Beer advent calendars are all the rage these days, as beer geeks either buy pre-selected packs from their local purveyor, or make up their own version and set it aside to enjoy in the traditional 12 days leading up to the big day.
This is a fun way to enjoy the season, and also a great test of your resolve. It’s one thing to stick to the one-a-day schedule when you have no idea what beers lay in store for you, but it’s much harder when you have made your own selections, because you know what’s in there, and you will (YOU WILL!) experience moments when you really want to steal from your own stash, and drink your way into the future, if you will. Try to hold off.
In the spirit of the season, we here at TAPS have come up with a proposed schedule for those 12 special days. Our list is not just beer, though; it includes cider and some spirits to warm up your December.
So, with that under Santa’s ample belt, here we go:
On the first day of Christmas, my true love poured for me…
RUM & EGG NOG
This is a bit of a cliché, but one of the first harbingers of impending gift-buying debts is when you see those egg nog cartons at your local grocer. Maybe you make your own egg nog, which is commendable, but, either way, this is a satisfying, comfort cocktail for the season. When choosing your rum brand it is important to not cheap out too much. You get what you pay for when it comes to bargain dark or amber rum. Try to step up to at least the $25-35 range, which should guarantee a product that actually tastes like rum. Avoid spiced rums. They are too sweet, which will just compound the drink’s diet issues, and the spices in those flavoured rums typically come across as artificial. Some good value options available nationally are Newfoundland Screech (imported rum from the Caribbean), Plantation Barbados Grand Reserve (made by a Cognac producer), Appleton Reserve from Jamaica, and El Dorado 5, a Demerara rum from Guyana. A perfect finishing touch is some fresh ground nutmeg, right from the nut.