1 part RHUBARB tea
1 part Campari
1 tsp raspberry simple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
3 parts Prosecco
Pour RHUBARB Tea, Campari, simple syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne glass and top with Prosecco. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
Until the 19th century hot chocolate was used to treat ailments like stomach diseases. So this cocktail is for your own good.
4 parts hot cocoa (1/3 cup cocoa powder, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 11/2 cup milk, pinch of salt)
1 part ROOT
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Do not boil or the milk will curdle. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat and add ROOT. Pour the mixture into a mug and top with whipped cream and a garnish of cinnamon and nutmeg (optional).
EGGNOG fan Donal McCoy of Sassafras in Old City (48 S. 2nd St.) will be serving this version of the classic holiday drink through Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. It’s $8 a glass.
16 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 1/3 cups sugar, plus an additional 1/8 cup
1/2 gallon milk
1 quart heavy cream
Cinnamon and nutmeg, for seasoning
Using a stand mixer, whip egg yolks (keep whites in separate container) on high until color lightens, about 3 minutes.
Once yolks change color, slowly incorporate the 1 1/3 cups sugar. After sugar is blended in, add milk and heavy cream.
Transfer mixture to a bell pot. Using the stand mixer, whip egg whites on high until frothy and thick, then add reserved sugar to form a meringue.
Whisk meringue mixture into the bell pot, season with cinnamon and nutmeg, then add alcohol: two parts Dad’s Hat Rye, one part Art in the Age SNAP. Makes 24 servings.
FORGET THE War on Christmas. If we truly want to move America into a new era of bipartisan, interfaith holiday tranquillity, we need to end the War on Eggnog.
Strong in stance and swift in judgment, the anti-nog lobby in this country is formidable.
Boldly disregarding their poor mothers’ “if you can’t say something nice” directives, members have turned the cowardly public trashing of this historic beverage into an art form. Mirth-filled mugs of cold-weather cheer, concocted with eggs, sugar, milk, wintry spices and enough hard liquor to raise Bukowski from the grave are now subject to rash attacks from the straight-hate side of the aisle.
It’s too sweet.
It’s too heavy.
It makes me sick.
It’s so unhealthy.
I had a bad experience with it at Uncle Jeff’s Secret Santa gift exchange in 1987, and I’ll never drink it again.
As unreasonable as this all sounds to the pro-nog people of this great country (can you tell I’m one?), it’s not all their fault. We’ve gotten away from the true essence of the nog, and our definitions and expectations have been strained as a result.
Luckily, right here in Philly, there’s a small contingent of bartenders doing the Lord’s work this holiday season – assuming the Lord (whichever one you like) is a dyed-in-the-wool nog lover.
Americans have been drinking eggnog, or something like it, since the 1700s. Though working eggs (particularly the whites) into cocktails has found a nostalgic niche on modern cocktail lists, this practice was common among 18th-century bartenders. Look at a drink like flip, a combination of ale, rum or brandy, eggs and sugar, quickly poured between two containers until thick and frothy, then topped with grated nutmeg.
This could be considered the proto-nog.
Nog by that name, meanwhile, started showing up around the turn of the 19th century. In his book Imbibe!, cocktail historian David Wondrich digs up an early mention of eggnog in print: a juicy political tidbit in an 1801 edition of the Pittsburgh Gazette, involving a western Pennsylvania judge getting so belligerent on the stuff in a Washington County tavern that some locals were forced to douse hizzoner with buckets of ice water.
Eggnog: Ruining Christmas since the Jefferson administration!
(Donal McCoy, the Irishman who owns Sassafras in Old City, never had eggnog growing up, but “took to it like a duck to water” upon arriving Stateside.)
The sneaky strength of nog made with a heavy hand – it goes down easy . . . almost too easy – seems to be one reason people are so conflicted about its consumption during the holiday season. Another big one: the quality, or lack thereof, of commercial nogs stocked in the supermarket cold case.
A question of ingredients
“That stuff you get in the grocery store is pretty gross,” says Emmanuelle bartender Phoebe Esmon, who, on Sunday night, will offer a special all-nog menu at her Northern Liberties cocktail lounge. “[It] generally involves a bunch of emulsifiers and corn syrup and other questionable coloring agents and chemical compounds.”
