I read somewhere that the World Happiness Report recently named Finland the ‘happiest country on earth.’
This must have come as quite a blow to Walt Disney.
In case you’re wondering if the World Happiness Report is an actual thing, I already checked - it is. And also the people who put it together feel you should avoid Africa at all costs if you want any joy in your life whatsoever.
As someone with a 2 degree window of happiness (which falls narrowly between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit), I couldn’t figure out how the fuck a country that is predominantly icebound during the winter months made it to the top of the list.
Nancy must have been trying to figure it out as well because pretty soon she sends me this text:
Nancy: "Forget mindfulness meditation. The Finnish have a relaxation technique that involves getting drunk in your underwear."
I forgot that her mom is half Finnish. Which makes Nancy part Finnish as well, though now I’m starting to question her lineage since the only time she isn’t freezing is when the temperature is only slightly hotter than the fires of hell.
I text her back:
Me: See? This is why Finland is the happiest country on earth - “Finns have a self care practice called kalsarikänni - or päntsdrunk - which literally means ‘drinking at home, alone, in your underwear’’’ - you realize what this means, right?! I’M A TRENDSETTER.
Nancy: What?? You’re not even Finnish.
Me: I’ll bet if I took a DNA test we’d find out that my Swiss-Dutch ancestors probably slept with a lot of Finns before migrating to North America - I can feel it - these are my PEOPLE.
Because I'm happy (clap along)...
As it turns out päntsdrunk is not only a nationally celebrated pastime, but it’s also official foreign policy in Finland - in 2015 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched two emojis of a man and a woman sitting at home drinking in their underwear to represent Finnish culture.
Did you catch that? THERE ARE OFFICIAL PÄNTSDRUNK EMOJIS!!
I’m guessing Nancy felt I needed to shore up my päntsdrunk skills so she ordered me this book that teaches you how to take it to the next level.
The author - Miska Rantanen - is the director of the Norra Haga Party Central Institute and now I’m trying to figure out how to get a job as a päntsdrunk historian.
tl;dr: I’m moving to Finland.
So where does this leave things?
Right now we’re in Florida relaxing at Nancy’s parents’ new
resort and spa home in Miromar Lakes, which means it’s time for holiday cocktails!
Because there’s nothing better than using extended family for test subjects when you’re trying out a new recipe. Kippis!
Teamwork makes the dream work.
I’d love it if you’d make a cocktail for yourself, too, and join me in the Unconventional Creative Facebook Group for happy hour.
And while you’re at it, make a second drink for a friend and invite them along. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
THE CANDY CANE COCKTAIL
2 oz. peppermint vodka
2 oz. white Creme de Cacao
1 oz. vanilla-infused simple syrup
1/2 oz. heavy cream (or half-n-half)
Crushed candy canes
Rim a glass with water and roll it in the crushed candy canes. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add the vodka, Creme de Cacao, simple syrup, and cream. Shake well for 30-45 seconds.
Pour in the glass and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Recommendation: Multiply by 10 and make a pitcher. Trust me.