The Holiday Tipple: Papa Elf’s Cranberry Daiquiri

Papa Elf's Cranberry Daiquiri

Ho ho ho, Boozers. The holiday season has managed to arrive amid all the usual hoopla and hypocrisies, yet somehow we still maintain our childlike wonder at a season full of magic and mystery. Off in a distant winter wonderland, elves are scurrying through sawdust-covered workshops in the rush of preparing for a global gift-giving extravaganza, and we imagine Papa Elf trudging back to his icicle-draped gingerbread cottage at the end of the day, wearily longing for an icy cocktail.

Like Papa Elf, Papa Hemingway also longed for a cocktail at the end of — or perhaps during — a long day of creating the gift of stories for the masses. Being in a somewhat warmer clime, Papa H was all about the daiquiri, tart with lime, warm with rum, then chilled, shaken and served straight up — devilishly simple. This is no syrupy Slurpee of a drink, but rather an elegant end to a day well spent in serving others. Now it’s time to serve yourself.

Papa Elf’s Cranberry Daiquiri

The basic concept of a true Hemingway daiquiri is that it should be mostly tart, but lightly sweet, possibly like the demeanor of a busy elf. While a classic daiquiri is made quite simply with lime juice, sugar, rum, and Maraschino liqueur, we’ve introduced some tart cranberry to give it a seasonal flair.

2 ounces silver rum (we like our local Lyon Distilling Company‘s white rum)

1.5 ounces fresh cranberry-ginger juice (recipe below)

.5 ounce Maraschino liqueur

wedge of fresh lime

Pour first three ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Squeeze in lime juice, stir once, then strain into a chilled Cosmopolitan glass.

to make the fresh cranberry-ginger juice: It may be tempting to use commercial cranberry juice — and you could — but don’t. You’ll be glad you did this. Take 1/2 cup fresh cranberries and a couple of 1/2-inch slices of fresh ginger and put them in a small saucepan with enough water to cover and 1/2 cup of sugar. Bring to a simmer over low heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, then pour into a blender with 3/4 cup of water. Blend on high until completely liquified, then strain out the solids — you may need to strain twice to get a nice clear liquid. Can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.




The Friday Tipple: Breakfast Bellini

Breakfast Bellini

We feel like celebrating, Boozers. Whether it’s for the holidays or the end of the world as we know it (the day is still young), sometimes you just want a glass of bubbly. And, as we want it for breakfast, we like to make it easy: we are not at our most alert early in the day.

Enter the cube, which, loyal Boozers, we like to employ whenever we can, as cubes of fresh juice or fruit can be made in advance and stored in the freezer for use at any time. Our Breakfast Bellini needs some peach, but you could use any berries or citrus that you like. So whip up some cubes and pop the cork — take a moment to celebrate whatever your heart desires.

Breakfast Bellini

Some people put a shot of peach schnapps into a Bellini, which ain’t bad at all, but this is also a great time to break out that special bottle of peach brandy — we’re lucky enough to have some from Catoctin Creek on hand — for an extra little kick of goodness.

One peach cube

4 ounces chilled champagne or sparkling wine

1 ounce peach schnapps or peach brandy

To make the cube: you can do this two ways, either by filling an ice cube tray with peach nectar or by pureeing some peaches in a blender and then freezing into cubes. As fresh peaches are not in season, you can use thawed frozen peaches, canned peaches (preferably in their own juice, not a syrup), or even some lovely preserved peaches if you are fortunate enough to have some.

Place a peach cube in a champagne flute, top with champagne, and float some peach schnapps or brandy over the top.