So if there’s one song I have to hear every year around this time it’s probably not something you’d guess. For me it’s just not Christmas without Weird Al. “The Night Santa Went Crazy” is just one of those fun frolics I have to hear to get in the humbug spirit. So naturally I wanted to make a drink based on it’s colorful imagery and like the line said “Cheap Whiskey”. Of course cheap should never mean poor quality.


I tried to build this drink based on the classic definition of a cocktail. A old world cocktail being Spirit, Sugar, Water, and Bitters. When I first made this last year it was a little different. The Bitters were angostura and the whiskey was actually bourbon. This is one of those drinks that had promise but needed revisiting.

I knew immediately I wanted to switch to Rye whiskey and we used Rittenhouse because we had some and it was rather cheap fitting the song. I decided to use Blackstrap bitters because I got some as an early Christmas gift but you could easily use angostura or anything decently dark or spicy. Finally real homemade grenadine is a must. We like adding a small handful of dried hibiscus petals to ours when we make it. If you don’t want to order them online try looking in middle eastern style markets.


Reindeer Blood


4 oz Rye Whiskey

1 oz Homemade Grenadine

1 dash Blackstrap Bitters


Shake together Whiskey grenadine and bitters then serve in a tall glass with a grate if nutmeg and a mint sprig on top.

It’s got some sweetness where the whiskey combines with the grenadine up front. This builds into spicy anise like notes and hints of green pepper. There’s a lot of that bold sort of Rye spice that makes this drink fun, a lot of spice character in general from it and the nutmeg.

We’ve got a touch of the humbugs for just a few more days. So until next time…

“You Get Hammered America” – JFL