At home, Cocktail, In Memoriam

The Hot Cross

After New Zealand Butter turned up in the mystery boxes for the Ready, Steady, Shake competition in Queenstown, I’ve been thinking about how I’d put it to use in a cocktail. This morning, eating Hot Cross Buns for breakfast, I came up with this variation on Jerry Thomas’s Hot Flip.

The Hot Cross

In a heated bar glass dissolve one teaspoon of sugar in a little hot water. Add a small knob of butter, a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice & the yolk of one egg. You could shake this, but I had more luck combining it using a barspoon as a whisk.

To this mixture add 45mls Alexander Grappa Moscato, 15mls Pedro Ximenez Sherry and 30mls boiling water. Shake thoroughly, serve in a flip glass. I’ve garnished mine with a cinnamon cross, a crown of thorns might be appropriate as well.

The Grappa is for the Romans, putting Jesus on the Cross, and then taking his message around the world from the seat of the Vatican, The PX is for the Inquisition, and because no one expects it,, the Egg because that is what easter is about these days and a bunny would have only left hair in the glass.

At home, Cocktail

Nog you. Nog you very, very much.

If I had to pick the one thing that is wrong with Christmas traditions, it would be that too many Christians live in the northern hemisphere. When the sun is blazing down outside and the mercury is hitting thirty, roasted beefs, glazed geese, Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings feel as alien to having snow on the ground.

Translating that into drinks, warm noggy custards just about seem the most unappetizing thing you could get close to this Christmas. Excited by the challenge, I left the store with fresh free range eggs, a small bottle of full cream milk, a pound of sugar and a whole nutmeg.

I knew that my nog was going to be cold, but little else. Most of the recipes I could find online were for warm productions, so I decided to do it by trail and error. All of the recipes below are for two drink only. Multiply them by ten if you’ve got a tribe coming over.

The first nog of Christmas.

For my first attempt, I put one egg in the blender with 60 grams of caster sugar. Blitz it until it triples in volume, you could whisk it, but I was incapacitated by a powerful hangover. In an ice filled glass, add 80mls of the egg mixture, 80mls of brandy and 80 mls of cream. shake well and pour over ice into a rocks glass. Grate some nutmeg and you’re laughing. The result is tasty, but not quite the textural experience I was after.

If I ever feel better, I’ll have another nog.

As before, add sugar to the egg and blitz. I also decided the put the cream into the blender too, 60mls, as the volume increases as it whips up. I also added 10mls of Jamesons Irish whiskey to the blend too. Be careful not to over blend, you want thickened cream, not whipped up butter. I added this mixture to a tin with 80mls of Brandy and stirred them together and poured them, again over ice, with a grating of nutmeg.

Roll, roll, roll a nog, twist it at the ends.

Trying new things is important at Christmas, so I thought that making a rum nog might be just the ticket. same recipe as above but with no whiskey and Appleton Estate rum. works well with a little cinnamon I found too.

Don’t you nog who I am?

This one I was lucky enough to sample when made by its creator, Jacob Briars, a true bon-vivant’s companion and erstwhile Professor of Vodka for 42Below. It somewhat unsurprisingly contains vodka. I used a full cream milk, because I don’t remember it being quite as creamy as my previous attempts.

One egg, 50 grams sugar, 100mls 42Below passion fruit vodka, 30mls Chocolate liqueur, 50mls full cream milk. combine well and serve.

Feel free to offer your own recipe or corrections in the comments. I am but a nogice.