by Mimi Montgomery
photographs by Missy McLamb
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Who hasn’t empathized with that fabled creature of holiday lore at one point or another? Whether you were teased by the Dashers and Dancers of the playground or weren’t allowed to join in any reindeer games, we’ve all had moments of feeling a little different from the herd.
But the good thing about Rudolph’s story – and the holidays in general – is that it’s all about celebration. Celebrating our good fortune, celebrating our gifts, and celebrating the people and environments that love us and make us who we are.
At this time of year, that spirit is alive and well at Raleigh’s beloved Angus Barn. Towering evergreens glow with thousands of lights, wreaths and garlands hang from every eave, rows of Nutcrackers stand at attention, and all of Raleigh lines up to join in. Amidst the festive interior, it feels like everyone is part of one big, cozy family.
The restaurant’s Wild Turkey Lounge is where the grownups come together. It’s a festive nook for dinner or drinks, or a spot for a cocktail while waiting for a table. With the world’s largest private collection of Wild Turkey decanters, it’s a worth a visit.
This winter, there’s even more incentive to stop by: The lounge’s bartenders crafted a holiday cocktail just for Walter readers. Aptly named (you guessed it) “The Rudolph,” the drink is an homage to our spirited four-legged friend. Crown Royal apple whisky and ginger cola make up the body of the drink, and a maraschino cherry is the perfect red-nosed garnish.
Sure, we’re not hauling around a mythical man from the North Pole or landing on roofs at midnight, but I think we could all learn a little something from old Rudolph. Polish those red noses and let ’em glow, people – the holidays are a time to celebrate and spread cheer, no matter what color your nose.
From the Wild Turkey Lounge at The Angus Barn
Dash of Angostura bitters
Dash of mint-infused simple syrup
1 ¼ ounces Crown Royal Regal Apple Whisky
Pepsi 1893 Ginger Cola
Fill copper mug with crushed ice. Add dash of Angostura bitters and mint-infused simple syrup, then add Crown Royal whisky. Top with Pepsi 1893 Ginger Cola and stir. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and serve.
9401 Glenwood Ave.; angusbarn.com; for reservations call 919-781-2444