A few months ago, hanging out with your family during the holidays seemed like a wonderful idea. Aunt Whoever would make that thing she makes, your other Uncle Whatshisface would fall asleep in a rocking chair and fart so loud it made a cat hiss; everything would be great. Then, you actually went home, said the wrong thing about Duck Dynasty and now the whole house is a festering mess of stewing emotions and bad politics. It's time for a drink.

Thankfully, Los Angeles has no shortage of places to hide out from the family and tie one on, even during the holidays. Obviously, option No. 1 involves zipping into some adult-sized footie pajamas, strapping on one of those wine bras and falling face first into a tri-blend popcorn tin, but Santa's a real hard-ass and since you haven't been that good this year, you don't always get exactly what you want. Thankfully, there's option No. 2: a pre-noon whiskey tasting on Dec. 26, at Santa Anita Park.

While the event is “technically” to celebrate the opening of another fine year of Santa Anita horse racing, its true purpose is crystal clear. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., guests — who have happily plunked down $150 for the right to not be at a coffee table with their parents arguing over a three-letter word for chewable breath-freshener — will be able to enjoy unlimited tastings of a variety of fine whiskeys. Oh, and if you need to lighten things up for a bit, you can switch to prosecco.

The whole thing is happening in the recently revamped Chandelier Room at Santa Anita, and if that sounds classy, it's because it is. No footie pajamas allowed in here. But with the glitz and glamour comes a full spread to soak up all the whiskey, live music and a full bar.

Best of all, the $150 price tag includes a commemorative flask, which means you can eventually return home, loaded up with more booze to get you through the rest of your time at home. Then, 364 short days later, it's time to do it all again. Happy holidays!

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Farley Elliott writes about food, drink and entertainment at OverOverUnder.com.

LA Weekly