Monday, December 29, 2008
Holly Jolly Roger
2 oz. Cruzan blackstrap rum
2 oz. spiced apple cider
½ oz. Torani hazelnut syrup
¼ tsp. absinthe (La Fee works well)
Combine everything in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
I’m late to the party again. Normally I’d post about a Santa-inspired drink before the 25th of December, but all the holiday prep (and maybe a few parties) conspired to keep my productivity at staggeringly low levels this Yule.
But some good came of it. At one of the aforementioned parties I got to spring the above recipe on a group of unsuspecting revelers. They seemed to like it, so I figured it’d be worth reproducing here.
If you choose to make it, enjoy it while pondering why Santa Claus may just be a pirate.
At first glance, it may not seem that Santa Claus and pirates have much in common. But closer inspection reveals that the two share quite a bit more than initially meets the eye. Am I suggesting that a beloved holiday figure is barely any different than a bloodthirsty brigand? Certainly not. But I have noticed there are some startling parallels. I submit the following:
1) Beards. As anyone who has seen pirate movies can attest, buccaneers love beards. Santa’s got one too.
2) Swag. Any pirate worth his salt has a sack full of treasure somewhere. Kris Kringle is almost always depicted with bag of goodies as well.
3) Flamboyant clothing. Pirates are noted for dressing stylishly, and Santa is no slouch in that department either. With his bright red suit, flashy hat and leather accessories, he’d be right at home on board any privateer vessel. Speaking of vessels…
4) Mode of transport. Not only do pirates dress well, they travel in style too- Only the sleekest, speediest craft will do. And to top it off, these ships are bristling with weaponry. Not to be outdone, Father Christmas has a flying sleigh powered by magical livestock. No cannons, but who needs ’em when you can go airborne in seconds and outrun pretty much anything?
5) Crew. Pirates rarely work alone. Even the most resourceful scalliwag wouldn’t get far without a gang of like-minded mates along for backup. St. Nick has his crew also. Those li’l guys with the pointy hats and curly shoes may not go along on the mission, but they do all the invaluable preparations that allow The Man With The Bag to get things done.
6) Covert Operations. Pirates often commit their deeds undercover of night and with great speed and stealth. Santa has this down to a science, invading a staggering number of homes in a short amount of time, leaving nary a trace.
7) Headquarters. By necessity, pirates must choose remote, often difficult-to-access locations from which to stage their campaigns and store supplies. Likewise, the exact whereabouts of Santa’s base of operations is known to almost no one, and exists in a far-flung region that only the most intrepid soul would even attempt to find (and likely at great personal peril due to the harsh climate).
8) Grog. It’s not much of a leap from “Yo Ho Ho” to “Ho Ho Ho.” While there may not be documented evidence of Mr. Claus openly swigging from a rum bottle, I think his rosy cheeks and jolly demeanor suggest there’s more than hot chocolate in his mug.
In closing, I must stress the Santa/pirate correlation is purely speculative. In fact, there is ample evidence indicating that Santa Claus is a force for good, benevolently spreading both material wealth and goodwill with equal enthusiasm. Nonetheless, I recommend staying vigilant during the holidays. Brace yourself with strong drink if the situation warrants.