If sheltering in place is driving you crazy, try a cocktail just as insane. I invented the offbeat Holed Up three years ago for Regnery Publishing’s 70th anniversary in honor of their patron saint, Simeon of Trier. As it turns out, Simeon was a hermit who lived in a gate tower in Trier, Germany called the Porta Nigra, and the Porta Nigra is Regnery’s colophon (see illustration). Simeon’s feast day (in Trier, at least) is June 1, so it is time to roll out this drink again but with an added, COVID-19 meaning in mind.
2 oz. Blüfeld Riesling wine
1 oz. elderflower liqueur (or less)
1½ oz. club soda
1 dash angostura bitters
Build all ingredients into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir gently for a Russell Kirk version, violently for an Ann Coulter version.
The ingredients of the Holed Up were meant to honor aspects of Regnery’s history and mission as well as St. Simeon’s biography. The Amarena cherry is in memory of St. Simeon’s homeland of Italy. Riesling wine honors the famous Mosel region of Germany, where Wilhelm Regnery (founder Henry Regnery’s grandfather) worked as a winemaker and where St. Simeon spent his final years, while Blüfeld honors the color blue, the original color of conservatism before some nincompoop at NBC screwed things up with his “red” and “blue” states. Elderflower liqueur pays tribute to the wisdom of the elders which St. Simeon and Regnery have sought to conserve. And bitters reflect the bitter truth to which St. Simeon and Regnery are committed in season and out.
And the toast?
“In gratitude to Regnery for publishing The Politically Incorrect Guide to Christianity, Drinking with the Saints, Drinking with Saint Nick, and Drinking with Your Patron Saints: Through the intercession of St. Simeon of Trier, who spent the last seven years of his life in a small cell, may we soon be free of the pandemic COVID-19 and all its confinements, and may Regnery and its readers [and that includes you!] always keep their heads holed up high.”