Klaus has discovered the true meaning of Christmas. It is not the gifts, nor the eating, nor a well made cocktail. What Christmas means to Klaus is the gathering of his family and the desire to see good things come from within.
Klaus hails from the Black Forest region of Germany. This is a place where Christmas is celebrated all year long in the form of festive foods like stuffed pork chops, sausages, rib roasts and of course strong drinks to quell the icy winds that flow down from the mountains. Klaus is very familiar with strong drinks, that’s why he is called the Soused Gnome!
On a recent trip to Germany in his little ceramic brain-while dreaming… Klaus visited his uncle. Uncle Franz had concocted a hand-made Vermouth with Beets! Klaus, being the healthy little guy that he is loves root vegetables of all types, especially beets.
Fresh beets are shaved with horseradish into a slurry of strong brandy along with herbs and spices.
Is it uncouth to mix vegetables with liquor? Not if you are the Soused Gnome.
Klaus’s friend Bianca Miraglia from Red Hook, Brooklyn in NY, makes this salubrious hand made Vermouth from natural and sustainable ingredients.
She knows the secrets of the earth. Bianca unlocks these secrets every time Klaus’s little ceramic stomach thirsts out for strong liquor. She knows what it means to seek flavor and character in drinks.
Bianca also holds another secret but Klaus isn’t saying, so I will. It is the secret of Christmas. That the best gifts received are the ones from inside his little ceramic body. The most important part of Christmas isn’t the material objects, but the ones that make him rosy and warm inside from abundant love.
Each time that Klaus imbibes a mouthful of Uncouth Vermouth he is given a liquid driven choice.
Which flavor to choose?
On Klaus’s Christmas list there are several varieties. He is especially fond of the beet flavor woven with eucalyptus, but he’s also taken a shine to the Serrano chili and lavender. The apple mint is lovely in a glass with a bit of seltzer water and a splash of fine bourbon whiskey. Pappy? Pappy? Nah, Pappy is too difficult to find. Klaus will stick with Four Roses instead. Or maybe Klaus would enjoy a splash of Tequila or perhaps some smoky Mezcal to go with Vermouth. All these choices!
The true meaning of Christmas is the gathering of friends and family around the Yule log. Songs will be sung. There might be some yodeling and dancing around the fire. Vermouth is mixed in glasses and thrown down, one after another. Klaus is good at this game. Drinking is what he does best.
Klaus wishes you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
He wants me to tell you the recipe for his reddish cheeks. A concoction that only Klaus will understand, and you will crave!
Klaus’s Uncouth Christmas slurp!
Uncouth Vermouth (Beet, Eucalyptus variety)
Botanical Gin like Half Moon Bay from Tuthilltown Spirits in New York State (made from Apples)
Slices of freshly steamed beets muddled in a Boston Shaker with a touch of horseradish (Gold’s works)
Sprigs of dill leaf
To a Boston Shaker, muddle some of the beets with a bit of horseradish to make a nice slurry
2 oz. Uncouth Vermouth Beet/Eucalyptus Vermouth
2 oz. Botanical Gin
fill the shaker ¾ with ice and shake shake shake shake shake shake (Klaus loves to shake the shaker)
Double Strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a slice of beet and a small sprig of dill
Happy Christmas and to all a good night! Good night Klaus.. Merry Christmas to you and your family in Germany.