Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to All! Gin Punch with Cherries and a Holiday Request

I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas and will give you wonderful drink recipes for my gift to you… but I want to take this opportunity to ask that all of you with a bit of extra cash on this holiday would take a moment and consider creatures less fortunate.  I was horrified to read an article in the NYTs  this week about the plight of horses in Dublin ( see the article HERE )  . 

Andrew Testa for The New York Times

These magnificent beasts were pets when the economy was rolling along but are now being abandoned at an alarming rate as their owners cannot afford the feed bills and have their own troubles.  Please contact the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals HERE and give what you can to help these poor suffering animals.  SO far, the outpouring of donations from the USA following this article has been nothing short of a Christmas Miracle.  I know there are people suffering but let us not forget the creatures that depend on us.  Give a little to the Dublin horses or if you prefer to stay local, give to a local ASPCA to help them this holiday season.  Thanks so much for anything you can do.

Your reward, one of the best drinks I’ve tried.  I’ve been saving this beauty for Christmas as my present to all of you.  The drink, from my favorite cocktail book, Dainty Drinks and Cooling Cups, is another mid-19th century gem with a modern addition of Aftelier’s Fir essence.  It is like drinking the holidays with the hint of evergreen in every cherry-red sip.  It is a brilliant cocktail.  As for The Splitting Headache... well, with a name like that... I had to try it.  If you like spiced ale...this is your drink!

Gin Punch a la Fuller (with cherry juice)

2 cups sour cherry juice (cranberry or pomegranate juice can be substituted but Whole Foods carry it - I made mine with frozen sour cherries and a little sugar and water for one batch and it was delicious)
1 drop bitter almond or almond extract to taste
4 cups gin (use a good, artisanal gin like one from St George with lots of botanicals)
1 drop Aftelier Fir essence that you can get HERE 
sugar to taste (my juice was plenty sweet… do what you will)

Put all the ingredients together and taste to see if you need sugar.  Add shaved ice and shake or put it in a blender and give it a whirl.  Pour into glasses and serve (the fir absolute is tar-like but has a beautiful dark flavor -- you need to put a drop in gin to dissolve it -- but it's worth it). 

Splitting Headache

½ cup Rum
6 cloves
pinch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
½ cup limejuice
1 quart ale
sugar to taste
Put the rum and spices in a glass for an hour.  Strain and add the limejuice.  Combine with the ale and taste … you may or may not want sugar depending on the ale.  Can be had cold or warmed.


Heartwarming Budweiser Clydesdale videos HERE and HERE and HERE to help loosen your pursestrings (I am shameless for a good cause!!!).

Thanks to Gourmet Live for recommending my Cherry-Gin Cocktail


Ken Albala said...

Horses gin and cherries, Great combination. And for ONCE I am first to comment here. AN honor among the throngs that crowd your gates. HAPPY HAPPY CHRISTMAS my dear.


pam said...

Merry Christmas!! I will donate!

Linda said...

Merry Christmas Deana....
thank you for your beautiful gift...and the gift you give of yourself all year long!
Have a wonderful holiday!

Kathy Walker said...

Thank you, Deana for your lovely posts! I have enjoyed each one and appreciate all of the work that goes into the research.
Happy Holidays!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Merry Christmas Deana! And thankyou for these wonderful cocktail recipes, sure to put the festive air into any celebration. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas full of joy and cheer! :D

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Deana dearest,

I am so saddened to hear about the plight of these magnificent creatures that I love so...what a disappointment to know that the state of the WORLD'S economy now is even hitting those innocents...the creatures of nature, that deserve our care. Thank you for always serving up love, history, beauty and wonder with your recipes. I wish you the happiest of Christmases with all of those YOU LOVE, and thank you for always coming to visit with me....our world is so huge, but becomes more intimate when people care to chat.

Many happy blessings to you and your household, Anita

2 Stews said...

Thanks, Deana! Merry Christmas to you and thanks for bringing us the article on the plight of horses in Dublin. I know the economy there has been in dire straits.

The Gin Punch sounds so festive. I love anything with cherries :-)

Wishing you the best in the New Year.

