Dec. 17 Krampus Baby
Through the years, carolers have gone from house to house, regaling the inhabitants with Christmas cheer in the form of song. Over time, this tradition has faded, but one song holds true the spirit of obnoxious trespassers demanding something for their off-key renditions. You can probably guess which song I'm talking about. It leaves us asking two things, "What the hell is figgy pudding, and why did they want it so badly?"
Hello again, my thirsty readers. If you're anything like me, you probably questioned every single thing as a child. My parents tell me this was rather irritating, especially around the holidays. I just couldn't help myself. So many questions are left unanswered, and so much about holiday tradition contradicts itself. It felt like the only safe place, free of confusion, was the land of Christmas carols, or so I thought. If Santa Claus was supposed to bring holiday cheer to those who are good, what happens to those obsessive figgy pudding demands?
So what is figgy pudding anyways? According to tradition, figgy pudding refers to Christmas pudding, which contains dried fruits. Remember when we talked about fruitcake? Yeah, Christmas desserts sure are obsessed with little pieces of fruit.
The origins of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" can be traced back to the West Country of England. The positive notes can obviously be "We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year." There's nothing wrong with that, right? Who doesn't want to we wished happy holidays? The real problem here seems to be the obsessive demand of this figgy pudding.
In 19th Century England, it was customary for carolers to go from house to house, singing songs. In return, the owners of the homes would generally give food and drink to the carolers. When no treats or booze were received however, the singing revelers might demand them, growing louder and more obnoxious. It's kind of like our modern idea of trick or treat, only with singing.
Even as a kid, I wondered why these people were demanding this figgy pudding from complete strangers. They keep saying they won't go until they get some. They become louder. They become demanding. This starts to sound like the Victorian holiday version of The Purge. Who will stop these carolers of the night? Enter the demonic counterpart of Old Saint Nick, Krampus.
Yes Krampus, the half-goat, half-demon figure of Christmas lore. It's said Krampus is sent to scare, and sometimes take, misbehaving children, while Santa brings the good children presents. Generally represented by the horns and hooves of a goat, while walking upright like a human, Krampus carries with him a chain and birch branches. Covered with dark hair, this fearsome figure is usually shown having a long, pointed tongue. Could the fearsome Krampus stomp out these annoying carolers, giving the world some peace and quiet?
I'd like to think Krampus is the answer. Maybe, instead of glorifying the fat jolly man, we could sing some songs for Krampus. Think about this for a moment. We could sing Krampus carols! "You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry" has a whole new meaning when you're talking about Krampus, instead of Santa.
I'm sitting here, imagining an angry Krampus, whipping greedy carolers with his birch branches. We might not have people going from house to house, demanding our sweets today, but we certainly have people in need of some punishment. As I'm writing this, our own government can't come to an agreement to literally save the lives of millions. We've all been struggling to get by for the better part of a year now, and politicians are sitting on their butts wondering what's in it for them. Come on Krampus baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight.
1oz Coruba Dark
.25oz Overproof Jamaican Rum
.25oz Amaro di Angostura
.25oz Vanilla Syrup
1 heaping barspoon Fig Preserve
1 Whole Egg
2oz Stout Beer
Dry shake all ingredients except beer.
Add ice and shake again until cold.
Add beer, giving another quick shake, then strain.
Garnish with flower and nutmeg.
*A not on the beer: Any stout should work well for this, but I find the flavors are much better with a heavier beer. Imperial stouts are preferred. *
We might not have the satisfaction of Krampus beating Mitch McConnell with a branch, so we'll just have to hold out hope for some relief. With more independent restaurants closing every single day, the government needs to step in, and maybe, just maybe, some of our dreams can be saved. I mean, if they aren't going to send us financial aid, could they atleast send us some figgy pudding? Hold out hope with me friends, and keep shaking.