It’s the one time of year when a great bulk of the general population is actually thinking about booze and ways to mix it, and I’ve been sitting around for the past week, still groggy and sluggish from stuffing myself over the Christmas weekend, paying little attention to the world of cocktails.
Not that I ignored them on the holiday, of course–a round of Stingers laid the groundwork for a Christmas Eve feast, with a nightcap of an Old Fashioned-type drink made of Weller Antique bourbon, sweetened with a few dashes of pimento dram and a homemade rum & vanilla liqueur I’ve been messing with lately (and with the amount of work and frustration that went into assembling the damn Playmobil knight’s castle “Santa” brought for my son, the nightcap was downright essential). Then, on Christmas Day, a batch of eggnog was on hand for when guests arrived–quite boozy, but pleasantly so, although I think I over-mixed the cream or egg whites, making it so thick that you nearly had to spoon it out of the cup–with a round of highly acclaimed Réveillon Cocktails as a Christmas dinner aperitif, and a flaming rum punch before pudding was served. A good time was had by all, at least those with cups in their hands.
Anyway, I didn’t think it proper to let the year end without passing along my gratitude to some of the folks who’ve stopped by the site and offered words of encouragement in the few months it’s been up and running. Thanks to those who’ve followed me over from the eGullet Fine Spirits and Cocktails forum, and from the Drinkboy forum, to see what’s going on in this little corner of the Web, and occasionally posting comments or sending me an e-mail on the side. I’m also flattered to find links to the site on several fine blogs, including Slakethirst, Chuck Taggart’s The Gumbo Pages and Martini Republic. Special thanks, too, to Ed Hamilton from the Ministry of Rum, who happened across the blog several months back and invited me to an event to learn more about Martinique rhum; to John Pyles, who’s perfecting a formula for falernum and who passed along a handful of recipes when I met him last week, that I’ll have to try in the days to come; to Ted Haigh, who graciously gave some of his valuable time to talk to me for an article I was writing, then stayed on the phone to answer some of my niggling questions about cocktails; and most especially to Ben, Kacy and Murray at Zig Zag Cafe, for putting up with yet another cocktail geek taking up space at the bar, and for having the patience to wrestle with the weird-ass drink recipes I bring in on occasion.
Thanks, everyone, for making this a pleasant venture for me these past few months. Happy New Year to you all, and best wishes for 2006.