pomegranate juice, simple syrup, an orange liquor and lots of vodka combined for a fragrant and fabulous cocktail. They had these delicate twists of orange zest as a garnish and were a lovely balance of tart and sweet. However, Pom-itinis went straight from an empty stomach to the head.

Everyone was sipping and munching as the early afternoon wore on, but there was a big difference for me. I wasn’t munching, only sipping. Those gorgeous canapés all had gluten. The lovely little puff pastry shells filled with salmon, those crostini topped with a bruschetta, the mini lamb burgers, the chicken skewers with a mystery dipping sauce….everything looked and smelled delicious and everything was off limits. I could eat the shrimp and the crudités platter.

But, I learned the hard way that all those little hors d’ouevres are bread related to absorb the alcohol at cocktail parties. So, I ended up pretty toasted and hoped for some food I could eat as they laid out a spread on the table. No luck, the main “filler” food for the open house….a gorgeous display of wrap sandwiches and then an array of desserts were also off limits. Curses…everything had gluten!

Just to finish the story, I didn’t embarrass myself by falling off my chair or slurring something inappropriate, but I remember participating in conversations with reckless gusto. And I had a killer hangover the next day, just a piercing headache accompanied by cravings for Diet Coke and greasy food.

Like most lessons learned the hard way, I have tried to be proactive about cocktail parties and gatherings. I just assume there will be nothing for me to eat and I eat a bowl of cereal, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a slice of pizza before I go out. The real reason I am there is to see friends, catch up and share some laughs…it’s never really about the food or the cocktail.

I also see the virtue in drinking water or a soda in between the glasses of wine because at this point in my life I don’t need the calories of the bottomless glass and my kids play way too many sports to spend a miserable Sunday on the couch.

As you begin to celebrate the holiday season, fill your tummy before you go out! You do not want to be the drunken buffoon that everyone gossips about the next day. Note to all celiacs, shrimp and carrots do not absorb alcohol!