My friend Renee is a licensed therapist. She spends her days listening to all kinds of people and helping them to fix their lives. She is also one of the most practical, down-to-earth and calm people I know. Nothing seems to faze her. If there's ever a gigantic code red disaster near me, I hope Renee's there too. All of these qualities make her really good at listening to her friends and giving them helpful advice.
A couple of days ago she and I were talking on the phone. I was rambling on about an influx from out-of-town family members this week and all of my concerns and anxieties revolving around the visits. The feelings of inadequacy. The apprehension about past transgressions. The embarrassment of now being twice divorced. Renee listened patiently to my stream of pure melodramatic angst, and then she gave her best therapeutic advice.
"Oh, just drink a lot. It's not like they'll think any less of you."
Genius. My worries dissolved, I decided to start right then. This recipe is brought to you thanks to Renee and her very wise counsel.
I give you: Champipple.
Champipple was a drink favored by Fred Sanford from the t.v. show Sanford and Son. He loved to mix his Ripple, which is super cheap fortified wine like Thunderbird, with various other drinks. Mix it with Cream Soda? You get Cripple. Mix it with Beaujolais? You get Beaujolipple. My favorite combination is a classy little number of Ripple mixed with Champagne, also known as Champipple.
These days I don't use Ripple anymore. That's just oh so there's-nothing-to-do-in-Fortuna-when-you're-a-teenager-so-let's-go-get-drunk-at-the-cemetery-and-make-out-with-boys-in-black-eyeliner, and I'm over those days. Mostly.
So instead I use a cheap red wine, usually leftover from a few nights ago and forgotten on the counter, and an even cheaper champagne.
First pour the champagne into a great big goblet, and then pour the wine on top. I like to use about 7/8 champagne and 1/8 red wine because I really just want a blush of color and a hint of merlot flavor. Big Hands prefers more of a half-and-half mixture because he's sophisticated that way.
Toast, sip, gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Repeat.
Proceed to making prank phone calls (Don't forget to hit *67 to block your number from caller i.d. first. It's not the 80's anymore, damn it.), doing the Thriller dance and making out at the cemetery of your choice. I highly recommend the one on Rohnerville Road.