For most Americans, the next two months are going to be chock-full of activity and preparation. Not simply for holiday meals and travel plans, but mental, ninja-like preparation for steeling themselves against the onslaught of annual family members whom literally nobody enjoys.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm sure you love your Uncle Roy despite his unflagging tendency to bring his own vegan quinoa salad and home-printed pamphlets about the brutality of turkey slaughter in the United States. And I've no doubt you occasionally enjoy the company of your cousin Jeremy, who will play Modern Warfare 3 with you for five hours straight after dinner but will casually bring up the subject of medical school, even though you dropped out in 2002.
But don't try to convince me that you like your great-aunt or grandmother asking your date if they're married. Or if you, politely clad in a starched Brooks Brothers shirt and pressed slacks, if you are getting married. Or if you're ever going to bring a nice Jewish boy home to meet the family. (No. No. Not a chance.)
Don't bust out the Prozac yet, guys. I have something special for you.
Once upon a midnight dreary, I sat home listening to Steely Dan and taking shots of this beautiful, sultry liquor, Root, alone in the dark. Your tax dollars at work! After sobering up, I realized that I needed to give this to the masses in a less collegiate, more family-friendly fashion like, immediately. And from my loins, this Gingerbread Float was born. I tested many combinations with my faithful friend and killed many gingerbread men in the process, but the results were so delicious that I couldn't possibly keep them to myself.
Representing the high-priced, mild flavor of Connecticut. Hell yes!
Try to find Root. Please, please, please try to find this, because on its own it tastes like the best, most deeply smoky ginger beer you've ever had, with a snappy, sweet flavor like straight bourbon vanilla and a comfortingly warm finish. As well it should, being 80 proof. What makes it so remarkable is how versatile it is. I'd happily drink this like Scotch, with a finger or two in a tumbler with ice, or in a cocktail (warmed cider, perhaps?) or like this in a milk-based drink. You need this. I need this.
Rimming is essential. You know what I mean, don't give me that look. Water will do in a pinch, but in later permutations of this cocktail, I found that a little maple syrup or melted caramel sauce was better for maximum stickiness for the gingersnap and spice coating. These are so freaking good. I know that as a full-time student at a full-time party school, I'm genetically obliged to tell you that something with copious amounts of alcohol and ice cream is freaking good, but this is good because it's nuanced in a way that makes it an easy drinker as well as something to really savor. Whipped cream is unnecessary.
And yes, that's not a typo. You deserve a cocktail with four ounces of booze, so don't skimp.
Gingerbread Float Cocktails
Ingredients (makes 1 cocktail- multiply for more servings!)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Pepperidge Farms Ginger Men cookies, crumbled
2 oz Root liquor
2 oz vodka
1/2 cup vanilla bean ice cream or gelato
3/4 cup whole milk
Maple syrup for rimming
1. Crush the ginger cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Mix with spices and sugar and put on a small plate.
2. Over the sink, brush maple syrup over the rim of a Collins glass so that the spices and crumbs have a sticky surface to adhere to. Place the rim into the spice mixture and move around so that all surfaces are covered.
3. In a blender, pour in the remaining spices from the plate, the Root, vodka, ice cream, and milk. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour into glass and garnish with cookie and a dash of ground cinnamon.
Do not skip the garnish. It is the absolute alter ego of the cocktail. And it has red sprinkles, ergo, it's really freaking cute. I rest my case. Please just make this- at the very least, you'll have a built-in excuse to avoid backyard football and Republican debates.
Labels: beverage, booze, cooking, drink, shameless foodette