Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Advil Calendar 2011, December 25: BREAKING THE TAPE

IT's Christmas Day and what's in YOUR stocking? If it ain't a prince, an astronaut, Tommy Lee Jones, a secret agent and a Jedi... YOU'RE DOIN IT WRONG

Two-Face and his dual girlfriends, Sugar and Spice

Thanks for sticking with me this long and dark month, this season of insanity, this winter of our discontent and lost items and near misses. Today is Christmas, and those of us who have to do Christmas stuff will either be relaxed and happy, and so we could use a sweetly refreshing, sparkly drink that will enhance our already-effervescent buzz... or we will be secretly, blackly seething, slipping out to the back porch "for a breath of fresh air" far more often than is strictly polite.

And we will be in need of a drink in that case too.

So whether your xmas dinner will be Spice's menu of "a charred heart of black boar, a side of raw donkey meat, and a sterno and grain alcohol cocktail, straight up, baby!" or whatever Drew Barrymore offers Two-Face in Batman Forever (pretty sure there was champagne involved), I've got you covered:
God I hate Radko.

The Moon Walk
Created in 1969 by legendary barman Joe Gilmore at the Savoy Hotel in London to commemorate the first lunar landing, it was the first thing the astronauts had to drink upon returning to Earth. Now that is honoring our servicemen.
1 part fresh Grapefruit Juice
1 part Grand Marnier
2 dashes Rosewater
Shake well, strain into wine glass and top up with Champagne.

Doesn't that sound lovely? Although I might ease back on the Grand Marnier if we are having these with the morning pastries, or if I'm serving one to Mom.

Granted, even Connery could
not have worked that outfit.
We had The Talented Cousin Rachel and her husband, Equally Talented But in a Completely Different Way Tim over for dinner a couple Sundays ago, and Rachel brought a bottle of St. Germain. As is her wont. She kind of doesn't go anywhere without it - we should all aim to be that kind of fabulous. When she gets older she'll probably carry her elderflower liqueur in an ermine purse.

So we tried substituting half St. Germain and half Cointreau for the Grand Marnier in The Moon Walk, and it was LOVELY. Sweet but not sugary, floral but not so girly that Tim and my husband felt their manliness threatened by drinking it. In fact, Rachel renamed the thing The Moonraker, and we all know that there's nothing unmanly about James Bond. Except Roger Moore. So that kind of fouls that up, in a way... but you know what? I may be overthinking this. I'll stop.

But chances are, on Christmas Day I'll have a pot of this warming on the stove:

What? When I hear 'hot ginger' I think 'Prince
Harry with his shirt off.' Doesn't everyone? 
Enraged Cider 
2 quarts apple juice or apple cider1 two-inch piece of ginger, halved lengthwise
2 chili peppers
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup dark rum
Everything but the rum goes in a medium saucepan. Warm slowly, then allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the flame and add the rum, ladle into cups.

I adapted this last year from a recipe I found on the Sailor Jerry website. I didn't think their Hot Apple Jerry was spicy enough, so I sifted through the fridge and plonked in all kinds of things. The ginger chili lemon combo was the best one for me. Also, I find that the cider gets weird and separate-y if it's on the stove for too long, and I've had success with apple juice instead.

And for the spectators, the bachelor uncles and ancient aunts, those family members who are neither over the moon nor simmering with rage on Christmas day, I offer one from Danny Meyer's book Mix Shake Stir.

And when I think 'kilt' I think Ewan McGregor
hugging a rooster.

The Guilty Kilt
1 1/2 oz blended Scotch
1 1/2 oz brewed English Breakfast tea, chilled
3/4 oz sweetened condensed milk
smoked tea leaves for garnish (no I don't know where you get smoked tea leaves)
In a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake the Scotch, tea, and condensed milk. Vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass full of ice and garnish with smoked tea leaves.

That's it! Is that it? Oh my god I think that's it. Twenty-five days of ranting and alcohol, and it's all over now. Thank you for dropping in, or sticking with me, or even leaving in disgust.

A special thank you to all my guinea pigs and researchers, the commentators and people whose brains I have picked. Or pickled. Guess what? You're going to write this thing next year, because it has nearly killed me.

To your health, boys and girls. Let's have a good year - vote Democrat, eat high fiber, avoid excess packaging, and don't pee in everyone else's pool. I'm out.