On the 10th drink of Christmas

By JASON O’BRYAN  |  November 20, 2009

4) Henry V Flip
2 oz. Landy VSOP Cognac
1/4 oz. St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
1/2 oz. Chambord
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 whole egg
Shake, strain into martini glass, and dust with nutmeg.

The Henry V Flip is an example of the miracle alchemy of mixology: it doesn’t taste like any of its ingredients, but rather takes their characters and makes them its own. Silky with egg, smooth with cognac, spicy with allspice, and sweet with liqueur, this is an outstandingly smooth cold-weather drink.
Bartender’s explanation “It’s like a liquid blanket.”
My companion’s reaction “This is good. It makes my lips sticky.”

Eastern Standard, Boston
Bob McCoy

5) Absinthe and Old Lace
1 oz. Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz. Kubler Absinthe
1/2 oz. Green Crème de Menthe
1/2 oz. cream
1/2 oz. simple syrup
dash: Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole Bitters
1 egg white
Shake, strain into absinthe or
martini glass.

The Absinthe and Old Lace is a flapper drink and colored a bright, solid green for Christmas. It’s the opposite of the Henry V Flip in that you taste all the ingredients: the gin tastes like Christmas trees, the crème de menthe tastes like mint, the absinthe tastes like anise, with silkiness
offered by the egg and cream. It’s a bombardment of holiday flavors and the second egg tonight, which made us wonder aloud if one could exist entirely on Christmas drinks. Absinthe is 106 proof, however, and our subsequent inability to walk suggested this is not a feasible option.
Bartender’s explanation “Cold with a warming quality, the green color and juniper evokes pine.”
My companion’s reaction “Much like Christmas itself, I recognize that it’s good, but it’s going to be hard for me to finish.”

6) Hot Apple Cider
1-1/2 oz. W.L. Weller Reserve Bourbon
4 oz. hot mulled apple cider (mulled cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, juniper, allspice, and orange)

A winter standard, Hot Apple Cider is an intuitive warm drink for Christmastime. Something about cider makes bourbon nearly invisible, and the spices all warm from the inside. Eastern Standard mulls their own cider, but this is the easiest of the drinks to make at home, and the most drinkable. The only caveat is to exercise restraint with the bourbon: properly mixed, it’s undetectable. Improperly mixed, it’s hot bourbon.
Bartender’s explanation “A classic winter drink, very warming and comfortable.”
My companion’s reaction “This is amazing. Wait . . . did he put booze in here?”

The Field, Cambridge
Tim Carey

7) Hot Toddy
1-1/2 oz: Jameson Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz. Honey
lemon wedge stuck with fresh cloves
fill hot water
The Field is your basic Irish pub, where the Irish bartender gave us a suitably Irish drink. The Hot Toddy is an icon of winter: cloves for Christmas spice, whiskey for Christmas warmth, and honey and lemon to mitigate. The Hot Toddy is essentially a whiskey delivery system that warms you in the process, which makes it ideal for sitting under a blanket and smiling your way through It’s A Wonderful Life for the 27th time.
Bartender’s explanation “It’s what my mother had on Christmas morning.”
My companion’s reaction “This tastes like Grandma’s bathroom.”

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