La Table De Nana said...

Have a merry little Christmas..Thanks for all your wonderful posts~

The poor horses!

Diane said...

I cannot stand cruelty to animals of any kind it me so angry how some people behave. I worked for a vet for many years so I have seen it all. I will stay away from the gin drink, (gin makes me cry! dont ask me why) but the rum sounds wonderful. Have a happy weekend. Best wishes Diane

Chef Dennis Littley said...

Hi Deana
nothing touches my heart more than animals suffering...I cannot understand how anyone could be cruel to those poor babies. Thank you for bringing it to light. We support a Bernese Mountain Dog rescue organization, our 7 year old boy lays peacefully, he has no rear hip sockets, stomach problems and epilepsy....but is the sweetest boy in the world despite all he went thru his first two years on this earth.
Have a Very Merry Christmas my friend!

Mary Bergfeld said...

The color of your drinks is wonderful and perfect for the season. You have to love a drink name a Splitting Headache :-). I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Christmas blessings...Mary

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Merry Christmas, Deana!

Two gorgeous cocktails but I'm a little afraid to try the second one :)

Lazaro Cooks said...

Beautiful heartfelt post and a fantastic libation.

Wish you the best this holiday season!

Be well

Gemma said...

It's a very nice and charitable holiday request...
Gin Punch a la Fuller is a very Christmas drink. Deana, merry Christmas to you!

tasteofbeirut said...


Only here do I find information that I cannot find anywhere else; you are so right to bring notice to the plight of horses in Ireland. Thank you for your wonderful posts and enlightening writing and extraordinary one-of-a-kind dishes and desserts and drinks. That gin punch looks mighty good! Happy holidays, and the best for the new year.

Totally blown away said...

While I am saddened by the plight of the horses in Ireland, what makes me even angrier and more sad is those of you who actually consider sending money overseas for ANIMALS instead of taking care of human beings here in the states or in your own home countries. In America alone 1 in 4 children goes to bed hungry. ONE IN FOUR human children. Seams priorities are a little jacked. Wanna help? go to sheesh

Christmas-etc... said...

Those poor horses... I will visit the site. Thanks for telling about this grave problem.
PS That drink looks fabulous!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

A toast to you, Deana, for some wonderful stories from history, and many festive cocktails along the way. Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day and a lot of snow and prosperity for the New Year!

Barbara said...

Hope you had a lovely Christmas, Deana! I KNOW you're snowed in up's super cold here too, but at least no snow.

Thanks for the info about the horses. Had no idea. I've done my giving for this holiday season locally this year via Spirit of Giving, one of my favorite charities.

And Splitting Headache indeed. Wow. I always love your drinks!

Happy New Year!

Faith said...

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas, Deana! Wow, I had absolutely no idea about the horses in Dublin. Thanks for the info, I'm off to check it out!

Tasty Trix said...

Do you know how much I love gin? This is the perfect cocktail for me. And to the person who questions sending money overseas for horses: How we treat our animals says a lot about us as humans ... and helping an animal does not preclude helping humans. Helping any living creature is a noble endeavor, and it is misguided to berate someone for it. (And yes, my dear, of course I put the link up on my blog!)

Sarah said...

Deana, when I drove from my small city to the big city for Christmas, I saw my first ever herd of wild horses. I stopped the car and just watched them run. It was amazing and something I have been dreaming about for a long time. I just had to tell someone!

Unknown said...

Daaaaaahling, I hope you had the best Christmas evaaaaaaaaa! Wishing you a Happy New Year ahead to you and your family.
I'm going to check out your link now about the horses.
*kisses* HH

Magic of Spice said...

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year!
I read the article and it is just horrid and so sad. I posted to my facbook page and will add a link on my next post.
Beautiful drink recipe :)

Sue said...

Thanks for raising the plight of these horses to our attention Deanna - I have horses myself and was really moved by this.

On a happier note I'd like to thank you for all your writing this year, you have been a pure pleasure to read and I really appreciate the time and effort you go to make such beautiful posts.

Wishing you a Very Happy New Year

Love Sue

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