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It's not holy WATER, that's for sure.

So, since about, oh, late October, early November I’ve been steeping some pepper rum for Baron. Not a lot because of rum-supply constraints, but enough to fill the adorable Crystal Skull Vodka mini leftover from Hallow Week. Plus a little extra, as you can see; the two hot-sauce bottles are in the freezer, to be used as mixers for future Baron drinks (if a glass of booze has a splash of this in it, I sure as hell ain’t drinking it). The shorter brown bottle (recycled essential oil bottle with a dripper insert) is for guerrilla acts of sanctification. Or possibly low-cost mace. The smidgeon left over will be added to a “clean the fuck out of the house” washbucket at some point in the near future (I cannot imagine any sort of bad crap staying around with the threat of getting this stuff in their eyes).

My recipe was not exactly traditional; to be honest, the only traditional bits were the rum (Crossed Keys!) and the peppers (2 kinds of insanely hot dried wild Mexican mini peppers, 9 of which were popped into the finished skull bottle). (Not that Mexican peppers are traditional but they were the hottest little bastards I could find, and BOY did they spice it up.) I also added a generous amount of ground black pepper (horrible joke), ginger (to up the heat even more [not that it really needed it, but overkill is fun]), and nutmeg (uh…. another not-so-horrible-but-still-silly joke).

This was all put into a small, clean jar and shaken every day or so, until Christmas Day, when it was decanted into the jars pictured with a Holy and Magical Turkey Baster. I learned three valuable lessons.

1) When you spill Baron’s Rum on your fingers, DO NOT LICK IT OFF. Failure to abide by this rule results in a mad dash for milk and sour cream.

2) When you get it on your hands, soap and water doesn’t remove it. I still tasted (mild!) pepper on my fingers several hours later, AFTER doing a sink-full of dishes.

3) It works as a pretty decent liniment. I could feel a pleasant warmth in the joints of my hands for an hour or so after decanting. It intensified when I put my hands in warm water.

The skull bottle will stay on his altar as a permanent offering. The other three will be used at some point unless he says different, the brown bottle especially- I have an inkling that it will go with me to some local graveyards in the not-so-distant future. Particularly the cemetery where his chateau resides (which is another post entirely). (Basically, there’s a really cool graveyard with really cool graves and a REALLY COOL crypt in a secluded corner complete with scraggly oak and big palm tree. Thus, the Baron’s chateau.)