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A Christmas Drink Recipe, Courtesy of Tryst in Delray

Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.

4 E. Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach


The halls of Tryst had been more than significantly decked. The tree in the back patio dining area was full of lights; inside, poles had been wound with red- and white ribbons to resemble candy canes. There were wreaths en masse, poinsettias covered every spare surface, stockings clung to the walls, and garland snaked around everything.

Johnny, managing partner of the place, had black hair and endless energy.

"So, tell me about your place," I said.


"You know how in England, the pub is the meeting place? Well, by hiring

a chef, we're trying to make this the meeting AND eating place," he

said. "People can meet for drinks, then maybe eat something, then drink

some more."

"But--" I began.

"You know how you go to the Ritz-Carlton, expecting ten-star service?

Well, you're not expecting that when you come in this pub, but you'll

get top-notch food, waiters who know their wines, and great prices,"

Johnny continued.

"Why'd you call this Tryst?" I asked.

"Tryst means a courtship, or a quarrel between lovers," he said. (No.

Tryst means meeting up and having dirty sex in a park. I don't know

where he got "quarrel.") "We want this to be the place you have your


Interesting. I turned to the bartender.

"I'd like an awesome Christmas drink," I said.

"We've got a couple

things," he said. He pointed to the Sam Adams winter lager tap, and

then pulled out a bottle of Very Bad Elf. It depicted a naughty,

smirking elf, hiding a big pair of scissors and a "Do Not Open Till

Christmas" package that had been ripped to smithereens.

"When one of

the oldest breweries in England closed down, one of the family's

descendents got the Very Bad Elf recipe and started making it again,"

Matt, the tattooed, brawny bartender, told me. "We also have Santa's

special reserve. And we just ran out of apple cider. But we'd been

making special holiday drinks."

He grabbed my pen and notepad. "I'm

going to write down the recipe so you can make it yourself.

"Combine 1 oz Sailor Jerry spiced rum, 2 oz apple cider, ½ oz lemon

juice, and shake & strain into beer glass. Then top with Sam Adams

Winter Lager and garnish with apple slice and cinnamon. It's fucking


 I didn't doubt it. Happy holidays, Nightwatch readers.

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Tara Nieuwesteeg