Each month, we pull together a selection of drinking-related items that have, for one reason or another, grabbed the attention of PUNCH’s editors, who spend pretty much all day, every day surrounded by booze. Here’s what we’re into right now.
Sante Adairius As You Can See | Talia Baiocchi, Editor in Chief
This cider barrel-aged saison with chardonnay lees from my favorite brewery in the country was my “beer of the year” this year (and a strong argument for the rise of the hybrid brew). Luckily, said brewery just so happens to be down the street from my parents’ house. The tension between the beer’s piquant acidity and creaminess courtesy of the chardonnay lees (its aromas also call the grape to mind) is so wine-like and complex that I’ve been thinking about it almost weekly since Thanksgiving. So, this year I’ll be taking my parents’ growler down the street and refilling it until they cry mercy.
Mulled Punch | Chloe Frechette, Associate Editor
This deceptively simple punch by Jason Kosmas of The 86 Co. has quickly become my holiday go-to. Not only does it pack an abundance of seasonal flavors into its five ingredient formula, but it does so with an ease of execution that doesn’t exceed my preferred home bartending ratio of 1:5, difficulty:results (incidentally the inverse of my preferred Martini ratio).
Peppermint Bark Eggnog | Lizzie Munro, Art Director
If I’m going to indulge my sweet tooth, it’s probably not going to be in drink form; creamy cocktails have never been my jam. But this year? I don’t know—maybe I’ve been inspired by all our eggnog content, or by contributor Aaron Goldfarb’s extreme enthusiasm for ‘nog in all its forms. Either way, this Christmas, I’ve got my sights on a batch of Peppermint Bark Eggnog courtesy of Clover Club’s Tom Macy, which, as he put it, “would be the dumbest drink ever if it weren’t so damn good.”
Grimm Artisanal Ales Super Spruce | Allison Hamlin, Partnerships Manager
Perhaps you want to make your G&T taste like a Christmas tree (if so, we got you covered), but this year I’m bringing the season’s favorite conifer into my life via Grimm’s appropriately wintery Super Spruce. Real spruce trees and Chinook hops give the dry-hopped gose an intensely piney aroma matched by a mouth-watering acidity. Who cares if your New York apartment doesn’t have any room for a tree when you can literally drink one instead.
Rum Punch | Jason Diamond, Deputy Editor
I’ve spent a few holiday seasons on the Caribbean island of Anguilla with my in-laws and we always end up at the same place every Christmas: an outdoor English pub called Roy’s. There, a lady named Joan makes her “special” rum punch that makes everything feel, well, nice. Unfortunately, Joan won’t be on the island this year for the holidays, so it’s up to me to get the party started. I’ll be combining an ounce each of pineapple, orange and guava juice and half an ounce of lime. I’ll toss that together with three ounces of Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Gold Rum, shake it up, top with a little amaretto and some nutmeg and boom: a cup of Christmas cheer when I’ll need it the most.
Brown Liquor, Red Wine, Local Beer | Jon Bonné, Senior Contributing Editor
I’ll be heading south again for Christmas this year, specifically to Greenville, S.C. And with my wife’s family, that’ll mean an abundance of brown liquor, mostly bourbon, but I think some rye might make it in—and maybe even a Japanese whisky or two, like Akashi, if we can sneak it in. Christmas dinner is rib roast, and in this case that means intense, savory red wines, because sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. So, probably Bordeaux (maybe a bottle of Clos Puy Arnaud I carried back), some Bedrock reds from California and nebbiolo. Because it’s Greenville, there will definitely be local beer, from Birds Fly South Ale Project and others. Oh, and pét-nat, because bubbles add diversity.
Tom and Jerry | Robert Simonson, Contributing Editor
I’m into Tom and Jerrys, as I am every year around this time. It’s an age-old holiday drink that I grew up with in Wisconsin, where the Tom and Jerry flame has always burned bright, even as it dimmed elsewhere. It’s a labor-intensive drink, but I’ve gotten a decent amount of practice in recent years. I make a batch for my annual Christmas party in New York, and then I make another batch for my extended family in Wisconsin on Christmas Eve. The recipe I use is Audrey Saunders’, the one she uses at Pegu Club every season, though I play around with the brandy and rum choices. This year I went with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac and The Real McCoy 5 Year rum. Let me tell you, that worked out just fine.
Jacquesson Cuvée 740 Extra Brut Champagne (Etc.) | Megan Krigbaum, Contributing Editor
Every Christmas Eve, I make a big batch of gougères from the Tartine cookbook and pair them with Jacquesson’s 740. I plan to keep this up this year. I’m also planning to take home some 2011 Domaine Dupasquier Roussette de Savoie “Marestel,” in magnum, if I can find it. If ever there was a wine made for cheese fondue (which my family has annually at the holidays) this is it. And finally, I’ll have Franck Balthazar’s 2016 Côte du Rhône in tow. When I tasted it this fall I was so surprised by its vibrant intensity. It’s peppery with warm raspberries and other darker fruits—like a baby Cornas that’s been jazzed up with a solid dose of grenache. It’s the perfect cure for cold Michigan nights.
American Cider | Aaron Goldfarb, Contributor
I was always one of those jerks who doesn’t drink cider, but will occasionally have a funky Basque one. But lately, I’ve gotten really into American cider. When I visit one of the top beer bars in my neighborhood, Owl Farm, I almost always start with a Blackduck cider (or perry) instead of a beer. My good buddies at Shacksbury Cider are likewise killing it—with canned offerings like the gin-barreled The Vermonter and more sophisticated bottle offerings like Arlo (which is also available in cans). Even the Boston Beer-owned Angry Orchard, whose six-packs I usually avoid, is doing surprisingly cool stuff in big bottles, like Super Natural, a pét-nat-like take.