Combine Brandy and Advocaat together in a small pan and heat over medium low until simmering, stirring constantly
(Alternatively, if you have a milk steamer, use that – it’s the traditional way)
Pour Advocaat mixture in to a preheated mug, then add hot coffee. Stir
Top with whipped cream and dusting of chocolate powder
* * *
With the blanket of newly fallen snow stretching before him in all directions, the man stared out from the warm comfort of the ski resort bar, reminding himself, as he took another long sip from the steaming mug of heavily spiked Advocaat, that it was a good thing that he didn’t have to be anywhere soon. It was going to be a long winter.
Ski resort, snow, boozed-up egg custard drink – wait, didn’t we do The Shining drink back during Halloween? Yes, we did, so it’s a good thing that we – and the man drinking the Advocaat – are not at the Overlook but in the Italian Alps. And we’re not drinking a Bourbon and Advocaat (although, it might just hit the spot), we’re drinking a Bombardino-Calimero, a favorite bracer of the skiing set.
If you weren’t with us for our earlier treatise on all things Black Chicken (what the Dutch call their super-thick Advocaat), allow me to catch you up: Advocaat is essentially too much booze combined with too many egg yolks and just enough sugar. As liqueurs go, it’s akin to pancake batter laced with jet fuel. Of course, I’m not saying it’s bad – far from it, but it’s a weapon to be wielded judiciously. Thus, when I came across the Bombardino – one-half Advocaat, one-half Brandy – I passed. More Brandy was not what Advocaat needed. Then, I stumbled upon the Calimero variation (great Robert Ludlum title, that), which marks Drink #2 in this year’s 12 Drinks of Christmas.
As mentioned, in Italy, egg liqueur based drinks are typically found in the Alpine resort areas, such as Bolzano and Alleghe. And while it may seem odd to find a highly Germanic beverage (Advocaat is Dutch) popping up in traditional Italian drinks, keep in mind that the Italian Alps are neighbors to the Swiss Alps and the Austrian Alps – indeed, prior to World War I, much of the eastern Italian Alps was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today, it’s all one big, snowy playground.
There are four reasons why we’ve included the Bombardino-Calimero in our list of Christmas drinks: it’s a traditional winter drink; you’ve probably never heard of it; it’s tasty; and, most importantly, if we were going to ask you to make your own Advocaat, damned if we weren’t going to give you a few things to do with it. The one troubling issue with the drink, however, is what to call it. Typically, the Bombardino (which translates as “the bomb”, exactly how the drink hits you) is half Advocaat and half Brandy. The Calimero includes coffee, with all parts added equally. That’s if you’re in Aosta (western Italy). In the Dolomites (eastern Italy), it’s the other way around. Here, we leave it up to you to pick a name – or call it a Calibardino, as some have suggested.
Should you find yourself at an Italian ski resort this holiday season, now you know what to order, although you may find your drink made with Vov, which is Italian Advocaat made with Marsala in place of the Brandy. Be sure not to quibble over this point – no one likes an Advocaat snob. As for the rest of us, we’ll be warding off Jack Frost (Gianni Brina?) with a nice, hot Bombardino (or is it the Calimero?) , an amazingly rich alternative to your Starbucks Eggnog Lattes – plus it’s got booze in it.
Esoterica: Calimero is a popular Italian cartoon character — a black chicken.