Santa’s Whiskers

by Matt Robold on December 13, 2011

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All the wonderful, classic Holiday cocktails and I have to post my own. The nerve!

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I should be devoting this space to the Zig Zag Hot Buttered Rum or – well really, I don’t know that there’s anything else that needs to go on that list. Still, this is a drink that I sort of rediscovered in my moleskin notebook recently and have been finding to be pretty tasty.

Santa’s Whiskers

1.5 oz Rum
.5 oz Curacao
1 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Heavy Cream
1 egg white
.25 oz Allspice Dram
2 tsp Orgeat
1 dash Fee’s Old Fashioned Bitters
.75 oz Cream Soda

Combine all but cream and cream soda in a shaker and shake without ice for 30 seconds. Add cream and a single large cube of ice and shake until ice cube is completely eliminated. Pour cream soda in the bottom of a glass and then strain into cream soda slowly, allowing it to foam and fill glass. Grate nutmeg over the top and drink with a straw.

Holy crap does that look labor-intensive. I have to admit that I’ve adopted these instructions from Jason Schiffer’s preferred approach to making Ramos Gin Fizzes at 320 Main, and he cribbed them from Rocky Yeh, who I believe stole them from Chris McMillian in New Orleans, who stole them from a small elf with a wooden leg, carrying a small sack full of duct tape and hot sauce for reasons unknown (listen, I do the science of rum here and if you want to know why this all has to be this way, go ask Darcy at Art of Drink – he’s the scientist).

The name of the drink is a definite play on the classic Satan’s Whiskers cocktail, to which this drink bears absolutely no resemblance or relation. This drink was originally thought of and named during one of the Mixoloseum’s infamous Thursday Drink Nights – though, sadly, the transcript for that particular night is gone, so I can’t give you any details on the hows and whys. There is an excellent chance that someone was drunk at the time.

I can tell you that this is basically an enhancement to the Improved Rum Fizz, which was an (I believe) improvement to the Trader Vic’s Rum Fizz. I’ve added some Allspice Dram as well as a dash of Fee’s Old Fashioned Bitters to give the drink a touch of cinnamon flavor as well as to keep the sweetness down. Cream was also added to give it a bit more texture.

Suggested Rums:

My notebook calls for Rhum Vieux Agricole such as Clement VSOP or Neisson Vieux, but recent experiments suggest that you can go for richer rums (such as El Dorado 12 Year Old or Dos Maderas PX) or even with the right spiced rum (Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum – there’s no need for an “or” there). I’d recommend staying away from vanilla bombs such as Captain Morgan’s or Cruzan 9 as they’ll just pile on top of the vanilla in the cream soda.

This brings us to what is the weirdest ingredient in this drink, just as it was with the original Trader Vic’s recipe: the cream soda. It’s not something you often find behind a bar. Lots of different options are available here, but my favorite for this drink continue to be the Henry Weinhard Cream Soda. If you find yourself lacking a good source of cream soda, about a 50/50 mixture of B.G. Reynold’s Vanilla Syrup and Soda Water will work in a pinch, if not as spectacularly.

Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite off-the-wall Holiday cocktail?

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