Corona Cocktail Contest!

Saint Corona

Last week Aleteia‘s Larry Peterson broke the story that there actually is a Saint Corona (a 2nd century virgin and martyr), that her relics are in the basilica of the town of Anzu (in the middle of the Italian Coronavirus pandemic, it turns out), and that–get this–she is invoked in Bavaria and other parts of Italy against pandemics.

To honor this singular saint (and to have something to do while we are all holed up), we are sponsoring a Cocktail Contest. Here are the rules:

  1. Like and follow the Drinking with the Saints Facebook page and spread the word with like-minded pious tipplers.
  2. Come up with a cocktail to honor St. Corona. It can either be something that you have discovered or something you have invented. You cannot rename a preexisting cocktail and submit it, however, unless you have also altered the recipe enough to make it your own invention. How much is enough? We follow the one-third rule: if one-third the original recipe is no longer the same, it is a new creation.
  3. Once you have your cocktail idea, post it on our Facebook page.
  4. The winning cocktail will be the one that most appropriately honors Saint Corona and tastes great.
  5. The winning cocktail will be determined by a super-secret (and self-isolated!) test-tasting panel of committed drinkers.
  6. The winner will be announced live during a Virtual Holy Happy Hour on Palm Sunday, April 5, from 5 pm CST to 6 pm to which all are invited! (Details TBA).
  7. The winner will receive a free signed and personalized copy of Drinking with Your Patron Saints and a handsome Drinking with the Saints apron (total retail value of $55). Free stuff in the mail!

 

Patronages

Drinking with Your Patron Saints has over 700 listed patronages, that is, causes for

st john poisoned cup

St. John the Apostle, patron saint of Asia Minor, authors, burns,
compositors, engravers, friendships, lithographers,
papermakers, poison sufferers, poison, Turkey, typesetters

petitioning a particular saint for help. The list includes places (such as various countries), occupations (from accountants to zookeepers), hobbies (woodworking, surfing, sports), and problems (difficult marriages, disappointing children (!), health troubles, etc.). And yes, since there are patron saints for contagious disease, there are patron saints you can invoke against the coronavirus (Saints Christopher, Sebastian, and Roch, to name a few).

To find your patron saint, see if you can find a saint for your birthplace or ethnicity. Sorry, we don’t do individual U.S. states, although you can think big and pray to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the U.S.A., or Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas.

Next, try to find your job in the list. If it is not listed, broaden the search to a more generic field or adjust it somehow. If you are an orthopedist, for example, and do not find an entry for that career, you might look under “medical professionals” for the patronage of Saint Luke or Raphael or “foot problems” for the patronage of Saint Peter.

Also check out your hobbies and activities. There are not many patron saints for individual sports, but St. Sebastian is the patron saint of all athletes and would welcome you as a client. I did, however, manage to track down some rather unknown patronages. Our Lady of Ghisallo is the patroness of cyclists, and Our Lady of Castellazzo is the patroness of bikers (motorcycles). And, of course, you should say a prayer to St. Christopher every time you get behind the wheel of a car or truck.

Finally, don’t forget your name. Chances are you share a first name with a saint, even if your parents named you after Uncle Bill or Aunt Sally. The feast day of the saint
after whom you were named is called your “name day”–find it and celebrate it with gusto. And if your first name is not explicitly Christian, no worries. Over the years, parents’ name choices have grown less devotional and more colorful—literally in some cases, as with Amber, Auburn, and Cyan. (And what’s the deal with naming your kids after jobs that no longer exist, like Cooper and Tanner? I await the day when I meet someone named Solo Saxophonist or Travel Agent.) But this is not an insurmountable problem: use your confirmation name if you have one, or simply attach yourself to a saint with whom you feel a special kinship.

And many names have a Christian origin despite appearances to the contrary. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for instance, is hidden under many common girls’ names. “Regina,” or queen, is for the Queen of Heaven, “Grace” for Our Lady of Grace, “Dolores” for Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, “Soledad” for Our Lady of Solitude, and “Hope” for Our Lady of Hope or Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Similarly, your name may simply be a variation of a saint’s name. If you are Caitlyn, Karen, or Kathleen, you share a name with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Catherine of Siena. Do a little research into the history and meaning of your name, and you may be surprised by its connection to a saint.

 

The Cover Story

DWYPS front cover closeup

Drinking with Your Patron Saints, which we will speak more about in the coming days, debuts on St. Patrick’s Day, and like its two older brothers (Drinking with the Saints and Drinking with Saint Nick), it has cool artwork on the front cover (see above).

