Considering that a better part of the country has been blanketed in white recently—including parts of Southern California, Nevada, and Louisiana, not to mention my own snow-stricken home city of Seattle—I thought it appropriate to make good use of the fluffy precipitation with the only recipe I know of that calls for it as a major ingredient.
The Rocky Mountain Sneezer is described in a 1980 book called Drinking With Dickens, written by the novelist's great-grandson Cedric, which focuses on the drinks and drinkers found in Charles Dickens' works and life. While books such as A Christmas Carol are filled with references to period drinks such as gin punch, the Rocky Mountain Sneezer comes from the author's own experiences and was apparently deployed for medicinal purposes—as Cedric writes, "Charles Dickens' New York landlord made him one to cure his catarrh." Trust me, you don't want to Google "catarrh," but it's safe to say that the Rocky Mountain Sneezer is good for whatever ails you, even if it's just the frigid weather outside.
- 2 ounces brandy
- 2 ounces aged rum
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add a good handful of snow—"preferably from the Rocky Mountains," Cedric writes—and shake well; pour into a old-fashioned glass and top with fresh snow.