By: Ethan Kelley
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the rickhouse
Not a mash tun was stirring, not even a mouse(r);
The glassware was placed on the bar with care,
In hopes that Spirits Network soon would be there;
The drinkers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of single malts danced in their heads;
And mamma in her she-shed, and I in my cave,
Had just settled down for a long sipping session,
When out of the glass there arose such a vapor,
I sprang from the bar to see what was the matter.
Away to the cabinet I flew like a Kentucky Owl,
Tore open the cork and raided my stash.
The moon on the Redbreast of the new-fallen Caribbean Cask
Gave the luster of Midwinter Night’s Dram to the bottles below,
When, what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny drinking buddies,
With a little Old Grand-Dad, so lively and quick,
I knew it must be Spirits Network and not just Saint Nick.
More rapid than Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, BLASTED! now, BUZZED! now, JINGLED and JOSTLED!
On, TOASTED! on TIPSY! on, SAUCEY and STEWED!
To the top of the glass! Top of the glass for all!
Now splash away, splash away, splash away all!”
As Dry Fly Wheat leaves before the Wild Turkey flew,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the Isle of Skye,
So up to the house-top the bartenders flew,
With a bag full of drams, and Spirits Network too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The clanking and clinking of each little cube.
As I held out my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Spirits Network came with Hibiki in tow.
They were dressed all in amber, from their head to their feet,
And their clothes were all stinky with smoke and peat;
A bundle of bottles he had flung on his back,
And they looked just like tipplers sipping their prized barrel picks.
Their eyes––how they twinkled! Their dimples, how Mery Melrose!
Their cheeks like Four Roses, with a Cherry Heering nose!
Dry little mouths sweet like Don Julio 1942,
And the beard of his chin was as white The Dude’s;
The stump of a bung he held tight in his teeth,
And the Smokehead enchanted the room like a fog of peat;
He had a broad face and a pot still belly,
That shook when he laughed like a mug of eggnog.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old barman,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his lemon,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to taste;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his drink,
And filled all the decanters atop the mantel of brass,
And turned with a smile to raise his own nosing glass,
Then, giving a nod, up the chimney he Tequila Rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew with a Royal Salute.
But I heard him mumble, ere he safely stumbled out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOODNIGHT!