Hot Drinks, Ice Skating

Feeling in the Mood for Winter, a Gang Converges on Earl Warren
After Hot Saucing

The sweaters were out in force at Earl Warren Showgrounds on
Tuesday, December 12, when a gang of cold weather-wanting
merrymakers descended upon the small, rectangular ice rink for some
seasonal skating fun. But before the hordes arrived, they’d spent
an hour or so getting in the mood by slurping hot drinks at a
nearby Samarkand (technically Clinton Terrace)

On the menu, aside from the normal wine and beer options, were
hot toddies, sake ‘n’ ciders, and snugglers, the most common slang
name for peppermint schnapps-infused hot chocolates. First up were
the toddies, prepared lovingly by Diamond Dave. A maverick in the
drink-making field, he didn’t just go with the hot water, whiskey, honey, and lemon recipe
called for by so many a tender. hot%20toddy%203.jpg Rather, Diamond spread a little
tea bag love into the mix, and offered a VSOP
brandy as an option to the Knob Creek bourbon. The tea made it work, as
I’ve had hot toddies poured by the best bartenders in town that’ve
made me wonder why I didn’t just order a shot of whiskey. The
herbal notes of the tea gave Diamond’s toddies a seasonal

Next up was the sake and hot apple
, a favorite of Shaina and Casey. apple%20cider.jpg Arriving in a big pot as well as a
pre-filled thermos, this concoction was, in my humble opinion, the
star of the night. Not only is the recipe an original that cannot
be found on The
, the mellowness of the sake whisks perfectly away into
the aroma of the sweet, tangy cider. sake.jpg Surely, you lose a little booze bang
for your buck with the less potent sake mix, but it goes down oh so
nicely that one person alone could drink the entire thermos.

And the last brew guzzled cautiously before walking out the door
and toward the ice rink a couple blocks away was the hot chocolate mixed with peppermint schnapps. This is an American
, known to most who actually have a special name for
the camping-friendly drink as a “snuggler.” (“Snuggler,” by the way, is a great name for
a drink, because even when uttered soberly, it sounds somewhat like
slurring.) snuggler.jpg This evening’s affair was a simple mix
of powdered Nestle cocoa, hot water, and a brand of schnapps I’d
never seen before. The kicker was the mint chocolate rolled wafers
from Pepperidge Farms; when dipped into the cocoa, the minty
chocolate inside melted and became a glumpy one with the drink.

By the time we left the house, our spirits were on high and
anxiety about ice skating eased by the warm drinks. skating.jpg For $10 a head for one hour, the
skating proved extra worthwhile now that our insides had been
warmed with these special seasonal beverages. It’ll be happening at
Earl Warren Showgrounds all holiday season, so make sure to check
it out.

While we cannot officially advocate getting smashed and going
ice skating, which would be a losing affair for all involved, we
can say that a nice buzz goes well with hard ice. Interested in the
result of our evening? Check out the YouTube video below.

(Video and last photo by Joanna Yates)


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