By Tom Joyce
If there is anybody out there who is going to need a drink after work, it’s Rudolph!
First he wasn’t even scheduled to work Christmas Eve! Oh, he applied for the job alright but was quickly shown the door when his prosthetic fell off and exposed his luminous snozzola. Sure, he might not be the first pick if Santa were recruiting for Reindeer Team 6 to perform a covert operation on Heat Miser’s headquarters. But this was for a highly publicized trip around the world, at night!
So he’s told not only did he not get the job, but that he’s a freak and should just got back to his cave and pound sand. But then, big surprise a storm blows in. At the North Pole, in December, who would have thunk it? So what does Santa do? Cancel Christmas? No, he didn’t have a backup plan in case it was snowing…at the North Pole… in the winter…
Then somebody (probably not Santa) says, “Hey why don’t we get Blitzen and Mitzi’s little freak son with the red nose to guide the sleigh!”
I wish Rudolph had told them to go play games, but he’s a team player so he jumped on board. And where do they put him? At the front of course with all the wind resistance, sleet and snow. He should have told Santa that he’d be riding in the sleigh with him warmly wrapped in this Snuggie for little Amy in Pittsburg and he’d expect him to bring him back cookies while he sits in the sleigh and plays with someone’s PS4.
But no, he holds no grudge for being ostracized and leads the way — and with no goggles! Probably didn’t even get Employee of the Month. But you know what he does get? A shift drink for, as my mom would put it, “A good job done.”
I made Rudolph’s Shift Drink based on the classic cocktail, The Grasshopper. But if you add Vodka to a Grasshopper you get a “Flying Grasshopper.” And since reindeer fly… well, I can’t tell you how happy with myself I am for coming up with this. To make it a little different I muddled up some fresh mint then added ingredients shook and double strained. Then to make it truly Rudolph’s, I dropped a cherry in the bottom of a cocktail glass and his nose began to glow! This little addition really tickled me to death, I’m ever so pleased with myself. Thanks Rudolph, nice job, let’s do it again next year.
3/4 oz. Vodka
3/4 oz. Green Creme de Menthe
3/4 oz. White Creme de Cocao
3/4 oz. Heavy cream
6-8 Mint leaves
1 each Red Maraschino cherry for garnish
Press gently your mint leaves in mixing glass, add ingredients, top with a full scoop of ice. Shake and double stain into a frozen cocktail glass and drop in cherry to light your way.
Extra credit: Chop up some shredded coconut and sprinkle on top to make it look like snow. (Another a proud moment for me!) I’ve seen some people garnish with crumbled chocolate chunks but that reminded me too much of reindeer droppings… If you don’t like coconut skip this extra credit assignment and join Santa writing a four page paper on tolerance. And remember the road probably doesn’t need one, so imbibe safely and tipple don’t topple.
Happy Holidays from the Cocktail Corner.
Tom Joyce is the bartender at On The Rocs in Killington and a regular columnist for The Mountain Times.