As part of my team’s Christmas festivities, we held a virtual Cocktails and Pizza making competition. I knew that my pizza wasn’t going to win any awards (#teampineapple), so I decided I had to go all-out on the drink. Since there were points for creativity, I felt like I need to go SEASONAL and SPECTACULAR. After some research on the Internet, I settled on the aptly named Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. 🌰🔥
I did run into some problems with the recipe though. First hurdle – chestnut syrup. We couldn’t find any! So I had to make my own using this recipe. First step – roast the chestnuts.
I’d never actually done that before. You have to cut an X on the curved side so they A) don’t explode and B) are easier to peel after. Once they popped open, I peeled the skins off and then mixed up the syrup.
There’s a lot of spice in there! After letting it simmer, I strained it and we stored it in a bottle in the fridge.
The next hurdle – eggnog! It turns out that it’s not available in Germany. Undaunted, I decided to make my own using Alton Brown’s recipe. First step was to beat egg yolks with sugar in the mixer…
At the same time, I began heating the milk, heavy cream, and nutmeg on the stove.
Then I had to bring them together by “tempering” – pouring just a tiny bit of the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture while the Snook whisked like crazy to avoid making scrambled eggs. I added more milk until we were past the danger point and then we combined them fully. Then it went into the fridge to chill (along with a bit of brandy). Once that was cold, I whipped up the remaining egg whites with sugar and then we folded that into the cold nog.
Okay, so with all the prep done it was finally time to make the drink! I started by filling a rocks glass 3/4 of the way full with egg nog. Then I added another shot of brandy for extra kick and a few bar spoons full of the chestnut syrup. After a stir, it was time for the FLAMES. I poured a tiny bit of Stroh 80 (a 160-proof Austrian spiced rum) over the back of the bar spoon to float it on top of the drink, and then I lit it on fire. 🔥 After blowing it out, I garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon…
I’m happy to say that all my hard work won the Best Cocktail award! Also, it’s very taste and festive, and I will be working my way through the rest of that nog over the next few days. ❤️🏆
As for the pizza… I went very, very quick and easy.
That’s a packet of pre-made German pizza tough. I also bought a big handful of salami pretzels to go on top, along with canned pineapple. I mixed up a fresh sauce from canned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, and olive oil, and I had some leftover grated Emmental cheese. I also couldn’t resist cutting up some of the salami-kabel-trommel to put on top.
Here it is ready for the oven! And fifteen minutes later…
Hey, even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. 😜 #teampineapple