The holidays are in full swing and everyone is baking like a maniac. This year I decided to scale it back since my husband and I are moving around a lot over the holidays. Instead of the usual cookie baking madness which turns our kitchen into tornado of sprinkles, I have opted to go the easy route and make batches of peppermint bark to give to our friends and family. At least I thought this would be the easy route until I discovered that finding traditional peppermint candy canes in Italy is like going on a never ending scavenger hunt. The only candy canes I ended up finding were strawberry flavored. So typical for me. I know you are probably thinking, why not just make something else. Two problems with that. The first being that I had already bought several kilos of white and dark chocolate and second, and probably the biggest reason, is that once I have my mind set on something it is pretty hard to change it. My husband lovingly (I think) calls me capa tosta…or hard headed. After going down all of the candy aisles in every supermarket and candy store in a 15 kilometre radius of our home with zero luck I settled on using polo mints. It actually turned out quite well and with the addition of colored sprinkles they looked quite festive. Score one for ingenuity and me being hard headed!
Since I decided not to make tons of cookies this year, I thought why not share a wonderfully delicious spiked Italian egg nog called a bombardino. It is a perfect accompaniment to peppermint bark or a batch of your own favorite holiday cookies. It is also perfect all on its’ own and a great addition for ringing in the new year.
Bombardino literaly means “the bomb” in Italian. According to a long standing story, the Bombardino was created by a man originally from the port city of Genova. He decided trade the sea for life in the Italian Alps. After having spent many years as an officer in the Alpini (the oldest active mountain infantry in the world that still exists today), he decided to open a ski lodge in Lombardia. One day, several skiers staggered in from a blizzard outside and asked for something hot and rich to warm them up. The Genovese heated together milk, whiskey, and some zabaglione (an egg-based custard). He gave the drink to the skiers and one of them took a sip and cried out, “Accidenti! E una bomba!” Damn! It’s a bomb. The drink soon became famous and it is now immensely popular throughout the Italian ski resorts. Today, it is made with a cream egg liquor, such as Zabov, good brandy and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
I can attest that it is superb way to warm-up after a long day of skiing or maybe as an afternoon treat by the fire.
- 1.5 ounces brandy
- 3 ounces egg liqueur (such as Zabov Zabaglione)
- Whipped cream, to taste
- Cinnamon, to taste
- Warm the egg liqueur in a small saucepan.
- Pour the brand into a glass mug
- When the egg liqueur is hot, but not yet boiling, add it slowly to the brandy. Stir to combine.
- Top the drink with a good dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle the top with a bit of cinnamon.