El Nino is playing havoc with our holiday season. That little southern scoundrel is guaranteeing a snowless Christmas and street-corner Santas in Bermuda shorts. It’s also messing with the Firewater Lounge and its Lizards. Why? Well, if the Lounge is known for one thing, it’s for our Christmas tipples: Hot Buttered Rum, Tom and Jerrys, Hot Spiced Drambuies, and Gringo Hot Chocolates...you know, all the drinks that keep the holiday spirit cozy, bright, and warm. But the weather this year in December is damn close to March.
It’s ok. We’re up for the challenge. We’ll show that no-good slumbering Jack Frost how cold (and awesome) the season can be- the only way a Wisconsinite can- with BEER! Having said that, the beer we are going to feature in this post is from Oregon. Now, before the boo-birds come out, we are talking Deschutes Brewery here, so if you boo, we know you have never tried their suds. The best of their line is their dark brews, the Black Butte Porter, the Obsidian Stout, and the Jubelale; all true comfort beers with a sweet palate of either chocolate or toffee-caramel with a bit of roasty bitterness to boot.
Of course, we love to just drink the Deschutes, but this is the Firewater Lounge and we have to keep the Lounge Lizards happy while adding to their Christmas cocktail pantheon at the same time. We won’t let you down. We are going to start with the Black Butte Porter and add the sweet coffee syrup of Kamora to enhance the porter’s natural coffee highlights, and tag on a pot still Jamaican rum for depth and funkiness. The aftermath is a complex concoction of sweet coffee love, background cascade hops, and unctuous molasses dunder. Santa, in his Bermuda shorts, would approve.
Winter Beer Cocktail
2 parts Deschutes Black Butte Porter
2 parts Kamora Coffee Liqueur
1 part pot still Jamaican rum (we used Hamilton Black)
Fill a standard pilsner glass with ice, add one ounce of pot still Jamaican rum. We recommend Hamilton Black or Smith and Cross if you can find it (if you are in Madison, try Barriques). If you are out in the sticks, Appleton V/X or even Myers’s will work, but the complexity will wane. Add two ounces of Kamora, then two ounces of Black Butte Porter. Cap with just enough 7up to cut the pot still funk. Lightly stir to bring up a slight head. And do consider leaving a Winter Beer Cocktail for Santa this year instead of milk, we all know the reindeer are really driving anyway.