As usual, I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself. I have a history of this: in the fifth grade, I was already dressing like a business woman. Blazers, and sometimes ties (it was 1989), were de rigueur. So, really, my eagerness to talk about New Years Day, before uttering even a peep about New Years Eve, really isn’t all that shocking. Like I said, I have a history—a shoulder-padded history.
In reality, I have been doing a lot of thinking about New Years Eve. We’ll be cooking and laying low because we have an early flight on New Years Day (New Orleans!). My initial idea for a New Years Eve menu came while we were at my parents’ house in Minnesota for Christmas.
The idea, actually, emerged from the blender, of all places. My step-dad, Ren, whizzed up a double (or, you know, it might have been a triple batch; my memory is a little hazy) batch of Brandy Alexanders. They were part dessert, part cocktail and completely delicious. (I should mention, too, that while they might look like an innocent milkshake, they are quite a boozy milkshake. My grandma had two (!) and proceeded directly to bed.)
As I drained my glass, I proclaimed that I had settled on a New Years Eve menu: a punch bowl full of frothy, creamy, boozy Brandy Alexanders, into which I would plunge two straws—one for me, one for Kevin. Throw in some noisemakers and we would have a par-tay.
In the end, I’m taking the menu in a more restrained direction. One that’s less prone to pounding headaches—of the brain freeze or morning-after variety. (Like I said: early morning flight). But I can’t wait to make these again soon. And, if you’re looking for a cocktail for your New Years soiree (one that can double as dessert, no less!), look no further. Happy New Year, everyone!
Recipe by Ren*
1 part Brandy
1 part Kahula, plus 1/2 teaspoon per drink for garnish
Vanilla ice cream (the chef prefers Breyers), to thickness
Whole nutmeg, to freshly grate for garnish
Mix equal parts brandy and Kahula and a conservative amount of vanilla ice cream in a blender. Add additional ice cream and blend until the mixture reaches the consistency of a milkshake. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a 1/2 teaspoon Kahula and a dusting of freshly-grated nutmeg
* This recipe is a little loosey-goosey and for that I apologize. He’s a fantastic cook who rarely follows recipes, so it’s a miracle I got a recipe out of him at all.