For better or for worse, the upcoming feast of Pentecost is an irresistible occasion for bad puns on the Spirit and the spirits. At least the temptation to confuse the two is nothing new. When the disciples began to preach in different tongues on the first Pentecost, some members of the audience mockingly declared: “These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:13). St. Peter’s response is telling. Does he declare his innocence by condemning wine and strong drink? Does he express disgust at the thought of alcohol touching his pious lips? Hardly. We are “not drunk, as you suppose,” he replied, “seeing it is but the third hour of the day” (Acts 2:15). Translation: “Of course we’re not drunk: it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. But after we baptize 3,000 souls later today (Acts 2:41), it’s Miller Time.”
One way to make your Whitsunday a wet Sunday is with a cocktail menu that somehow ties into the attributes of the Holy Spirit. Today we’ll mention three. The festive White Flame can be used to recall the tongues of fire that descended upon the disciples; the dynamic Green Ghost can be thought of as an homage to the Holy Ghost who renews us with hope, symbolized by the color green; and the unusual Windy Corner can commemorate the gusty noise that first announced the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room. None of these drinks were named with the Paraclete in mind, of course, but hey, that’s what the Christian allegorical imagination is for.
1½ oz. gin
¾ oz. Cointreau
champagne or dry sparkling wine
Build gin and Cointreau in a highball glass filled with ice. Top with champagne.
2 oz. gin
½ oz. green chartreuse
½ oz. lime juice
Pour all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.
2½ oz. blackberry brandy
nutmeg (to taste)
Stir brandy in a mixing glass with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Hint: The nutmeg really does make a difference. And if the drink is too sweet for your tastes, which is likely if the brandy is not top quality, cut it with a splash of soda water.