My favorite uncle when I was a little boy was Snowball, thus called because of his full head of snow white hair. He was very, very old. But he was among my (and my siblings) favorite of relatives.

He suffered from hemophilia and had lost several limbs as a result. One of his legs was plastic, and just below where the knee would have been, was a hole. He encouraged us to put our fingers in the hole as, so he said, this was his ticklish spot. We did as we were told, and he roared with laughter, as did we. We would see him at big family occasions (bar mitzvahs, weddings, funerals) where alcohol would always flow. Among the cocktails was the snowball. It was only until recently I discovered it was not named after him.

Here is how it was made for me when I was a kid. It tasted yummy.


  • Advocat
  • Lemonade (Sprite, 7Up, etc)
  • Ice


  • Long glass
  • A utensil for stirring


  1. Fill a glass with ice.
  2. Add one third advocat to two thirds lemonade.
  3. Stir.
  4. Drink.
Re: Snowball

I’m afraid you have it wrong. Snowball was my Uncle Jack. His hair went white when he was buried in his house in East London which suffered a direct hit from a German bomb in the blitz of 1941. The man with haemophilia was Issy Brenner, your grandfather’s buddy, who despite his disability could do a handstand on a chair. You should try it. One hand on the seat and one on the back rest. Good luck if your health insurance is not intact.

Re: Snowball

I guess I drank too many of those infernal snowballs! I think dramatic licence should allow me to keep the story behind the recipe intact. What do you say? Alternatively, we could call my version of the snowball cocktail an “Issy Brenner”. I quite the like the sound of it. I could see myself walking into a bar and saying “make mine an Issy”.

Re: Snowball

The favourite drink for my aunts and great aunts was cherry brandy with a dash of advocaat. You don’t see it around much these days. Incidentally my father caught the habit from friends in Leicster of whiskey and orange which your sister Laura still fancies.

Re: Snowball