Know Thy Enemy


What are you up against?

This winter, as with every Portland winter, the booze is out to get you. Think of it as your sworded archnemesis: it might be valiant and adventurous to engage in a battle, but dally too long, and a brief flirt with folly could end in eternal defeat. The following is a list of specs, so you'll know which weapon to wield when the Winter Drinks descend upon your peaceful village.

All etymology according to Merriam-Webster.

NAME: Spanish Coffee

ETYMOLOGY: coffee: the Arabic qahwa birthed the Turkish kahve, which begat the Italian caffe

ALIGNMENT: Pour 1/2 oz of Tia Maria and 1/2 oz of Rum into a mug. Top with coffee, spray with whipped cream. Put a cherry on top.

SPEED: Spike some espresso with rum

TIP: Sub tequila for rum to make a Little Spanish Flea

HIT POINTS: Jolty drunk, like a more festive Sparx

NAME: Hot Brick Toddy

ETYMOLOGY: Toddy: from the Hindi word tArI, juice of the palmyra palm; derived from the Sanskrit tAla

ALIGNMENT: Combine 1 tsp. sweet butter, 1 tsp. powdered sugar. When blended, add 2 oz. Whiskey and 1 Tbs hot water. Garnish with cinnamon.

SPEED: Mix equal parts alcohol to boiling water in a mug, and dump in a sugarcube.

TIP: Add nutmeg and lemon for flavor

HIT POINTS: This is the most gully of all the winter brews, especially when served in a chalice and drunk with a half-ogre named Aqk

NAME: Hot Buttered Rum

ETYMOLOGY: "Butter" comes from the Greek word boutyron, which means, literally, cow cheese. Ewww.

ALIGNMENT: In a pewter tankard, mix 2 oz rum with a twist of lemon, a stick of cinnamon, a clove. Pour boiling apple cider on top and float a pat of butter.

SPEED: Buy that fake shit at the store

TIP: Sub Southern Comfort for Rum and you got a Battered Janis Joplin

HIT POINTS: Can be used as meal substitute, beefing up the competition; may slow down movement considerably

NAME: Egg Nog

ETYMOLOGY: Nog: English in origin

ALIGNMENT: Beat the yolks of six eggs. Add 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 pint rum, 1/2 pint brandy. Gradually add part of 2 pints heavy whipping cream until it takes on the color of a file folder. Whip the rest of the cream with 6 Tbs. powdered sugar, then mix it all together.

SPEED: Dump a bunch of booze in some SilkNog

TIP: Add coconut milk for a Puerto Rican twist, or grated cinnamon for your Poco Mexico party

HIT POINTS: Not many, because its genesis is so bourgie. (Back in the mother country, only the upper class could afford to keep hens and cows.) If you're a true serf, you'll drink grain alcohol, straight-up.

NAME: Hot Creole

ETYMOLOGY: In mid-18th Century Portugual, a criuolo was a white person born in the colonies

ALIGNMENT: Combine 1 1/2 oz white rum, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 dashes Tabasco sauce, then add ice and some beef bouillion. Dot with pepper.

SPEED: Chug a Hamms, eat some Hormel chili from the can

TIP: Please write if you already drink this on a regular basis; we might want to hire you as a bodyguard.

HIT POINTS: It's not actually temperature-hot, but it's got fucking boullion in it--that's some gangsta shit. JS

Sure, scientists tell us that drinking "thins" the blood and only creates the illusion of warmth. But scientists aren't always right, right? Didn't they tell us that the world is flat? Fools! The Mercury's panel of experts don't need a Ph.D. to think up a few bone-warming concoctions. Bottoms up!


No one knows who originally devised the ubiquitous hot let's just say it was Old Uncle Sven the Finlandian philosopher, who most likely invented them in order to warm his testicles while ice fishing.

Modern designated drinkers, however, don't need icy testicles to enjoy these comforting micro-wavable or stove-toppable winter beverages. If you're hankering for heat, try these unofficial toddy selections, taken from my personal Boozy Recipe Repertoire (BRR!).

Dooley's Hot N' Peppy Pecker

This unusually simple toddy tastes a lot better than it sounds. Microwave a half mug of Dr. Pepper until steaming. Add a shot of brandy and twist in a lime slice. The double taste sensation of heat and tang (combined with zippy carbonation) makes the coldest soul tingle from teats to toes. Zing!

Flames of Hell

Not an official toddy, but one hell of a spicy encounter. In a shot glass, pour equal parts Cuervo Gold and Jagermeister. Add three shakes of Tabasco. Stir. Cover with whipped cream, and top with cherry. The trick is to slam it down in one gulp, and chew the cherry without spewing fire. All Toast Satan!

Tequila Carnivore

One shot of tequila in a mug of hot bouillon or beef-stock. Chase with a steak.


Sound it out: Jager (Jagermeister) Rumple (Rumple Minze Schnap) Meyer (Meyer's Dark Rum) meister. Combine equal parts of each in a coffee cup, fill with boiling water and one spoonful honey. Stir and serve. When you can't pronounce Jagerumplemeyermeister anymore, it's time to stop, and hop in bed with your favorite sex pal! Is it hot in here, or am I just happy to be drinking? JD


Goddamn, am I popular in the wintertime! While this could be because of my stunning pretty-boy looks, my tireless wit, or my animalistic sexual prowess, the far more likely reason is this: I alone know how to make a drink that's guaran-damn-teed to warm anybody up, regardless of how cold the weather is!

And while I can't help you with your fumbling "jokes," your mediocre appearance, or your pitiful attempts to get laid, I can give you a priceless holiday gift--the heretofore top secret recipe for Henriksen's Steamin' Olden-Tyme Wynter-Tyme Elixir™!

First, boil a mug's worth of water, then add three heaping tablespoons of Swiss Miss instant hot chocolate. Add two shot glasses' worth of Jose Cuervo tequila. For a delightfully festive twist, add a wee smidgen of nutmeg or cinnamon; if, on the other hand, you've got balls, toss in some Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper. Garnish with marshmallows and a sprig of holly, and you're motherfucking there, my friend! Enjoy!*

*The Mercury, its staff, and its distributors accept no responsibility for any side effects caused by Henriksen's Steamin' Olden-Tyme Wynter-Tyme Elixir™, including but not limited to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, temporary or permanent blindness, or impotence. EH

Manu Berelli's "Tropical Escapism"

In a blender mix crushed ice, a half-cup of OJ, and a cup of coconut cream. Add three shots of dark rum and a splash of vodka. A dash of Creme De Cacao is optional. Blend. Garnish with a lime wedge and four maraschino cherries.

Crank up the heat to 90 degrees and park yourself in a lawn chair and slip into a daydream.

Manu Berelli's "Christmas Alone" Cocktail

Take three bottles of cheap red wine and a bottle of chilled Jagermeister. Crack the first bottle open and serve yourself a nice, tall glass of wine. Listen to your favorite albums while finishing your X-mas card writing and New Year's Resolutions list. Pour yourself another. Start watching the horrible wasteland that is Christmas television. Any time someone says the phrase "God Bless," take a shot of Jager. Keep doing this until you start drinking straight from the bottle. When you've finished the wine, garnish the cocktail with any pills you can find in your medicine cabinet. Curl up cozy on the floor, clutching a picture of your ex-wife. If you wake up in the morning, it's a Christmas Miracle!