Looking for something good to drink at Christmas dinner? Tired of wine, ale and spiced cider? Try brown zinfandel.

What is brown zinfandel? It is bourbon or rye whiskey, diluted 2:1 or 3:1. I find myself drinking this with meals more and more often. Essentially, you dilute it down to about the same alcohol level and flavor intensity as wine. Why do I call it "brown zinfandel." Well, the ever-popular white zinfandel is zinfandel but it isn't really white (i.e., clear), and my brown zinfandel is brown but it isn't really zinfandel. Seems fair.

Anyway, just tonight I took some Very Old Barton BIB, poured about three ounces into a 12 ounce glass and filled the rest with cool water. Perfect!

Brown zinfandel is good with anything but is particularly good with grilled meats and anything spicy. It actually tastes a little like unsweetened ice tea.

Next time maybe I'll add a twist of lemon.

This is not really new. People have long drunk "whiskey and water," sometimes even as diluted as I'm suggesting.

I know this may seem like blasphemy to some people, but don't knock it if you haven't tried it.