As you may have guessed, the beer that the old man is holding is the handiwork of the crack art team at Regnery Publishing. The original painting, depicting St. Christopher crossing a river, is from the workshop of Joachim Patinir (1480-1524), a Flemish Renaissance painter. Although we do not know who the author is, that did not stop the painting from being auctioned at Christie’s in 2012 for a tidy £37,000. Fortunately, you can get your copy for only $19.99, with numerous drinking suggestions included at no extra charge.

While the artist’s identity may remain a mystery, the story he tells is of a famous legend in the annals of the saints.

Reprobus was a giant of a man (7½ feet tall) from the third century who wanted to serve the greatest king ever. He enlisted in the service of a mighty potentate, but when he noticed that the man was afraid of the devil, he left him to serve the Prince of Darkness. That did not last long, however: when Reprobus noticed that the devil was afraid of a roadside cross, he rightly reasoned that Christ was the mightiest of all.

After converting, Reprobus sought the advice of a holy hermit. The hermit told him to fast: Reprobus said he couldn’t. The hermit told him to offer many prayers. Ignorant of how to pray, Reprobus again asked for something else. Finally, the hermit suggested that he put his large stature to good use and ferry people across a dangerous river on his shoulders. (We suspect that the holy hermit is the elderly fellow on the riverbank, although it is odd that Reprobus is moving towards him.)

Anyway, Reprobus happily agreed to the task until one night he was awoken by a small

saint christopher original

The original painting, with the hermit holding a lantern. And he’s a lot smaller! Or rather, Reprobus is a lot bigger.

child asking for passage. As they crossed the river, Reprobus almost collapsed and drowned under the little one’s enormous weight. When the exhausted giant complained after they reached the other side, the child replied: “Be not astonished: thou bearest him who beareth the world.” Do you see the world on Christopher’s shoulders in the painting? We almost made it into a bottle of Chambord for the cover before deciding against it.

 

As proof that He was who He said He was, the Child commanded Reprobus to plant his staff in the ground, at which point it blossomed into a palm tree with leaves and dates. Our Lord then baptized Reprobus personally, changing his name from Reprobus (Latin for “rejected”) to Christopher (Greek for “Christ-bearer”). The Christ-bearer went on to suffer martyrdom for his fearless preaching of the Gospel. Christopher also became the enormously popular saint of ferrymen and their passengers, freight ships and their crews, gardeners, motorists, pilgrims, sailors, skiers, surfers, and, of course, travelers. We also think that he should patronize Uber drivers.

When you are done traveling, there are a number of drinks with which to toast St. Christopher for a safe journey, and you can find them in Drinking with Your Patron Saints. Cheers!

DWYPS front cover closeup

My New Year’s Resolution: Making the Happy Hour Holy with a Blessing

st john poisoned cup
Because he always blessed his drink before consuming it, St. John the Apostle nullified poison that an enemy had put in his cup. So why don’t Catholics bless their drinks as they do their food? I propose that from now on we begin every cocktail hour or after-dinner drink time with the following prayer/toast:
Stay with us, Lord, for it is getting towards evening (Lk. 24:29). And bless these drinks and our time together. Amen.
You invite Christ to keep you company just like the disciples of Emmaus did, and He blesses you and your drink. It’s a win-win.

Drinks for Saint John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman photoshopped

The Catholic world rejoices as Cardinal John Henry Newman is canonized this Sunday, October 13. Time to start celebrating. But what should we drink in honor of England’s most famous convert ? We offer the following suggestions.

“Snapdragon”
In his college days Newman played snapdragon, a risky game in which raisins are snatched out of a dish of burning brandy and eaten alight. Coincidentally, snapdragon is also the name of the flower that grew on the wall opposite Newman’s freshman lodgings at Trinity College in Oxford and came to symbolize in his mind his “own perpetual residence even unto death” at his beloved university, a residency that, thanks to his conversion, was to be far from perpetual.

Tonight, savor the lifestyle of a Victorian English gentleman with your finest port or brandy. You can also play snapdragon with your friends: it is traditionally a Christmastide game, but on October 13, 1848, Newman wrote that he had played it recently—perhaps on this very day. Better yet, drop three raisins in a glass of brandy and drink to Blessed John Henry (three to symbolize Newman’s alma mater of Trinity College and his theological work in service to the Triune God). You can call the drink a Snapdragon, though we don’t advise setting it on fire.

