Drinking Events

Rob Roy’s Alcohol-Fueled Advent Calendar

Count down to Christmas with 24 days of holiday drinks…and a little bit of fire.

By Allecia Vermillion November 30, 2011

The blue blazer, being poured by legendary bar man Jerry Thomas.

Some advent calendars contain chocolate or Bible verses; others involve cups of flaming whiskey. You’ll find the latter at Rob Roy, where bartenders have organized a spirited advent calendar that starts tomorrow. Look for a different seasonal drink each day in December, leading up to Christmas Eve.

This decidedly adult advent countdown was the inspiration of Andrew Bohrer, who will be posting each day’s drink recipe on his Caskstrength blog (if you haven’t read his barman’s holiday gift guide yet, go check that out too). Rob Roy’s Bryn Lumsden set up the calendar and got everyone organized.

What’s the point of all this? Per Bohrer, it’s a chance to redeem all those holiday drinks that nobody orders because they are often poorly executed, or achingly sweet. “I wanted to give everybody a free pass for a day to order something they couldn’t ever get or order in a bar,” he says. The drinks will be a surprise each day, but Bohrer predicts a mix of holiday classics and wintry originals from him, Lumsden and Anu Apte. About a quarter of the drinks will be hot, including the Tom and Jerry, recently resurrected over at Vito’s, and a “Spanish coffee amnesty day.”

On December 24, the alcoholic equivalent of that really giant culminating piece of advent-calendar chocolate is the blue blazer, a beverage that involves flaming cups of whiskey and a high probability of setting one’s self on fire. It’s a favorite feat for Bohrer, who says the process requires only a steady hand and a tolerance for, you know, being set on fire.

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