Saturday, December 23, 2017

Let it Snow

Tis the season and it should come as no surprise that I’m continuing my holiday themed offerings again.  I’ve been saving up something special for this week which coincides with Christmas.  Although we don’t get much snow here in Houston we can still dream of a winter wonderland, a toasty fireplace and the fresh scent of evergreen.  I’m always fascinated by how traditions evolve over time and the origins of those traditions.  The Christmas tree, for example, and how it became a symbol of this season.  It’s not hard to understand why people throughout history have been drawn to the evergreen, which stands like a beacon of hope in the cold winter, promising that spring is coming one day.  Why not place ornaments and offerings on such a tree, to entice it to bring spring even sooner! I’ve got a nice little ornament around here somewhere…

The Snowflake Box by Robert Yarger

The Snowflake Box (Stickman No. 9) was designed with the idea of making a puzzle box tree ornament.  It’s a lovely little box attached to a loop and would look nice on anyone’s tree.  Robert Yarger designed these with fine interlocking corners which do indeed look like snowflakes, and the white Holly wood completes the look. As a decorative ornament, these are wonderful and you won’t likely find a finer piece of American ornamental folk art around.  

Ho Ho Holly

Of course, this is a Stickman box, so the beauty doesn’t end there.  It is also an incredibly satisfying and brilliant puzzle box.  The Snowflake is composed of six similar pieces which form each side of the cube.  Once solved, the panels can be disassembled, creating another puzzle.  It’s two puzzles in one, a gift that keeps on giving! The box has a wonderful solution.  It holds a few unexpected surprises, but everything is visible and there are no hidden tricks, which makes it such an elegant design.  It’s also quite marvelous how the finely milled corners interlace, overlap and interconnect.  The craftsmanship is outstanding.

Rudolph Collins by Bach Nielsen

To toast this special box I’m calling on the special reindeer who pays a visit this time of year – Rudolph of course! The Rudolph Collins is a local favorite at The Barking Dog, a cozy down to earth bar in Copenhagen where the staff create Christmas cocktails for a cocktail advent calendar each year.  This one is based off the classic Tom Collins, that refreshing summery sipper with gin, lemon and soda.  For the Christmas version there is added sloe gin, the wintery gin infused with sloe berries, and cinnamon syrup, which always turns up the winter wonderland vibes in a holiday drink.  It’s a delicious variation and a tasty treat for the holidays.  Try one of these at your own festive gathering and have a happy, happy holiday. Cheers!

Flavors of the season will make your nose shine bright

Rudolph Collins by Bach Nielsen (The Barking Dog, Copenhagen)

1 oz London dry gin
¾ oz sloe gin
¾ oz fresh lemon
½ oz cinnamon syrup
Chilled soda water

Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a tall glass with ice.  Top with the soda water and garnish with a cinnamon stick - or a lemon wheel Rudolph.  Cheers!

Let it snow!  Happy Holidays.

For more about Robert Yarger:

For more about sloe gin see:

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