It had a cute name. And, I reasoned, “it has Guinness in it –how bad can it be?”
If a forgotten concoction called Christmas Pudding has somehow appeared on your holiday cocktail menu – I’m tellin’ ya — just cross it off right now. It was, as the mastermind behind Portland Food Map declared, “revolting!”
This nasty drink was one of four “obscure holiday cocktails” recently consumed by Adam, myself, the aforementioned Portland food scene guru and fellow food bloggers Kate (The Blueberry Files) and S (Edible Obsessions). Click on over for their insights on our evening of arcane spirits.
Inspired by the season and the musings of local mix master John Myers, we gathered on a wintry night to sample – in order of consumption – the following holiday hooch: Whiskey Mac, Rye Flip, Christmas Pudding, and Glugg.
S, a cheese connoisseur, challenged herself to pair each tipple with an aged treat, and the results were the highlight of the evening. The woman knows her cheese!
First up — Whiskey Mac:
1-1/2 ounces of Johnny Walker Black and 1 ounce of Stone’s Ginger Wine met in a glass and made magic. The sweetness of the wine tempered the smokiness of the scotch and a smooth, golden liquid emerged. A tad toothsome by the end, this palliative would be too syrupy to sip all night. But, as a pre-dinner conversation starter it gets a big thumbs up!
Bottom line: Have one – just one.
Pairing: A tangy Quadrella di Bufala set off the smokiness in the scotch quite nicely.
Next — Rye Flip:
Made with two ounces Rye Whiskey (Sazerac in this case), a raw egg, a teaspoon of maple syrup and a dash of nutmeg, the Rye Flip is essentially an anemic relative of the esteemed holiday classic — Egg Nog. Frothy and a bit viscous in the glass, the gooey gunk was kinda tasty, but felt like a cheap date compared to its creamy cousin.
Bottom Line: Opt for the Egg Nog.
Pairing: Gabietou, a sheep and cow milk blend, elevated the Rye Flip to another level by providing the missing lusciousness. S knocked this one out of the park!
Then – Christmas Pudding:
A blend of 6 ounces of Guinness with one ounce each of Drambuie and Southern Comfort, the Christmas Pudding, tasted, at first, like an alcoholic root beer. Subsequent sips revealed it to be tragically cloying and – truly – disgusting.
Bottom line: Don’t ruin a perfectly good draft of Guinness!
Pairing: Not even the lovely, semi-firm Landaff from New Hampshire could save this drink.
Finally – Glugg:
Kate secured the recipe for this marvelous Scandinavian precursor to mulled wine. Simmered on the stovetop and set on fire prior to serving, Glugg is warm, comforting and – literally – loaded with holiday spirits. A blend of spiced rum, port, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom seeds and orange peels, it cheers the palate like Christmas in a glass.
Bottom line: Yes!!!!
Pairing: A Rouge River Blue Cheese wrapped in brandy soaked grape leaves provided the perfect pungent counterpoint to the spicy toddy.