“What’s a Super Bowl?” That’s a good question Klaus. The Klaus who I reference is none other than Klaus the Soused Gnome and the question is very much on the lips of most people on the planet of football-land or is it America? Klaus isn’t quite sure, but in the absence of practical reasoning and the fact that Klaus’s brain is ensconced in terra-cotta, a sort of a stand-off is occurring. So the question is, what is a Super Bowl is not too far from the mark.

Klaus has been up in New England for the past few weeks. Where it gets dark early and people do more than day drink. They also night drink! Klaus went up to Portland, Maine and also Tamworth, New Hampshire. He made some new friends along the way and shared his recipes for staying warm in the face of brutally downward temperatures. Sports are important up in New England, especially since it gets dark early and cold without much to do. Of course that’s where the sports come in. You need something to do while hoisting warming drinks.

Klaus is going to be watching the Puppy Bowl instead of the Super Bowl because he identifies with puppies more than he understands American football. In Klaus’s native Germany, garden gnomes are very familiar with puppies. They are less familiar with footballs. It’s just a fact of life. Right Klaus? Well, the assignment was to write about the Super Bowl and not the Puppy Bowl, regardless of what Klaus is going to do. Since Klaus will be sitting out the Super Bowl outside should he garner a magic Super Bowl ticket, he would have to be drinking a hot beverage to keep his butt warm. That hot beverage is named the Touchdown Toddy. It is also known, as a bench warmer because that’s what Klaus will be doing during the Super Bowl. He’s going to be warming the bench because if Klaus goes out onto the field, well let’s just say it would be all bad things for Klaus. He is made of Terra Cotta after all.

The Touchdown Toddy, like all warming drinks is guaranteed to warm the bench if you have too many other them. Standing upright may become a thing of the past. Crawling will be another way of moving around and slithering might become your movement of choice. It is going to snow on Super Bowl Sunday, so another slithering person wouldn’t be too out of place. Just keep the slithering away from Klaus. He’s very particular about his feet. Let’s just say he has a thing about feet.

The Touchdown Toddy is not a footbath, nor is it a finger bowl. It is a very potent drink made with local rum, (Busted Barrel from Jersey Artisan Distillery in Fairfield, NJ) and another New Jersey product, apple cider that is heated. I also used another venerable New Jersey product. That’s Laird’s Apple Brandy. The 100 Proof, Bottled in Bond version will do just fine. There is also a deep sweetness provided by a combination of baking spices woven into simple syrup from Royal Rose (Cardamom and Clove) and finally there is a pinch of cayenne pepper to give a bit of sting with all that sweet. Klaus is sure that if you drink two or more of them, all the fight will be out of you. As in most of Klaus’s concoctions there are bitters. For this Klaus chose the classic, Angostura. Because you should be able to buy some in your supermarket and you can stop bellyaching that the ingredients are too exotic for you.

The teams.

Klaus isn’t quite sure who is playing in the Super Bowl. He said to fix him another drink and he’ll look at the sports pages in the newspaper. Oh wait; Klaus is German, not American. The sports pages are in English. He cannot read them. Tough luck Klaus.

Another drink for you, Klaus?



The Touchdown Toddy aka The Bench Warmer…


2 oz. Busted Barrel Dark Rum

½ oz. Laird’s Apple Brandy (Bottled in Bond/100 Proof)

4 oz. Hot apple cider

½ oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Cardamom and Clove

Mere pinch of cayenne pepper… smaller than that!

2-3 shakes Angostura Bitters

Softly whipped cream (none of that in a can stuff)



Heat the apple cider to just below boiling

Add the Royal Rose Simple Syrup to dissolve

Add the Busted Barrel Dark Rum and the Laird’s Apple Brandy, stir

Pour into a heatproof mug

Add the softly whipped cream

Add the Angostura Bitters

Add a tiny, tiny pinch of cayenne pepper over the top and drizzle with a bit of the Royal Rose Simple Syrup for color


Klaus thinks you should have three or more… right Klaus?







by Warren

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