The TV show A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on December 9, 1965, and for that occasion we’ll be mixing the Peanut Colada. After all, in early December we’re hurtling into the holiday season, and who doesn’t get warm and fuzzy feelings for Peanuts? The famous comic, we mean, even if you’re keen on the nuts.
In an unusual cocktail twist, the Peanut Colada recipe does actually use peanuts. Even more strangely, it was also invented in Paris. Not exactly what you would expect for a Peanut Colada, but we’ll get to how that happened shortly.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Peanuts is a comic strip that debuted in October 1950 and by the mid-1960s had become popular worldwide. It was actively written until February, 2000, and is still published as a rerun. Virtually everyone knows Peanuts in one way or another, most likely becoming attached at some time in childhood. The entire focus of the strip is a group of young children. Adults exist but are never seen and very rarely heard.
The main character, of course, is Charlie Brown, a meek, nervous boy. Somehow he’s never able to fly a kite, win a baseball game or kick the football held by Lucy, who always pulls it away at the last moment. Other prominent characters include Snoopy, the dog who is perhaps the most iconic image of all, Lucy’s younger brother Linus, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Marcie and Pig-Pen. Many of us relate to Pig-Pen.
These characters don’t drink, probably because they’re all underage. Our Editorial Board figures that Snoopy’s brother Spike, who lives alone in the California desert may have been having a nip or two, but this remains unconfirmed.
A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first TV special based on Peanuts and debuted on CBS Television. Charlie Brown finds himself down and out despite the arrival of the cheery holiday season. Lucy suggests that he direct a neighborhood Christmas play, but he is mocked by his peers when he chooses a real, but puny, Christmas tree as its centerpiece.
Eventually, of course, the characters all realize that they were too hard on Charlie Brown. They redecorate the spindly tree, start humming “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and yell “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” when he returns, all starting to sing together as snow begins to fall.
The Peanut Colada
It seems only reasonable to seek a cocktail somehow involving peanuts to pay honor to the iconic Peanuts comic strip. But having standards to uphold here at The Drunkard’s Almanac, our Editorial Board turned away from such unfortunate oddities as peanut butter flavored whiskeys.
Fortunately, some ambitious bar magicians in Paris have a solution at hand. Le Syndicat, or more properly, “Le Syndicat – Organisation de Défense des Spiritueux Français,” is a bar in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. It opened in 2014 to spread the word about French spirits and employs only home-country brews. Le Syndicat appears regularly on lists of the world’s best bars, so it seems like they know what they’re doing.
The Peanut Colada recipe was first published on Instagram in May, 2020, when bars where largely shut down and bartenders ran rampant with experiments. They call for Armagnac, which is a grape brandy from the region going by that name. It’s generally produced through column stills rather than the pot stills employed for Cognac. So it is different, but you won’t get any side eye from us if you just pull out your Cognac to mix one up.
The recipe also requires some unsalted peanuts, which are readily available. Our recommendation is to pick some up and then roast the leftovers in the oven with salt. You’ll have a perfect snack to accompany the drink. Then again, if you would like something warm when you watch the show we would also recommend the Verte Chaud.
- Double Old Fashioned glass
- 1¼ oz Unsalted peanuts
- 3½ oz Water
- 5 tsp Sugar
- 1 oz Cognac While the original calls for Armagnac, feel free to use Cognac or another brandy.
- ⅓ oz Fresh lime juice
- 1 pinch Salt
- 4 Ice cubes
- Garnish: Whole shelled peanuts
- ½ Pineapple slice Cut about 3/4" thick.
- First, make peanut milk:Add peanuts and water to blender and blend until smooth.Strain mixture and return liquid to the blender. Add sugar and blend again, then remove and set aside.
- Roughly chop half slice of pineapple.
- Add pineapple, Cognac or brandy, lime juice, and pinch of salt to blender.Add 1.3 oz of peanut milk to blender Add 4 ice cubes to blender, one or two more if they're particularly small.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into double Old Fashioned glass.
- Garnish with a few whole shelled peanuts.