What with boozy nogs and sexy Mrs. Claus get-ups, Christmas offers plenty of adult pleasures, but Hanukkah? Despite the rise of sophisticated inventions like salted-caramel sufganiyot, it’s still mostly defined by chocolate gelt and dreidels. Once the menorah candles have burned down and the kids are in bed, there’s not much to do but watch White Christmas on TCM.
Except this year. Hanukkah celebrants above the drinking age now have the option of getting lit on a couple of Maca-bee cocktails, the latest holiday booze creation from San Francisco graphic designers and cocktail aficionados Rob Corwin and Danny Jacobs. They’re the guys behind the Passover-inspired cocktail project The Sipping Seder.
If you missed it, Corwin and Jacobs—who were married in 2007—threw adult celebrants a lifeline earlier this year by creating six cocktails corresponding to the symbolic items on the Seder plate: a beet-horseradish “martini” (maror), a cinnamon-dusted honey vodka cocktail (charoset), and so on.
Though Corwin says they were considering coming up with an eight-cocktail follow-up corresponding to the eight nights of Hanukkah, in the end they devised only one, the Maca-bee. It’s a whiskey sour that pays homage to Judah Maccabee (a sort of second-century Arnold Schwarzenegger with a jammed uzi, according to one rabbi, who prevailed in Jerusalem with a little help from some miraculously long-burning oil).
Corwin and Jacobs’s cocktail contains macadamia nut liqueur (the maca of the name—Trader Vic’s sells one) and honey syrup (the bee), finished with a piece of flaming lemon peel that won’t burn nearly as long as a shamash candle, but lends irresistible flair to the drink, a detail that gives the Maca-bee luster.
“As you can tell,” Corwin says, “we tend to be a little obsessive.”
Image source: sippingseder.com