Cardinal Cocktail
Or, have a Cardinal cocktail. The (London) dry gin can symbolize Newman’s English identity and the Campari his sometimes bittersweet turn to Rome/Italy.

Cardinal
1 oz. gin
¾ oz. Campari
¾ oz. dry vermouth
1 lemon twist
Stir ingredients except lemon twist in a mixing glass or shaker filled with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon.

Beer and Wine
As we know from his letters, young Newman enjoyed “fine strong beer.” Honor Newman’s good taste with a St. Peter’s Organic English Ale, an English brew that our friend Dr. Robert Kirby selected in order to celebrate the occasion when, following Newman’s footsteps, he left Canterbury for Rome. The “organic” is evocative of organic development in Church doctrine, a notion which Newman famously explored and explained, and the “St. Peter’s” can serve as an obvious reference to the Barque which Newman boarded to the astonishment of all.

As for wine, an older Newman praised a dinner he had in Langres, France, that included claret, burgundy, sherry, and rum. Use your discretion to fill in the details.

A Toast
Newman stands out among the great figures mentioned in Drinking With the Saints because he is the only one on record for proposing a toast. Here is the full passage, from his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk:

Certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts (which indeed does not seem quite the thing), I shall drink—to the Pope, if you please—still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.

Newman’s remark is often misconstrued as a green light to dissent from the Church’s teachings, but it was actually meant to affirm the doctrine of papal infallibility properly understood. For Newman, the key to conscience is that it is is well-formed, which requires a great deal of study, docility, and humility—qualities not often found today among religious naysayers.

As for Newman’s opinion about the incompatibility of religion and after-dinner toasts, our own well-formed (or at least well-marinated) conscience compels us to dissent.

And so a toast: To Conscience first,  Saint John Henry Newman next, and the Pope afterwards.

How to Cheat during Lent

monk beer

We often think of Lent as the time to give up some of our favorite things, and for many of us alcohol is somewhere near the top of that list. But it was not always so. While voluntary abstinence is certainly commendable, for most of Church history Catholics during Lent were instead preoccupied with the mandatory fast, which was not the piddling two-day affair that it is now (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) but a full forty days.

Interestingly enough, this fast in the Latin Church could be rigorous but it never required abstinence from alcohol, even though other Christians such as the Eastern Orthodox have strict fast days where “wine and oil are avoided.” I suspect there are two reasons for the Latin approach. First, drinking alcohol was often safer than drinking water. A little wine added to water kills water-borne pathogens, and beer low in alcohol (called “small beer”) contained just enough alcohol to kill germs but not enough to impair one’s work skills.

Second, alcohol–especially beer–was a way to compensate for the Great Fast. A paulanerspecial  beer called doppelbock was invented precisely to provide extra nutrients and vitamins during Lent. Shiner Bock, familiar to Texans as the Spoetzel brewery’s most popular year-round offering, used to be only produced in the Spring; it was not until the early 1970s that it began to be available outside of Lent. Paulaner monks invented their outstanding “Salvator” as their sole form of sustenance during the entirety of Lent: you can read their fascinating story here.

Fastenbier

And finally, there is a German “Fastenbier” or “Lentbeer” that has been around since the fifteenth century. The beer earns a respectable 4.2 score out of 5 on beeradvocate.com, which has this to say:

“The Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer is an unfiltered smokebeer, brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Bottom-fermenting yeast gives the reddish brown lentbeer a natural cloudiness. Its smokey aroma is already noticeable in the smell, combined with a fine hoppy note. In the drink the fullbodied, highly drinkable lentbeer shows its strong malty flavour, rounded up with the smokey taste and a light bitterness. Due to the nourishing yeast, the Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer has the “Brotzeit already included” (German word for afternoon snack).”

Fastenbier labelAfternoon snack. Gotta love it. And note the “Cerevisia Quadragesimae” on the label, Latin for “beer of Lent.”

To be clear, Lenten beer does not make the forty-day fast an extension of Mardi Gras. In 2011, a nondenominational Christian and home brewer named J. Wilson decided to try the Paulaner monks’ liquid fast. He crafted his own nutrient-rich doppelbock and drank nothing but it and water during all of Lent, including Sundays. Rather than perambulate in a dim haze, Wilson lost twenty-five pounds and “found [himself] operating in a tunnel of clarity unlike anything [he’d] ever experienced” (you can read his full testimony here). He also gained new respect for the monks and for their annual acknowledgement of their frailty and dependence on God.

I’m game!

