Ross Murray: Need a stiff one?

Ross Murray: Need a stiff one?

LiQ_Mag_Dec_2014This article first appeared in the December 2014 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

Life in Quebec Magazine is a lifestyle publication covering the Quebec region and is currently published at least 3 times per year.

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Erstwhile columnist Ross Murray is back. And just in time to help you out this festive season. Phew!

Do you need a stiff one? If so, perhaps this family festive drink recipe will help…

By Ross Murray

Winter in Québec: an endless, bleak landscape of snow and cold, without hope or pity, the unrelenting harshness chipping away at your very humanity – unless you’re a visitor to our fair province, in which case, “Bienvenue! Joie d’hiver! Pull up a toboggan! You look positively chic in that balaclava!”

Barmen_RossGetting through the Québec winter takes stamina. It takes imagination. It takes liquor. Sometimes it takes all three combined. Such is the case in this complicated but ultimately numbing recipe for Nognog Nog (Vache de la Croissant), a traditional Québec drink that has been passed down through my family for over three weeks.

Here’s what you’ll need:

40 oz. strong liquor – rum, vodka, gin, any Axe product, etc.
1 litre fresh-squealed pineapple juice*
2 tbsp. Banjee’s Tribal Sunspot Drops (available at most respectable haberdashers)
3.5 ml nutmeg grouts
20 oz. rubbing alcohol (for sterilizing only, probably)
3.14159 cups sugar
4 Monopoly pieces (optional)
1 lb suet
11 Sweet Tarts (not optional; I SAID NOT OPTIONAL!)
A pinch of marzipan
A speck of saltines
A grimble of grahams
2 litres de-homogenized milk (available at most dis-respectable haberdashers)

*Did I write “fresh-squealed”? That’s embarrassing. I meant “fresh-squeaked.”

1. Pour liquor into punch bowl, reserving one cup for marinade and occasional nips.
2. Google “Nipsey Russell.” Whatever happened to him?
3. Add pineapple juice in a centrifugal manner.
4. Place Banjee’s Drops in a stirrup for six hours to sublimate. You should probably do this first. So this should be 1. You know what? Just start again. You have more strong liquor, right? Of course you do.
5. Tediously add the sublimated Banjee Drops to the punch bowl.
6. Add nutmeg grouts to the mixture. Remove immediately. Faster! Your guests are gyrating with thirst!
7. Gaze forlornly through your kitchen window, transformed into a dazzling prism of frost, and recall your childhood, so full of promise, and young love’s first kiss, with Angélique, and her terrier, and her oblong birthmark, and dreams of a happier future where a woman would not be judged by the size of her moustache. Sigh. Have a nip. No, not that kind…
8. Nap.
9. Sterilize the tureens.
10. Don’t forget to buy tureens.
11. What the hell are tureens?
12. Add sugar to punch, stirring incessantly.
13. Complain about Québec politics/culture/the Montreal Canadiens (This is what makes it a traditional recipe).
14. Forget about the Monopoly pieces. It was a stupid idea.
15. Divide suet in two equal parts. Ask a guest to hand you half the suet. Then ask your guest, “Suet to me one more time.” Discard suet. Totally worth it.
16. Gnash the Sweet Tarts and sprinkle on top of punch along with marzipan, saltines and grahams. Pretty, huh?
17. Add milk to punch and call in the neighbours to watch it curdle. Trust me, it’s winter; they have nothing better to do.
18. Strain through a hockey sweater while speaking with a French accent like beloved author Roch Carrier. (If you are French, you can speak with an English accent like Jacques Parizeau.)
19. Pour into sterilized tureens and serve to guests. There; that should get rid of them.

About Author

Ross Murray

Ross Murray is an award-winning humorist and radio contributor and the author of two books ‘You’re Not Going to Eat That, Are You?’ and ‘Don’t Everyone Jump at Once’. Raised in Nova Scotia, Ross has lived in the Eastern Townships of Quebec since the early 1990’s with his wife Debbie, four children and far too many pets. After all this time, Ross feels comfortable calling himself a Townshipper; his neighbours call him something else.

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