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Dec. 1 The Isle of Misfits Toys

"Well, we're a couple of misfits from Christmastown, and now we'd like to live here," Rudolph told the King. "No, that would not be possible. This island is for toys alone," the King replied. His friend, Yukon Cornelius was appalled. "How do you like that? Even among misfits you're a misfit." I'm guessing a lot of us feel like Rudolph sometimes, especially this year.

Welcome home my thirsty readers! As things keep becoming stranger and more unsettling in the "real world," I thought perhaps the holidays could be a great chance to escape together again with a daily dose of winter cocktails! Beginning today, I'll be sharing a different holiday-inspired cocktail every day, advent calendar style. I've had a lot of requests for this, so I though we'd start it off with a big drink. I think it's about time for some wintry fun, shall we?


Growing up, we all had our holiday traditions. Being a suburban kid in the United States, Christmas specials on television were an obvious one for me. Every year we would look forward to sitting down, making popcorn, and watching our favorite characters with their own traditions. There were a lot of them, but non of them left the same impression as the spot-motion Christmas specials like 1964's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, narrated by the unforgettable Burl Ives.

Originally a capitalist tale of a young reindeer who is seen as an outcast by his community. Nobody has any time for the young reindeer, until they suddenly need his unique talents. A deviation from the original tale, this version of Rudolph takes children on an adventure of acceptance, letting everyone who ever felt different know they aren't alone. Rudolph meets Hermey, an elf who dreams of being a dentist, and the two embark on a magical journey, meeting other "misfits" like themselves along the way.

For me, a bar staff always seems to feel like it's own Island of Misfit Toys. Many of us just didn't seem to fit-in to the mold which we were assigned. We didn't care for the world we were given, so we created our own world, a place for our guests to escape and come along on our adventure. Lately though, our island feels like it's dealing with it's own form of climate change, and the shoreline is disappearing.

As I've mentioned in the past, I certainly never dreamed of a life spent pouring rum until the wee hours of the morning, especially not as a young undergrad. Those years were spent dreaming of the idea of a "real-job," where I didn't rely on the kindness of strangers to pay my rent. As we get older though, we learn that a "real-job" is anything that puts food on the table. I consider myself extremely lucky to have spent most of my adult life having the privilege to exist in this world of fantasy, where everything, at least in that moment, was perfect. This was a place where the outside world didn't matter. This was own own Isle of Misfit Toys.


The Isle of Misfit Toys

2oz Aged Barbados Rum

1oz 151 Proof Guyana Rum

1oz Mexican Rum (I used Paranubes)

1oz Pisco

2oz Orgeat

1oz Vanilla Syrup

1oz Coconut Cream

1oz Lemon Juice

1oz Lime Juice

4oz Pineapple Juice

6 dashes Angostura Bitters

Large Tiki Bowl

Flash blend with spindle mixer. (If you don't have a spindle mixer, a nice whip shake will work just fine.)

Pour unstrained.

Top with crushed ice.

Garnish with cinnamon/mint trees, orchids, Christmas candies, nutmeg, and powdered sugar.

*This should go without saying, but this is meant to be a shared drink. Don't be foolish.*


As I've mentioned before, the bar and restaurant world is in dire straights right now. Every dollar coming into these small businesses can be the difference between a future and seeing a dream destroyed. While you're doing your holiday shopping this year, don't forget about us, and we certainly won't forget about you. Until we meet again tomorrow my friends, stay safe, stay alert, and keep shaking.


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