As we grow older, Christmas often loses its spark-- it turns from a time of looking forward to presents and tons of food and crazy relatives, to a time of looking forward to when the presents and the food and the crazy relatives are long gone. In order to preserve that joyous occasion, my husband and I started a new tradition where we get to enjoy Christmas once more- Christmas Eve at least, when we invite all of our best friends into our home to eat and drink and be me-he-he-rry.
The first year, the cops were called because we were being too merry and my husband and his fellow musician friends were jingling the rocks a little too loudly. The weather was cold and rainy, but it was no match for the warmth of the whiskey cider I had brewing in a crockpot where friends would inevitably top off steaming fragrant cups with a touch more whiskey.
The cider was very popular at the party and I knew I would make it again, but I wanted to find another warm drink to serve should Houston be granted with weather calling for another hand-warmer. Possibly something with chocolate...
Long story short, I came across a bottle of Ron Brugal's 1888 Ron Gran Reserva Familiar. It's tasting notes sounded like something any 'gentle' whiskey or Scotch lover would appreciate. By gentle I mean it doesn't taste smoky, overly oaked or too mature. Double aged in American Oak followed by Spanish Sherry barrels, the first taste of this rum told me that it would be a shame to hide any of its character by using it with any mixer. Not even ice was necessary to enjoy this smooth sipping rum- a rare treat! In fact, I kept this baby in the reserves for myself and a few friends who I knew would appreciate the 1888's company. It opened this whiskey lover's eyes to the possibilites a good rum can offer and now ranks as one of my favorite spirits served neat.
In the end, the whiskey cider sufficed at this year's holiday party; the 1888 was long gone by then anyhow.