One of the things that makes the holidays fucking awesome is holiday treats. We explored one such treat, the Boozy Rudolph—concocted by the geniuses at Ovenly and the Meatball Shop—last week. That was fun. You know what else is fun? Hallucinogens. And Arnaud Dissais at Loosie Rouge agrees so much that he’s created a holiday cocktail inspired by everyone’s favorite hallucinogen, the magic mushroom.
The drug in question, which inspired the White Rabbit (the drink in question), might seem unrelated to the holidays, but that is not true, and not just because a lot of people will want to take them over Christmas and Hanukah. No, amanita muscaria, the magic mushroom, has been tied to Christmas by Harvard. Yes, that Harvard.
As reported by NPR, the Ivy League school has an impressive collection of (probably everything but also) fungi and lichen and mushrooms, some of which are displayed inside special glass cases and folios. If you wanna study a fungi or lichen or liverwort, this is the place to do it.
But back to the story.
In one of these glass cases at Harvard, there is a surprising assortment of Christmas artifacts and ornaments, some in the shape of red mushrooms with white flecks. Weird, right? Here’s why. A self-taught mycologist (and Vice President of J.P. Morgan), Gordon Wasson, argued that this hallucinogenic mushroom (which actually is red and white) was eaten by shamans and reindeer in Siberia “to great effect.”
So the big, albeit tenuous conclusion was: Red and white hallucinogenic mushrooms were being eaten by reindeer and people at the same time, so maybe the people who ate them hallucinated a tubby man wearing red and white, flying behind reindeer in the sky. Ergo, maybe magic mushrooms were responsible for Christmas as we know it today? The holidays just got so much cooler!
But don’t lose your shit yet because NPR did not let us go to sleep at night smiling about a lie. Instead, modern Christmas was created, in large part, by a dude named Clement Clarke Moore, they told us next, better known as the guy who wrote what would eventually be called ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in 1823.
But! Dissais understands that, in this particular case, it is way more fun to perpetuate a myth than it is to stew in fact (because this is also a man who makes drinks that are so delicious that you’ll want them to fill entire bathtubs), so he’s given us a holiday cocktail that is red and served hot with a “magic” (you gotta just pretend in this case that it is) mushroom garnish and dry porcini mushroom-infused Mizu Sochu.
It’s almost as fun to drink a fake holiday ‘shroom cocktail as it is to eat real ones—or, at least, it can be just as fun, much like Christmas itself was, before we found out about that lie.
The White Rabbit
1oz of Mizu Sochu infused with dry porcini mushrooms
3 oz of house made miso soup
3/4oz sweet vermouth
Loosie Rouge: 91 South 6th Street, Williamsburg