The Wolf and the Donkey

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Today and tomorrow we celebrate two saints with ties to a donkey. St. William of Montevergine (June 25) was a hermit whose donkey, his only source of transportation, was killed by a wolf. Undeterred, St. William made the wolf his pack animal from that day forward. Surely there is a life lesson for us all in there somewhere. You can think of one as you sip the drink of the day, the Big Bad Wolf.

Big Bad Wolf
1 oz. brandy
½ oz. orange juice
1 egg yolk
¼ oz. grenadine
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Tomorrow, June 26, is the feast of Opus Dei Founder St. Josemaria Escriva, who is the subject of an excellent article that came out this morning in Crisis Magazine. Saint Josemaria, who used the image of a donkey turning a waterwheel to teach how one can achieve holiness in the fulfillment of one’s ordinary duties, had a fondness for the stubborn beast of burden and even liked to call himself a mangy donkey. Inspired by this epithet, we created a cocktail in the saint’s honor bearing that name. The main ingredient is Fundador brandy, which is Spanish for “Founder.” Members of Opus Dei often refer to St. Josemaria Escriva as the Founder, but whenever he heard this, he liked to joke that the only good Founder he knew came in a bottle.

The Mangy Donkey
2 oz. Fundador brandy
½ oz. dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
1 orange wheel
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with orange wheel, a symbol of the waterwheel image in the Founder’s writings.

Oh, and to make the drink really sing, use a premium vermouth like Dolin.

And if the conversation at the bar starts to grow a little dull, here is St. Josemaria Escriva’s most famous sermon (on Passionately Loving the World), and here are some fun trivia about donkeys.