Noonan at Noon

Noonan at Noon: Getting into the Christmas Spirits

Merry jingle jangle, my fellow peoples of Yuletide cheer.

Now, the common trope for many during these few waning days of the year is to bemoan the various stresses of the season. Traffic. Family. A Justin Bieber holiday album on the radio. But I’m having none of it. This is my favorite time of year. Because what better time of year to indulge in America’s unofficial pastime of expanding our belly-guts and making socially acceptable excuses for doing so. Really, from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, the bacchanal of stuffing ourselves like the proverbial Christmas goose is met merely with a shrug and a resolution to start things anew in January.


“No worries, monsieur, you may begin your exercise regimen next year.”

Of course, if the holiday madness does have you feeling a bit weary, nothing rights the soul quite like a holiday cocktail. There are many to choose from, but – as is my custom – I’ve done the hard work for you. So bottoms up and damn the calories. Like I said, work them off next year. Let us begin:


The often-overlooked punch bowl is a long-forgotten tradition that deserves our deference and respect. In the past, I referred to it as a silver trough of brandy, rum and regret. And yes, many of the recipes essentially call for an unholy mixture of various bottles being emptied of their contents and swirled about with some sugar. But still. Punch. Done right, it’s like a giant delicious bowl full of old-fashioneds. And then you’d be that person who hosts parties where punch is served. It’s like being that person who knows how to breakdance. It’s never not awesome.


“Hey, that guy made punch! There’s gonna be punch! Once it hits your lips it’s so good!”


This is sort of like a hot punch, so…why not.


One of my favorites, as it incorporates generous helpings of fruit into. Nearly qualifies as a health elixir, in my view. Okay, fine, technically it’s more of an autumn drink…but why are we even arguing about this. I offer you glad tidings of nutmeg, pulverized apples and spiced rum and you’re going to quibble about the proper time to drink it? I say, fill up the mug in your hand and use it to silence the one above your neck.


“Wait…someone’s complaining about a fall drink being touted as a winter one? That’d be as pointless as complaining about a Thanksgiving movie reference in a blog about Christmas!”


Second only to the almighty eggnog, the hot buttered rum is a Christmas concoction made from all the tasty things in life – butter, rum, cinnamon sticks, sugar, some nutmeg. Rumor has it, the drink was invented by the three wisemen to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And that rumor was started by me.


Thou shalt mix all ingredients into a bowl, being not ye selfish with the butters and the alcohols, and making haste with the hot water.


Vodka and orange juice and just kidding.


I’ve written extensively about this drink before, and for good reason. It is a Christmas miracle. It is a thing of terror and beauty, like Frankenstein’s monster. Milk, cream, sugar, eggs, alcohol – it shouldn’t work, it barely works, but yet it works wondrously. And only in December, at absolutely no other point in the year. So I make an annual return to this glassful of heaven and hell. I bow before its destructiveness and deliciousness, I marvel at its caloric excess. Ah, ‘Nog. Be still my beating heart. And with enough glasses, it no doubt will be.


Nog. NOG.*



Of course, maybe you don’t have time for a cocktail concoction that requires the delicate grating of nutmeg, pinches of allspice, a Christmasy incantation and the like. In that case, a little whiskey next to a hearty hearth will suit you quite nicely. As it has for me over many a holiday moon. Is there anything finer in life than a good drink, a good Criquet fleece, a good book, and a good fire? (That’s rhetorical.)


This man agrees.

And with that, I raise my glass to you all. Until next time, my friends. And remember, there’s still a few drinking days left before 2020.

Merry Christmas to all and to all be the ball,



“I’m just a dentist, Rudy. But judging by your nose, maybe I’ll guide the sleigh tonight.”