Winter in Canada: an endless, bleak landscape of snow and cold, without hope or pity, the unrelenting harshness chipping away at your very humanity – unless you’re a visitor to our fair province, in which case, “Bienvenue! Joie d’hiver! Pull up a toboggan! You look positively chic in that balaclava!”
Getting through the Canadian winter takes stamina. It takes imagination. It takes liquor. Sometimes it takes all three combined. Such is the case in this complicated but ultimately numbing recipe for Nognog Nog (Vache de la Croissant), a traditional Quebec drink that has been passed down through my family for over three weeks.
Here’s what you’ll need:
40 oz. strong liquor – rum, vodka, gin, any Axe product, etc.
1 litre fresh-squealed pineapple juice*
2 tbsp. Banjee’s Tribal Sunspot Drops (available at most respectable haberdashers)
3.5 ml nutmeg grouts
20 oz. rubbing alcohol (for sterilizing only, probably)
3.14159 cups sugar
4 Monopoly pieces (optional)
1 lb suet
11 Sweet Tarts (not optional; I SAID NOT OPTIONAL!)
A pinch of marzipan
A speck of saltines
A grimble of grahams
2 litres de-homogenized milk (available at most disrespectable haberdashers)
*Did I write “fresh-squealed”? That’s embarrassing. I meant “fresh-squeaked.”
1. Pour liquor into punch bowl, reserving one cup for marinade and occasional nips.
2. Google “Nipsey Russell.” Whatever happened to him?
3. Add pineapple juice in a centrifugal manner.
4. Place Banjee’s Drops in a stirrup for six hours to sublimate. You should probably do this first. So this should be 1. You know what? Just start again. You have more strong liquor, right? Of course you do.
5. Tediously add the sublimated Banjee Drops to the punch bowl.
6. Add nutmeg grouts to the mixture. Remove immediately. Faster! Your guests are gyrating with thirst!
7. Gaze forlornly through your kitchen window, transformed into a dazzling prism of frost, and recall your childhood, so full of promise, and young love’s first kiss, with Angelique, and her terrier, and her oblong birthmark, and dreams of a happier future where a woman would not be judged by the size of her moustache. Sigh. Have a nip. No, not that kind…
9. Sterilize the tureens.
10. Don’t forget to buy tureens.
11. What the hell are tureens?
12. Add sugar to punch, stirring incessantly.
13. Complain about Quebec politics/culture/the Montreal Canadiens. (This is what makes it a traditional recipe.)
14. Forget about the Monopoly pieces. It was a stupid idea.
15. Divide suet in two equal parts. Ask a guest to hand you half the suet. Then ask your guest, “Suet to me one more time.” Discard suet. Totally worth it.
16. Gnash the Sweet Tarts and sprinkle on top of punch along with marzipan, saltines and grahams. Pretty, huh?
17. Add milk to punch and call in the neighbours to watch it curdle. Trust me: it’s winter; they have nothing better to do.
19. Pour into sterilized tureens and serve to guests. There; that should get rid of them.
A version of this post originally appeared at www.lifeinquebec.com