While eggnog is a more traditional Giftmas libation, for a less stomach-bombing alternative we suggest the delicious homemade pumpkin brandy currently being served at the Dive. Although the recipe is a closely guarded secret, loquacious owner Jonn Klein swears it's made with real pumpkin--not the canned stuff--plus a healthy dose of rum, vodka and brandy spiced with nutmeg and clove. Served warm, this mellow beverage is evocative of an exceptional pumpkin pie. It's thick but not grossly eggnogish consistency leaves you pleasantly sated, as if you've eaten an especially satisfying meal. And since it has real pumpkin in it, it sort of counts as one. >> Dive, 947 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.465.5505. www.myspace.com/thedivebar
Drink It for Santa!
There's a beer for harvest time, springtime, anytime--why not for Christmas time? On Dec. 5, Don Russell, aka Daily News beer columnist Joe Sixpack and all-around beer authority, is hosting a Christmas beer dinner at Jos� Pistola's, the beer-centric, sort-of-Mexican pub. Russell will pair seven specialty brews--including Samichlaus Helles, Sly Fox Christmas and Delirium Noel--with six courses of totally not-Mexican food like layered phyllo with sweet pepper-marinated duck breast, plus cheeses from Di Bruno Bros. But what we'd really like to know is: Which beer will be paired with the chocolate rum pudding with raspberry vodka sauce? Tickets are available at the bar or by phone. >> Wed., Dec. 5, 1pm. $45. Jos� Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St. 215.545.4101. www.joesixpack.net
Buy It for a Drinker or a Slob!
This week we're all about Pinot Boutique, the brave little wine accessories store that--because this is crotchety, backward Pennsylvania--can't actually sell any wine. While they stock all manner of corkscrews, totes and glassware, we covet the peanut brittle made with chardonnay from Anette's Chocolates in Napa Valley ($9.95) and Wine Away, a spray that removes red wine stains ($10.95). While it's hard to discern any specific flavors imparted by the wine, the buttery brittle walks the fine line between sweet and salty. We passed it around to a bunch of regulars at O'Neal's who, in between swearing at each other, pronounced it to be "quite delicious." We tested Wine Away at Southwark, where Paul the bartender obliged us by pouring pinot noir on the sleeve of our white shirt. A spritz of the stuff had an overwhelming citrus odor, but removed the stain within minutes. >> Pinot Boutique, 227 Market St. 215.627.WINE. www.pinotboutique.com