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First snow of the season means 'Schaapnog' weather

Local columnist

The first snow of the season means sweater weather. And hot-chocolate weather. And “how the expletive did it take me seven hours to drive home from Albuquerque” weather.

It’s also Schaapnog weather.

Confused? You should be. It’s pronounced “scop-nog,” and sounds like a sibling torture technique. Bam, charley horse. Eww, wet willie. Ouch, Schaapnog.

In reality, it’s more boring. A gentleman named Ryan Schaap briefly worked with us following college graduation. One winter morning, inspiration hit him at the drive-thru. He asked for Americano, with some eggnog.

Oh, eggnog, you’re the Miracle Whip of Christmas. One serving, and I wonder, “Why don’t I have this all the time?” Halfway through the second serving, I’m wondering, “Why would I ever ingest this?”

But this drink is good, Ryan said. He repeated this drink order, and we dubbed it Schaapnog.

It wasn’t long before I had a Schaapnog myself. At my favorite coffee shop, I wondered how I could order a Schaapnog without using the word and looking like a gigantic moron. Word avoided, moron status inevitable. I present, “Kevin’s First Schaapnog,” a one-act play.

Barista: “Hi, what can I get started for you?”

Me: “I don’t know if you could line this up, but I want an Americano with eggnog.”

Barista: “Sure.”

Me: “Great. So what would you call this beverage, for future reference?”

Barista: “Eggnog Americano.”

I enjoyed it, but knew this wouldn’t be a routine thing. I’m not a big drinker of Americano, but it’s something I enjoy every so often. Hey, I do the same thing with eggnog. It sounds like the Schaapnog is a good way to knock out two things I rarely drink in one cup. It’s a once-a-year thing, like McRibs or candy canes.

I ran into Ryan a few days before a trip to Albuquerque, and the subject of a Schaapnog came up. Neither of us had one yet, but we agreed it was that time.

I knocked it out Sunday. I’d saved some coin filling up my car in Albuquerque, and my savings equaled the price of a Schaapnog at the chain coffee store.

I was smarter this time at the drive-thru. “Let me get a tall eggnog Americano.”

“Americanog,” the barista said loudly when I pulled up, and the cashier at the window said, “Hey, that’s creative. Here’s your Americanog.” I was going to say something, but realized I did not have the higher ground. “Americanog is a stupid name. It’s Schaapnog, dummy.”

Whatever you call it, it wasn’t made right. The top part was bitter, and the bottom part was too sweet. The 1.5-inch tall mixing stick did nothing to change this.

The snow is starting to melt, but I’ve got my sweater on and my hot cocoa ready for the next fall. I’m sure before I start my Christmas traditions of “Die Hard,” “Scrooged” and “The Ref,” I’ll pull up to a coffee shop and ask for a well-mixed eggnog Americano.

But I know what I’ll call it in the back of my mind. And so do you.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 575-763-3431, ext. 318, or by email:

[email protected]

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