|Alright, here's the deal: This is a New Year's beverage that was passed on to me by a friend from Finland, where the nights last literally forever around this time of year. You'll want to have three things ready before you start working on it: A bottle of vodka. A pot of black coffee. A shiny new 1996 penny (the shinier the better, as you'll see).
If you've ever been to Crater Lake, you'll be familiar with the little checkered disk they let down into the water to see how far down it's still visible; Crater Lake has some of the clearest water in the world, missing helicopters notwithstanding. A penny, however, is usually of a uniform color, so you'll have to count on catching the glint of it at the bottom of the cup. Cheaters will use glass cups instead of mugs made of solid ceramics. The ambitious and suicidal will find themselves peering into tall narrow containers, vases and such, trying to spot a telltale bright flash through the murk. Atheists add cream. There are endless variants on the game, but there's the backbone of it.
Happy Holidays! (Or, as they say in Scandinavia, "Gott Slut Och Gott Nytt Aar!")
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