And now for a slight break in the Sunday in the Park cocktails…
Lets face it the holidays suck, yeah I said it. You put yourself in debt buying crap people will have forgotten about in a month. You drive around like a jackass to see people you don’t even like, or worse they freeload in your house. Your subjected to annoying music, and utterly fake, forced kindness and joy. Plus if you work retail your pretty much in hell, so don’t we all deserve a good stiff drink? So for this Mixology Monday unleash your inner Grinch. Mix drinks in the spirit of Anti-Christmas. They can be really bitter and amaro filled. They filled with enough booze to make you pass out in a tinsel covered Scrooge heap. They could be a traditional holiday drink turned on it’s ear. Or they could be a tribute to your favorite holiday villain. If you celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa then you still suffer through the holidays, so feel free to join in with your Anti-Holiday drink as well. Whatever it is add a hearty “Humbug!” and make your drink personify everything annoying or fake about the holidays.
The first thought that came to my twisted mind was of a Christmas tree burning down, and I knew I had a bottle of Douglas fir eau de vie that would offer a nice base for burning, perhaps through a smoky Scotch or Mezcal. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I couldn’t quite get the taste I wanted. The grassy liquor didn’t really pair well to me with some of the stronger, smokier spirits. In the end, I abandoned that approach and thought instead of burning down the whole house instead of just the tree.
And with that, I present the Gingerbread Housefire (Burning Down the Gingerbread House was a close second for the title, but judged too wordy).
- 1.5 oz. Scotch (peaty, like Ardbeg or Laphroaig)
- 0.5 oz. Cruzon Black Strap Rum
- 0.5 oz. Ginger Liqueur (Domaine De Canton)
- 1 barspoon cinnamon syrup
- 2 dashes coffee bitters
Stir and strain into old fashioned over rocks.
Dust with fresh nutmeg. (Can grate fresh cinnamon as well.)
There’s a smoky base of peaty Scotch with the molasses from the Black Strap, some sweetness and bite from the ginger and cinnamon, with just a little of the coffee bitters for balance. The nutmeg serves as a nice dusting of ashes on top. A festive holiday gone very wrong.
As I was playing with the first drink I hit upon a second that I wanted to try, using a fig, vanilla and black pepper syrup that I had on hand. The fig, of course, is what led me down this road.
Take Your Damn Figgy Pudding
- 1.0 oz. Snap Liquor
- 0.5 oz. Cruzon Black Strap Rum
- 0.5 oz. Fig Vanilla Black Pepper syrup (Jo Snow)
- 0.5 oz. heavy cream
- 0.25 oz. Allspice Dram (St. Elizabeth)
- 1 egg white
Shake and strain into coupe.
Dust with nutmeg.
Here is my eggnog contender, thrown in the face of carolers who demand you feed them with some outdated dessert that no one prepares anymore. The Snap Liquor, which I tried unsuccessfully to use with Scotch in the Gingerbread Housefire, has a bit of molasses, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. More molasses comes from the Black Strap. Some more spice and seasonal flavors make their way into the drink from the allspice dram, and then the egg and cream create that familiar thick nog texture (and are components in actual figgy pudding, that is if you put whipped cream on top).
A little sweet for my tastes, but then I’m not the one caroling door to door in a treacly manner.
Ho ho ho.