Like so many, Sophia Bush is adjusting her holiday plans amid the ongoing pandemic.
“This year it’s certainly different. We generally spend Thanksgiving with my whole family and we can’t do that this year. I think everyone’s kind of in that boat. Trying to figure out if they’re even going to see their families beyond whoever it is that you live with in your own home,” Bush, 38, exclusively told Us Weekly. “It’s so weird this year because we just can’t do things we normally do. I have a big blended family and so normally we are together for Hanukkah and Christmas and all the days in-between. It’s a lot of rotating around to everyone’s houses and celebrating all of the holidays right up to the new year.”
Although she’s not seeing her extended family, the activist is coming up with creative new ways to keep in touch.
“I don’t quite know how it’s going to go, although my cousin Jenna did promise that she would still make latkes and would drop them off at my house and leave them on the front porch. So I’m really, really looking forward to them even if I can’t go to her house and eat them with her and her family and her kids,” she explained. “You know, we’re rolling with it. We’re really figuring out how to make our traditions work across these sort of safety barriers.”
She added: “I have been seeing my parents solely because my isolation plan in L.A. has been pretty strict and we are really lucky that in California we have really readily available testing. But we’re certainly not doing any major gatherings or anything for the holidays.”
Bush, who loves to roast chicken for her loved ones, will instead be sending out a thoughtful gift to her relatives.
“Thanks to my pals at Johnnie Walker, I am sending some cocktail kits to some family members so that they can make my old-fashioned even though I won’t be there with them,” she told Us. “It’s a stranger, new season for all of us but I think there’s little ways to figure out how to be present even while we have to be apart.”
The One Tree Hill star is an ambassador for the brand. “[I’m just] such a fan. I’ve been a woman who loves whiskey for a long time and actually even in my early 20s there was a group of friends and I who would run these ‘Women Who Whiskey’ social gathering nights in New York,” she recalled. “It’s just always been such a sort of celebratory part of my life and I think it felt both exciting and flattering when I first got into talks with the brand in working with them because historically spirits brands have often been represented by men. And it’s really nice to be adding some ladies into the mix.”
For Bush, she’s “always been an old-fashioned girl.”
“That’s always been my No. 1. And I honestly make a really mean old-fashioned,” she said, laughing. “It’s one of those things that, yes, it’s always on rotation at my place.”
“It felt so timely to me and then it was really exciting in sitting down with everybody at the brand and being able to speak to some of the blenders and working with leadership on the team like Sophie Kelly to really learn about the history of Johnnie Walker,” Bush explained to Us of her involvement. “To know that over half of their master blenders are women. To hear about the legacy of women like Emma Walker. There is so much incredible female history in this brand and it felt like time to highlight that. I think so often whiskey can be thought of as a man’s drink. … Back in the day when we could go outside to order an old-fashioned at the bar and have some guy go, ‘Oh, who is that for?’ Like, ‘OK, you’re so funny and also it’s for me.’ So I think it’s actually really amazing to be able to kind of let people in on the history of the brand. To let them know that it’s really been such an incredible collaboration by unbelievable men and women for generations. And it feels really cool to be part of this. To be part of launching Jane. And to really be expanding people’s understanding of the story.”
Bush goes more in depth about the brand in The Man Who Walked Around the World. The documentary, which debuted on Discovery Network earlier this month, explores the 200-year history of Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whiskey.
“There are all sorts of things that make these lasting impressions on us as people, whether it’s a brand or a film or a book. There are things that just feel iconic. That you kind of never forget. And for me, Johnnie Walker has always felt like that. It’s just one of those brands that you just know and you see around and it reminds you of all these sort of periods throughout history that feel nostalgic and a little romantic as well,” Bush told Us. “And I think it’s a really impressive thing when a brand is able to cultivate that kind of sentiment among people because we’re all sentimental about films and books because we have personal experiences with them and they are also beautifully written or incredibly directed. So if a thing, an item, a spirit is able to create that same kind if impression it really speaks to the story that it tells and the way that it becomes part of people’s lives. Us as whiskey drinkers or consumers. I think when a brand is able to make a mark like that it’s something that I’m really impressed by.”
As so many look forward to 2021 (perhaps with an old-fashioned in hand), Bush admitted that she doesn’t necessarily believe in resolutions.
“It’s funny, I think resolutions can really set us up to fail. Even when you just look at the sort of social science data and the statistics at how they fall apart in the weeks after the new year,” she said. “I don’t necessarily know what the way to solve for that is, but for me I really try to think more about setting intentions rather than setting resolutions. Thinking about what I want life to feel like, what kinds of space I want to cultivate, what I want the relationships in my life to feel like. I find that that sort of consideration of energetic output and that sort of energy in general is a better use for me personally of my New Year’s thinking.”
Cheers to that.
For more on The Man Who Walked Around the World, visit https://themanwho.film.
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