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Happy Winter Solstice Everyone!

Although I'm not a huge fan of the darkness, I love this time of year. I love the lights, the festive atmosphere and having a little extra time to spend with my family and friends. Scandi cultures have really perfected how to enjoy this dark and cozy time of year through simple means such as candles, fuzzy blankets, and spending time outdoors enjoying the peace and quiet. These snowball candles from Kosta Boda, reminding us of childhood snowball fights and the joy of playing in the snow, perfectly embody Scandinavian Hygge culture. The iconic glass tea light holders were designed by German glass artist Ann Wolff in 1973 for the Swedish glass company Kosta Boda. Although she was born and trained in Germany, she worked for several Swedish glass companies such as Pukeberg Glasbruk and Kosta Boda and was one of the founders of the art glass movement. According to Kosta Boda, these snowballs were created "through an experiment in which glass was blown directly inside a snowdrift."

I grew up with these snowball tealights on our dining room table and my mother still puts them out every holiday season along with her collection of handblown glass Christmas trees. I finally scored some of my own at a couple vintage stores but you can still buy them new from Kosta Boda retailers like Bloomingdales. They are still one of Kosta Boda's most popular products, selling 15 million copies! I hope that Anne Wolff is getting a piece of that action.

The Hibernal Cocktail

Technically, the winter solstice occurs when the earth's poles reach their maximum tilt away from the sun, happening once a year in each pole. This is also called the hibernal solstice and takes place on the shortest day of the year - on December 21st in the northern hemisphere and June 21st in the southern hemisphere. The hibernal solstice also heralds the arrival of winter, which lasts until the Vernal equinox in March (or September if you are in the southern hemisphere). After today, in the northern hemisphere the days will be getting longer! One minute at a time. Definitely a reason to celebrate. The word hibernal means of or pertaining to winter so it seemed perfect for this wintery riff on the classic Manhattan, that Mr. Don't Bruise the Booze created. It's a velvety smooth rye cocktail with a subtle pine undertone, thanks to Zirbenz Stone Pine Liquor, for a hint of forest bathing with your Manhattan. Ingredients 2-1/2 oz. Rye 1/2 oz. Carpano Antica 3/8-1/2 oz. Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur 2 dashes (or more) of black walnut bitters

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Pour into an old-fashioned glass with your preferred choice of ice. Here at the Modernist's Guide, we prefer one big cube. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.


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