Remember how Col. Klink on Hogan's Heroes was always knocking back schnapps whenever any SS officials showed up at the camp? They didn't ever explain and I always wondered what schnapps were when I was a kid (although I was down with the Geneva Conventions) but my parents had no idea either.
Klink was probably drinking Rumple Minze, a particularly lethal form of peppermint schnapps from Germany that makes all that off-brand stuff taste like an old candy cane run over by a bunch of reindeer. It also forms the foundation of one of my favorite holiday cocktails that I like to call:
Sleigh Ride to Hell
1 1/2 oz. 100 proof vodka
1 1/2 oz. Rumple Minze
Smashed-up candy canes
Now this cocktail is nothing fancy but it's big and really, really strong.
First: Smash (with manic glee) a few candy canes to powder. Lightly rim the glass with a little Rumple Minze (this can be done with your finger, thank you very much) and then dip the glass into the candy cane powder you've conveniently spread out onto a small plate.
Secondly: Shake vodka and Rumple Minze with ice and strain into the prepared glass (yes, this is a recipe for one but you've got a calculator, don't you?).
And finally: Do NOT garnish with one of the cute, little candy canes that escaped the hammer. It's not that kind of cocktail.
Hand over your car keys and soon you'll be racing through the dark, snow-heavy Bavarian woods at Winter's Solstice in a sleigh with the horses running full out as the wolves snap behind your frozen ears. Just don't toss your bride out to placate those slavering wolves; they're going to eat you anyway. Time for another drink.
Check out The Spirit World for more holiday cocktail recipes during the round-up of Mixology Monday 10 - Drinks for A Festive Occasion.