How to Survive Holiday Party Season

Plus a recipe for the best warm cider.

‘Tis the season to clink champagne glasses, mugs of hot toddys, party bowls filled with eggnog—and hangovers. The trick to a headache-free morning-after? Order some mezcal. Way lower in hangover-triggering sugar and additives, mezcal makes for a sublime sipper. Just ask AdrinAdrina and Elliott Coon, longtime friends and founders of mezcal brand Gem&Bolt—which is infused with a mood-boosting herb called damiana—for tips on how to savor it this winter.

MARIE CLAIRE: So what is mezcal?

ELLIOTT COON: Mezcal is an artisanal product strictly regulated by a governing body underwritten by Mexican law. (Tequila, on the other hand, only has to be 51-percent agave. Supplemental sugars in tequila can come from cane or grains, or from any number of other ways.) They test every single batch, and make sure there are no additives and that it is 100-percent pure agave. Mezcal is pure and clean, and there are no additives getting in the way. Agave sugars are lower on the glycemic index, so they’re much more digestible, and they integrate in the body in a more fluid way, with fewer ups and downs.

ADRINADRINA: Mezcal also connects the heart and the mind, and I can speak to that myself—mezcal helped mend my broken heart.

MC: Why did you decide to infuse the spirit with damiana?

COON: We call it a super herb, because it seems to function as an all-around mood elevator and happiness stimulant. Among those beliefs is that it has a magical delicious property in the bedroom, too. We bundle it all into the term, heart opener.

MC: What’s your drink order?

COON: I love mezcal on the rocks with a bit of bitters and an orange wedge. It’s so classy, and all the flavor profiles come through.

ADRINADRINA: It’s exceptionally delicious with grapefruit juice!


1 ½ oz. Gem&Bolt Mezcal

3 oz. cold pressed apple juice

Deseeded Fresno chili

1 cinnamon stick

Juice of a lemon wedge (about ½ oz.)


Warm the juice, chili, cinnamon in a pot until it just starts to boil. Pour in a mug, add Gem&Bolt and garnish with a lemon rind.