The first Christmas away from home, I developed a craving for my mom's Whisky Cake. This concoction of nuts, dates, and just enough flour to hold them together got baked every year in November. She then soaked the loaf with whisky daily until its holiday consumption. Santa did not eat cookies at our house; slices of this treat sent him back to his sleigh with a bit of a buzz.
I followed the recipe and wrapped the cake in fresh towels. On Christmas eve we sliced and ate...and I realized that I really do not like the cake. It turned out that the smell of bourbon, in my brain, connected as closely to the holidays and home as evergreens and wood fires.
From then on, we skipped the cake and drank the booze.
A few years ago, one of my good friends who also appreciated good bourbon signed me up as an Ambassador for Maker's Mark. As she was on the P&T committee, I of course inquired about putting this on my CV as a community service.
What does being an Ambassador mean? My name is on a barrel in their distillery that I can taste if I ever visit. I also get a unique holiday gift every year. One year they sent gift wrap. Another time it was a miniature cocktail shaker and a recipe for bourbon ball martinis. Last year we received molds for ice spheres.
Yesterday I opened a mailer and found a bottle sweater. A reindeer bottle sweater.
Until I unwrapped this gift I never realized that my bourbon bottle might appreciate a bit of winter apparel and a chance to spread holiday cheer.
My husband seems skeptical, but I feel that this adds just the right amount of holiday decor to our bar area. It's festive, damn it! Get used to it!