Entertain your holiday guests with the Grinch

“You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch”.  You can barely utter the phrase without singing the melody first heard during the 1966 television adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic.  “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” has been adapted for film three times since its first publication in 1957, most recently by Illumination and Universal Pictures. 2018 marks the 61st Christmas that the Grinch will attempted to steal.  
This year we raise our glass to the original Grinch, and anyone accused of being a Grinch with the Grinch Cocktail!
I have already stumbled upon It's a Wonderful Life while channel surfing, no sight of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer yet.  To me, the Christmas season doesn't officially start until I see an angry green creature dressed up as Santa Claus sliding down chimneys to steal toys.  
Despite being the third version of the story on film, the current Grinch film topped the box office sales figures during its opening weekend with $67 million.  What makes this character so enduring?
It's simple.  There's a little bit of Grinch in nearly everyone.  Some more than others, but at some point during the holiday season you may feel a bit Grinch-like and that's perfectly fine.  You don't have to “steal Christmas” to be called a Grinch.  Some of us are simply less enthusiastic about the holidays for any number of reasons, and there is nothing wrong with that. There's one in every crowd, I suppose.
Lucky for those of us that may be aiming to merely endure the holiday season as opposed to enjoying it, there is a Grinch Cocktail.  It's green, it's bittersweet, and it tastes nothing like Christmas.  Christmas cocktails typically load up on nutmeg, peppermint, chocolate, and/or coffee flavors.  Not this one, this cocktail is the anti-Christmas just like the real Grinch.
One common theme among portrayals of the Grinch is that he is always green.  The shades of green vary, but he is green.  I am a classic Grinch man, myself.  The bright green animated Grinch from the 1966 television special is still my favorite and likely the version preferred by most of us “grownups”.
The Grinch Cocktail must be green.  When you need a green drink, you need Midori.  What is Midori? Midori is a muskmelon liqueur of Japanese origin.  Midori was manufactured exclusively in Japan from its launch in 1978 until 1987 but the spirit is now distilled worldwide and is found behind nearly every commercial bar.  
You may not reach for it every day, but Midori is a widely used mixer and would be a great addition to any home bar.  
Midori is used almost exclusively as a mixer due to its sweetness.  In most recipes using muskmelon liqueur you will find some sour citrus to balance the sweetness.  In the Grinch Cocktail we will use fresh lemon juice to cut the overly sweet notes of muskmelon.  
The Grinch Cocktail is essentially a Midori Sour.  Anything labeled a “sour”, whether it be a Gin Sour, Whiskey Sour, Amaretto Sour, will contain spirt/lemon juice/sugar.  Notice that a true sour uses lemon juice.  Even though lime is also sour, a cocktail is not a sour without lemon juice.  
There are many variations of the Grinch Cocktail recipe floating around out in cyberspace. Nearly all of them are Midori-based because as mentioned earlier, it has to be green.
This one is easy to make.  Add Midori, lemon juice, and simple syrup to your shaker and shake with ice.  As long as you use fresh lemon juice this one is easy to make as it is to enjoy.
Aside from fresh lemon juice, use a simple syrup that is equal parts cane sugar and water.  Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week so do not be afraid to make a larger batch than you will need for the evening.  
You can make a richer syrup for cocktails, but I stick to equal parts sugar/water.  I heat one cup of water to near boiling, then stir in one cup of sugar until dissolved and allow to cool.  Done.
The muskmelon notes give this one a unique flavor that everyone at the Christmas party will enjoy, even the Clark Griswold types.
The Grinch Cocktail is built in a shaker and served in a cocktail (Martini) glass.
Fill shaker with ice, then add:
2 oz. Midori
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. simple syrup
Shake well and strain     into chilled glass
Garnish with maraschino cherry
Did you know that Tony the Tiger sang “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the 1966 animated TV special?  The song was written by Dr. Seuss, but sung by iconic American voice actor, Thurl Ravenscroft.  The Norfolk, Nebraska native was the booming voice of Kellogg's Tony the Tiger for more than five decades and also worked on several Disney projects.  
Ravenscroft passed away in 2005 at age 91 following a 65 year career behind the microphone, often uncredited.  
Until next week, enjoy responsibly.