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January 2, 2014

Do you like this?

Our man on the bar stool samples some cinnamon 

Y’KNOW ALMOST EVERYBODY LOVES THE HOLIDAY SEASON EVEN though most won’t admit it. “Grrr,” they say, “it’s all commercial” and,“It’s too stressful.” The truth is, deep down they really dig it because people are attracted to shiny objects and brightly colored items. They’re like crows.

The holiday season with Christmas and the New Year celebrations always spur on memories of the “good ol’ days,” when life was simple and the sun always shining, there was always time to enjoy the little things that make a young man (or lady) rather pleased with themselves. 

What also gets their mojo rising is all of the food—especially the sweets. There are all varieties of candy, cookies, puddings, pies and warm drinks that round out the sensation. 

One of the main tastes associated with all the warm-fuzzy hubbub is inevitably cinnamon. So, you can have Santa drop off an extra crystal skull for the Sri Lankans as thanks for the tasty cheer next time he passes through because that’s where cinnamon comes from. 

As much as I love a nice dessert or cuppa, sometimes the chill in the air dictates that more extreme measures be taken to combat the Snow Miser. 

That said, a couple of Jim Dandies were recently sent to my rescue. There in front of me are two bottles of relief. One is white in color the other has flames crawling up the side. H'mm, which do I choose first?

Flames it is!

This one is called “Cinerator.” It’s made by Heaven Hill in Kentucky and it’s a Hot Cinnamon-flavored Whiskey. As the lid is removed, I realize they weren’t kidding with the cinnamon. On the label it says 91.1 proof. (Yep…9-1-1) This should be a treat, oh yeah. Because I already know that it’s cinnamon, it’s not a total surprise—that’s what it tastes like. 

What is a surprise is that the whiskey part of it is really smooth for a proof that high. There’s a little warmth at the bottom of the throat but it finishes quite well. The cinnamon is definitely playing lead on this number. 

I like it straight out of the glass and I think this would be a great addition to a hot drink or (my fave), egg nog. Unfortunately, I don’t have any in the fridge or I would be ears deep in a big mug of it. (Note to self: “Buy egg nog.”)

The white bottle is a brand titled “RumChata.” This is a cream -based bevvie from…Wisconsin? Well, it is “America’s Dairyland”—says so right on the license plate. But, the “Chata” part of the name comes from horchata, which is originally from Spain. Horchata is a blend of rice, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon and what these folks do is blend it with Caribbean rum and fresh dairy cream. 

Before opening it, I’m thinking Irish Cream. But a twist of the gold lid tells my nose that this is not the case. This 27.5 proof liqueur smells more like pudding. It pours thick over the ice I’ve placed in the glass. Mmm…yummy! I like this stuff! 

Although it’s great on its own, the possibilities to mix this with other beverages are almost endless. It would be very nice indeed in coffee, but it could be creatively used in martinis and shots as well. (Note to self: “Buy everything else.”)

As far as sprits go, these friends are a Devil and an Angel. When they greet you, the Cinerator will slap you on the back and RumChata will give you a hug. Both are equally kind and welcomed.

So as the season of shiny objects draws to a close and you’re reminiscing over the year that was 2013, feel confident that having one of these as company will have you and Grumpy Cat Twerking Gangnam Style into the New Year.

Cheers!

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