On December 8, Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the doctrine that the Mother of God, by a special pre-application of the graces won by her Son on the Cross, was preserved from original sin. American Catholics have an extra reason to celebrate: Our Lady under the title of her Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States of America.
This calls for a drink! A White Lady cocktail is a good choice for honoring Mary’s purity.
2 oz. gin
1 oz. triple sec
1 oz. lemon juice
Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Or, pick any American cocktail classic—a Martini, Manhattan, Old
Fashioned, etc.—as a way of dedicating American mixological ingenuity to the Queen of Heaven.
Finally, since Brazil’s patroness is also Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, you might consider a Brazilian favorite tonight. The Caipirinha (pronounced kigh-pur-REEN-yah) is made from a very sweet sugar cane liquor called cachaça that is more like an aguardiente than a light rum in its intensity. A higher-end cachaça is preferred in making a Caipirinha, since the drink does not disguise the flavor of the main ingredient. If you cannot find cachaça, you can do what folks sometimes do in Brazil: substitute it for vodka and have what is called a Caipivodka or Caipirodka.
4-6 lime wedges (from ½ lime)
2 tbsp. sugar
3 oz. cachaça
Muddle the limes and sugar in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with crushed ice, add cachaça, and stir thoroughly.
Whatever you choose to fill the glass with, borrow a page from the Miraculous Medal promulgated by St. Catherine Labouré and toast to Our Lady with the following: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!”