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Recipe Book Drowns Holiday Strife in Booze

Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Updated: Thursday, December 1, 2011 17:12

Dysfucntional Family

The family that drinks together, stays together?

There is nothing like the holidays to bring families together. There's also nothing like the holidays to drive us mad. Though we love our crazy kin, family gatherings can really bring out the "dysfunctional" in the people closest to us.

Surviving the holidays can sometimes be a feat on its own.

Author Marcia Skinner, knows this all too well. One fateful Christmas Eve dinner, her own mother went off the deep end and just lost it on everyone at the dinner table. In order to cope with the situation, Skinner enlisted the help of her daughter, Amber Skinner, and sister-in-law, Catherine Kitcho, and together the three put together "The Dysfunctional Family Drink Book," a collection of 76 originally crafted cocktails, each complete with a recipe and one of their personal, "dysfunctional" family stories.

"Sometimes during these dysfunctional family situations, all you can do is laugh – or drink. In our family, we like to do both," Marcia said in a press release. "I thought; why not create a book with humor and cocktail recipes that other dysfunctional families can relate to? So, we did."

The event that triggered the idea, now referred to as "The Christmas Eve Massacre of 2004" is also the name of the signature cocktail in the book. All of the drinks featured have equally apt names like "Family Feud Fizz," "Sibling Rivalry," "Unrelenting Guilt" and "Don't Make Me Stop This Car".

Every cocktail in the book was created by the three women, as they spent days together experimenting with new concoctions. The result was a number of original drink recipes as well as some twists on old favorites, Amber Skinner said. "One of my favorites is the ‘New Fashioned,' a twist on the ‘Old Fashioned,'" she said.

The book is primarily considered to be a drink recipe book but as tasty as the drinks recipes may be, "The Dysfunctional Family Drink Book" also makes for a humorous read, Amber said.

The stories are a look at some classic family scenarios that we may be all too familiar with. Whether it is a fight between siblings or a verbal lashing from grandma, the very tongue-in-cheek retelling of them may make you look back at your own family's stories with a chuckle.

"It's a good look on taking some really uncomfortable family situations – be what they may – and giving them a twist so you can see the lighter side of it," Amber said. "At the end of the day, they're your family and there is no getting rid of them, so you should make the best of what you have."

This Saturday, Bookmans in Mesa will host a signing with Mesa based author, Amber Skinner. The event is being treated as a cross-promotion for Bookman's new café, so in harmony with that, Amber and her aunt, Kitcho, have created a few non-alcoholic coffee drinks, pulled from their book, for the café and for everyone to sample at the event.

As for future plans to work together; the authors are already planning a "Use it Up Drink Book" which will feature drink recipes made from leftover items you have no real use for.


Bookmans, 1056 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa, 480.835.0505, Saturday, December 3, 2 p.m., free

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