Gruß vom Krampus

November 17th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

Every December Heather and I throw a Christmas cocktail party centered around the germanic tradition of The Krampus. Krampus is a devil figure who accompanies Saint Nicholas. While old St. Nick gives nuts, fruit and candies for the good little boys and girls, the Krampus doles out punishment for the bad girls and boys: A piece of coal for their black little hearts, a beating with a black birtch switchel, or perhaps he’ll dump you in the river. He might even steal you away and take you back to Hell with him.

The same cultural role of the Krampus can be seen in other Christmas-time heavy homologues such as Black Peter, Pelznickel & Knecht Ruprect. Here in the New World, he has diminished and multiplied into Santa’s helper elves. A shame.

There are a wonderful collection of German post cards that feature the Krampus – often warning the sender and recipient from evil and sinful behavior. Gruß vom Krampus (Greetins from the Krampus) reminds everyone that the all-knowing devil sees you when you’re sleeping.

I’ll eventually get to some cocktail recipies centered around the Krampus in the weeks to come but until then I will feature a series of these vintage post cards. Where I can, I will translate.

Here is the first:
KrampusChain18-9-6638

Gruß vom Krampus!

Warst nicht brav,
drum hoppla-hopp,
Kommt das Krampus
im Galopp.

Greetings from the Krampus!

If you were not well behaved
by hopping to it,
Krampus will come
a-galloping.

This year Krampus Nacht is on Saturday 6th December with another night on Sunday 7th December for Service Industry friends who are busy pouring Saturday Nights.

Gruß vom Krampus!

Post Holiday Humdrums

December 31st, 2007 by Colonel Tiki

It’s so hard to be back at a day job after holiday festivities.

The simple syrup project already has some results: The hot and cold process syrups have been created. The volume and hue turned out exactly the same, no need for adjusting. Last night Heather and I blind tasted them and recorded our results. I’m not going to report just yet, as we have a few more local tasters who will be testing; I wouldn’t want to skew their results with any early reports.

The Holiday was lovely, with much drinking and mixing going on. There were Tom & Jerrys, Navy Grogs, 3 Dots & a Dashes, Nui Nuis, Corspe Revivers #2, Manhattans, Mah Jonngs, Cesar Rum Punches, Flippin’ Flips, and plenty of highballs to go around. I also treated our merry gathering with 2 growlers of Bridgeport’s Ebeneezer Ale, hand-pulled and cask conditioned.

We were also productive with tinctures and infusions: We made a Creme de Menthe with our house-grown peppermint, Falernum and Pimento Dram, Pomegranate Liqueur, & my most anticipated — Orange Curaçao.

Blair was nice enough to bring over some of his home-made goodies: Rum Shrub, Orgeat, Ginger Beer, Cola Tonic & Taboo Liqueur.

Cigars were smoked, video games played (guitars make heroes), merriment and good cheer abounded.

Sure makes being here now that much worse in contrast. Ah, but tonight shall see more celebration.

Happy New Year everybody!

Mixology Monday December 2007 — Repeal Day

December 3rd, 2007 by Colonel Tiki

Mixology Monday - ProhibitionDecember 5, 1933: The twenty-first amendment is ratified and the failed experiment of Prohibition of Alcohol in the United States of America ends. Jeffery Morgenthaler has been trumpeting the recognition of Repeal Day as a damn fine Domestic holiday for years.

This Mixology Monday’s theme is Prohibition hosted by the man himself. My submission is below, based on the prohibition-contemporary cocktail “Everybody’s Irish.” Irish expatriates who brought their knowledge of distillery with them to the Americas soon were making their own Whisk(e)y. When Prohibition hit, domestic distillers of American Rye and Bourbon stopped (officially) producing whiskey. However, Canada was still producing. Though the Canadian Whisky is Scottish in origin, we’ll just ignore that bit (since Scots are Irish anyway who moved to the north of the English Island, displacing the Picts). I thought a fun change of the “Everybody’s Irish” cocktail would be to honor their ingenuity with domestic sources and use a likelier ingredient of prohibition: Canadian Whisk(e)y.

I’ve loved Chartreuse since first tasting it when my friend David from Oak Hall, Virginia brought a bottle when he visited us in the early 00’s. It wasn’t until earlier this year when I had a Last Word at Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle that I considered it for mixing. I’d loved the idea of the Irish cocktails in Classic Cocktails of the Prohibition Era but until Mur the blur poured that Last Word, I’d not braved it. I’ve since made up for it.

The drink is delicious and would likely work with any Whisk(e)y you have about. I’ve tried Rye & Canadian so far. The olive (while questionable at first) is a nice contrast to help you taste the contribution of the Creme de Menthe and the Chartreuse. Also, the Green and Red of the drink and olive remind you December is Christmastime. Enjoy!

Everybodys Irish American

Everybody’s Irish American

1 tablespoon Green Chartreuse
1 tablespoon Green Creme de Menthe
2 oz. Canadian Whisky

Stir with ice and strain into 3 oz cocktail glass. Garnish with olive speared on a cocktail pick.

-=C