“Sweet” Lou DiNunzio, bartender at Rex 1516, also connects nog naysayers with mass-produced versions. “Store-bought eggnog killed the market on it over the years,” he said. “It’s highly viscous, like drinking pancake batter. People don’t understand what the final product should be like.”
Though he readily admits that he enjoys crushing an entire quart of this batter-like nog while stalking the supermarket aisles for Christmas dinner, DiNunzio’s right: That thick, sickly sweet product is just a third of the total equation.
Cutting that base with alcohol, spices and flavorings, plus lightening it up by working in a whipped element (cream or egg whites) – is not only traditional, it’s absolutely vital to the enjoyment. No wonder so many people say no to nog.
A proper final product, done DiNunzio’s way, will be poured at the bar at Rex tonight – his personal interpretation of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s recipe, involving heavy cream and half-and-half cold-infused with winter spices and aromatics, then crowned with an iced gingerbread candy cane.
Find good nog here
DiNunzio and Emmanuelle’s Esmon – she’ll serve options like “Nog a la Thomas,” bartending legend Jerry Thomas’ 1862 recipe using cognac and Jamaica rum – aren’t the only local bartenders boarding the nog train this holiday season.
At Sassafras, McCoy’s guys will produce their version, featuring a split base of bourbon and SNAP, the gingersnap-like liqueur from Philly’s Art in the Age. They go so far as to use a stand mixer to whip their egg whites with sugar into an airy meringue.
Starting Monday and running through the new year, Vincent Stipo of Rittenhouse’s a.bar will accommodate all nog lovers with his rum and/or bourbon-cognac variations, which also require some elegant culinary processes, served cold. (The temperature argument is a topic of some debate among nog lovers, but for the record, all these bartenders swear by cold nog.)
According to Stipo, an issue as simple as portion size contributes to negative feelings toward nog. Whether you’re a sugar-crazed kid or an overzealous ugly-sweater-wearing adult, chugging a Viking-size mug of the stuff can very well lead to upset stomachs – and ruined-for-life alcoholic perceptions.
Moderation is the key to enjoyment and, hopefully, shifting attitudes in the War on Eggnog. “You always want to leave people wanting one more sip,” Stipo said.
It’s not too late to get on Santa’s good side! Whip him up a batch of ROOT sugar cookies with buttercream icing to smooth things over.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp milk
3 oz ROOT
1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until its light in color. Add in the egg and milk and ROOT, beat to combine. Gradually add in the flour, beating to combine. Divide the dough in half, wrap it in wax paper and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. After two hours, bring out the cookie dough and sprinkle a flat surface with powdered sugar. Roll out the dough until its 1/4 of an inch thick and then cut into cookie shape.
4. Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating the sheet half way through the baking time. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for 2 minutes. Top with a cream cheese frosting.
Today is Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. Historically this has been celebrated as a time to recognize rebirth or renewal marked with a mid-winter festival. So this year we’re kicking things off with a SAGE Cranberry & Thyme cocktail.
1 part SAGE
4 parts cranberry juice
1 squeeze fresh lime
Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake until ice cold and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Eggnog was a common drink around the holidays for early Americans like George Washington. Taking notes from his kitchen records at Mount Vernon we’ve created a version with ROOT and locally made eggnog from Merrymead Farm that gives this classic creamy drink a spicy twist.
1 part ROOT
4 parts Eggnog
Combine ingredients in a glass, stir and serve cold. Add cinnamon as a garnish.
30 COCKTAILS SO STUNNING, THEY DOUBLE AS DECOR
We especially love the look of #24.
Warm weather! IT’S FINALLY HERE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, MAYBE — LIKE, REAL SOON! After you shove your puffy coats in suitcases and hide them away in a dark corner never to be seen until the cold returns, go sit outside and have a drink with your friends. Many, many of these drinks!
24. Steam 75
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the following ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces Reyka Vodka, 3/4 ounce Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea Organic Liqueur, 3/4 ounce lime juice, and 1/2 ounce strawberry puree. Shake and strain into a chilled coup. Top with 1 ounce Brut Champagne. Garnish with a sprig of lavender.