Merry Christmas! Even those of us who don’t celebrate the birth of Christ love a good party. Egg nog, Santa Claus, carols; what’s not to like about this holiday? Cross out (no pun intended) attending mass and there are no downsides to celebrating Christmas like a proper red blooded Christian.
This Christmas in my homeland of Sri Lanka, this mostly Buddhist nation decided to build the world’s tallest artificial Christmas tree; the Guinness Book of Records has a lot to answer for. Unfortunately celebrations went somewhat awry when the organisers printed the wrong words to the Hail Mary, a traditional Catholic prayer. Instead of the usual homilies, the programme set out the lyrics to Tupac Shakur’s rap song Hail Mary:
“I ain’t a killer, but don’t push me
Revenge is the sweetest joy, next to pussy”
You can’t make this stuff up! Some poor printer’s assistant is doing a hundred genuflections and a thousand Hail Mary’s in penance. Meanwhile, a bunch of Catholic grannies are hunting down neighbourhood cats in search of the sweetest joy.
Back to Egg Nog, a much maligned drink sold by the pint in supermarkets. Made at home, the right mix is a delightful nutmeg flavoured egg custard, with 17th century origins. Don’t omit the raw egg – otherwise you might as well buy the supermarket version. The alcohol in your drink should kill any bad bacteria.
2.5 shots cognac or dark rum
1/2 shot of gomme or sugar syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water)
1 raw egg (both white and yolk)
1/2 shot of single cream
2 shots of milk
(A shot is equivalent to 30ml or 1 fluid ounce)
Shake the ingredients with ice, strain into an ice filled glass and dust with grated nutmeg.
An interesting alternative is to use a shot each of cognac and dark rum, with a half shot of a medium bodied fortified wine like a madeira or a tawny port. I like using wine in a cocktail – after all the chap whose birthday we are celebrating was eventually capable of changing water into wine.
Whatever your faith or belief, I hope you are warmed by the company of family and friends during this festive season. Cheers. Peace on Earth. Merry Christmas!