Holiday cocktail tidbits

Two little bar bites: an elegant holiday host gift and facts about flaming rum punch

Oil from the orange peel fans the flames of a German Burnt Punch. Lou Lou Childs photo

Most Wanted: Decanters

It’s that time of year when we’re both hosting events and shopping for gifts, and there is one easy solution for both: decanters. An elegant decanter makes a lovely gift under the tree or even for a party host. It’s also a good vessel for your house whisky or brandy. But it’s best put to use for serving large-format cocktails—a decanter filled with pre-mixed Negronis or punch not only looks beautiful, but is easy to pour. Find some great options at:

Pyrotechnic Punch

Every year around this time we watch It’s a Wonderful Life, and every year we are intrigued by Clarence the angel’s request for a “flaming rum punch,” which earns him the scorn of Nick, the tough-guy barman—and unfairly so, in our opinion. What he’s thinking of is likely a feuerzangenbowle, the traditional burnt sugar or “fire tongs” punch served at Christmas markets across Germany. It’s a mulled wine served with a sugar loaf soaked in rum and lit on fire, which gives it a caramelized flavour. Sounds like just the sort of thing that really would make it a wonderful life.

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