New Holland Brewing Co. | Joel Armato
December 24, 2012
In the midst of trimming trees, braving the mall and following the snowplow to grandma’s house – the holidays can be a blur of activity. But New Holland’s own Dr. Joel Armato took a little time to pair some of his favorite holiday tunes with the perfect beers and cocktails and serves up a nice seasonal reminder to all us – Take in every great moment that this season offers and make a memory.
Dominick The Donkey & Marasca Mule
Dominick the Donkey by Lou Monte is my favorite Christmas song of all time. It reminds me of so many things about my family and being young at Christmas time.
Now experiencing Christmas with my nephew, named Dominick, it’s like I’m reliving many of those memories over again. This specific pairing was a chance to link the classic “Mule” cocktail, and obvious kinship to our friend the Donkey, to an ingredient with some traces back to my family’s boot shaped motherland.
The sweet, nutty liqueur’s flavor is a great balancing factor to the dry snap of a good ginger beer. Perfect for toasty nights around the tree with the ones you love.
1 ½ oz Dutchess Vodka
½ oz Luxardo Maraschino
4 oz Spicy Ginger Beer
Build over ice, garnish with lime or a stir of fresh lime juice
You hear the whole song HERE.
Blue Train & The Poet
I first discovered Jazz as a form of music that I could understand around Christmas time my freshman year of college. I’d heard plenty, but as for actually understanding the role of support and compliment in a style of music it was John Coltrane’s Blue Train that did the trick.
Thinking of a complimenting foundation I turned to one of my favorite New Holland beers, The Poet. The chocolate and roasty notes are the horns of ‘Trane, Lee Morgan & Curtis Fuller, while the velvety smooth oats are the unified rhythmic floor of Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers & Philly Joe Jones.
As much as I find my favorite jazz musicians to be poets of sound, I could absolutely liken The Poet to a great jazz song.
Listen to this great tune HERE.
I’m Coming Home For Christmas & Pigrim’s Dole
As the days fall off the calendar through my first year living in Michigan, I regained a part of the holiday spirit that had been washed away a bit by adulthood: Anticipation.
Not only do I get to enjoy holidays as I always have, but they’re now a chance to get home and spend time with my loved ones. I’m moved by songs like Squirrel Nut Zipper’s version of I’m Coming Home For Christmas that remind me of what happens to a lot of us as we grow older – we let the busyness of life separate us from the magic of the holidays.
Seeing this now from a distance I am as excited as I’ve ever been to be home for Christmas. What could warm a soul more on a long winter’s journey home than to see a little boy running at me yelling, “Uncle Joel!!!”?
It’s got to be Pilgrim’s Dole. Sweet with flavors of toffee and caramel hitting from the first sip, the warming sensation brought on by the boozy heat of the beer is placed perfectly. Be it dessert, a good drinking session or the long road home to family, Pilgrim’s Dole has magic worthy of anticipation and rediscovery.
HERE is the whole tune.
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree & MI Irish Coffee
Delilah DeWylde and The Lost Boys do a great take on this Christmas classic. I loved this song growing up and this is a great version of it from their recent Christmas EP.
I still remember the big clunky cassette player we used to set up and listen to while we readied our house for the holidays. It would play all of the great Christmas songs and my mom would sing them and this was always a fun one. The ‘sentimental feeling’ line was undoubtedly teaching me more back then than I could realize.
I think a good drink on a night of Christmas songs, tree decorating and cookie baking (as these are all in my near future) would have to be a new drink featured at our pub, MI Irish Coffee. Being a very, very rare drinker of coffee I find myself absolutely spellbound by the MI Irish Coffee. I always enjoy the smell of fresh coffee, but for me its taste and effect are not the experience that many others relish. The addition of Michigan Amber Rum and brown sugar syrup make this a warm sipper that always gets my cheeks rosy. Spoon some fresh whipped cream on top and I’m ready to settle in for the slow swoon of classic carols or the rockabilly reveling brought on by Delilah and the boys.
Take a listen HERE.
MI Irish Coffee
1 ¼ oz Freshwater Michigan Amber Rum
1 oz brown sugar simple syrup
Add coffee and top with fresh whipped cream
Happy holidays, everyone. Take a minute to snap some mental photos and remember these perfect and remarkable moments.