Every family has its holiday traditions. In mine, it’s a Christmas cocktail. Every year it’s different. But always yummy.
The tradition started when my brother-in-law, Matt Worrix, decided to invent a cocktail for a big family celebration. It was such a hit, that it continued. Every Christmas, Thanksgiving or family birthday, Matt would invent a new cocktail to celebrate the occasion. It was something everyone looked forward to.
Matt and my sister, Marilyn, would spend a week or more working out the finer points of the cocktail–mixing, tasting, tweaking, mixing some more, tasting again. Adding a bit of this or a touch less of that. Agonizing over the proper garnishes. Figuring out the quantities needed for 15-20 people!
After a few “taste tests,” they were often giggling so much they had to stop. But the final Thanksgiving… or birthday… or Christmas cocktail always ended up a winner.
Sadly, we lost Matt this year. The holidays will not be the same. But by general agreement, his spirit will be with us as we celebrate with a new Christmas Cocktail.
Deciding what to make is always fun and challenging. What could my sister and I come up with that would stand up to the Matt Worrix standard?
We were out Christmas shopping last week, on a freezing, snowy day, and stopped for a late lunch at Golden Valley Brew Pub, a wonderful and cozy spot in McMinnville, Oregon. We definitely needed something hot to warm us up, so we asked the waiter for a suggestion. And boy, were we glad we did? What he brought us was one of their popular seasonal concoctions, a wonderful combination of hot apple cider, bourbon, and Grand Marnier, topped with fresh whipped cream.
We knew immediately we had found this year’s Christmas Cocktail.
With a bit of tweaking, testing, tasting, and tweaking again, here is our version of the “Tempo Toddy.” Feel free to tweak the proportions to your personal taste. Try it. I think you will like it!
Tempo Toddy Christmas Cocktail
For One Christmas Cocktail
4 oz. hot spiced apple cider
1 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier.
Mix well together.
Place a whole cinnamon stick in each glass/mug and add the hot mixture. (If using glass, be sure it can withstand the heat without cracking.)
Top with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with a thin slice of apple on the rim.
Think up the perfect Christmas toast, raise your glasses all high, and enjoy!
(Alternately… add one pair of warm, fuzzy slippers, a roaring fire, some holiday music and a good book–with the air scented by the piney bite of the Christmas tree. Enjoy!)
If you find yourself in McMinnville, Oregon (and you should–it is a delightful town) do stop in at Golden Valley Brew Pub for a meal or one of their terrific craft brews. You won’t be disappointed.
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