 

Three Customs for the Feast of Saint Lucy: Bride, Wheat, and a Martini

Saint Lucy Bride

December 13 is the Feast of St. Lucy, an early virgin martyr. “Lucia” is the Latin word “light,” and December 13 used to be the day of the Winter Solstice before the Gregorian reform of the calendar moved the solstice back to December 23. For these reasons medieval Christians could not resist celebrating Lucy’s Day with various symbols of light. Here are three: two for all ages, and the third for the grown ups.

LUCY BRIDE

In Scandinavian cultures it is customary for a girl in a white dress donning a wreath of burning candles to awaken the family from sleep and offer a tray with coffee and cakes. The impersonator is called a Lussibrud (Lucy bride) and her pastry is Lussekattor. In our family, the daughters alternate being the Lucy bride, and the pastry is usually something more mundane like store-bought danishes or Shipley’s Donuts. And instead of awakening the family, the family awakens Mom with breakfast in bed as we sing to her our own version of the Italian gondoliers’ “Santa Lucia” (which you can find in both Drinking with the Saints and Drinking with Saint Nick). These days one can buy a wreath with electric candles, but do you really want to miss the joy of pulling wax out of your daughter’s hair and possibly setting the drapes on fire?

In the U.S. and Mexico we should be grateful to the Scandinavians for giving Mom coffee in bed the morning after the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and all that tequila…

CHRISTMAS WHEAT

Here is an explanation of this custom from Marian Von Trapp:

“It is an ancient Hungarian custom to offer to the Infant in the manger the green sproutsSaint Lucy wheat of wheat. Agriculture is the mainstay of the Hungarian nation and wheat is the symbol of sustenance and prosperity for this nation. It is therefore the most suitable gift for the newborn Saviour. But it also has a meaning for everyone. The ‘new wheat’ symbolizes the “new bread” in the natural order and also the ‘New Bread of Life’ in the supernatural order; for it is from wheat that the altar bread is made which becomes the Holy Eucharist, the bread of our souls.

“The wheat seeds are planted on the day of St. Lucy, the virgin martyr, December 13th. Kept in a moderately warm room and watered daily, the plant reaches its full growth by Christmas. The little daily care given to it is flavored with the joy of expectation for the approaching Christmas and spreads the spirit of cheerfulness as the tender plant reminds us of our spiritual rebirth through the mysteries of Christmas.

“To plant the seeds, take a flower pot four or five inches in height and fill it with plain garden sod. Spread the seeds on the top and press gently, so that the seeds are covered with sod. Do not push them too deep. Watered daily at the manger and paying its simple homage to the newborn Saviour, the plant will last until about January 6th.”

SANCTA LUCIA MARTINI

Saint LucyBecause of her connection to light, Lucy became the patron saint of eyes, which are “the light of the body.” Following this lead a later tradition claims that Lucy was tortured and that her eyes were gouged out. Lucy is consequently portrayed in Christian art holding a tray containing her two eyes (actually, we should say two of her eyes, because another pair miraculously grew back). To honor this colorful story, have a Drinking with the Saints original—if you can consider a mere rearrangement of ingredients original. The Sancta Lucia Martini is a martini with the olives configured to look like a pair of eyes. We’re confident that if Saint Lucy did not have a good sense of humor on earth, she has one now by virtue of the Beatific Vision and that heavenly mirth which Chesterton says is God’s greatest secret.

Sancta Lucia MartiniSancta Lucia Martini
2 oz. gin
1 dash vermouth
2 olives
Pour all ingredients except olives into a shaker or mixing glass with ice and stir forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass. Transfix the two olives with a cocktail sword so that the pimentos are positioned like eyeballs and place them horizontally on the glass rim.

Sta Lucia Pearl Onions 1

Here is a more elaborate version that combines pearl onions with olive ends.

When to Put Up the Christmas Tree

xmastreeEach year Christians are faced with the surprisingly difficult question of when to put up the Christmas tree. The world around us gives us different answers. For retail stores, it is often the day after Halloween. For many offices and corporate spaces, it is the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, the White House lit the National Christmas Tree on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. And some Catholics either put up their tree around the First Sunday of Advent or on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8).

But the original custom was to put up a Christmas tree only on Christmas Eve. Even the federal government respected this custom: the first U.S. President to light the National Christmas Tree, Calvin Coolidge, did so on December 24, 1923. The reason for this is simple. Contrary to popular belief, the Christmas tree was not a “baptism” of pagan Germanic yule traditions but an entirely Christian symbol.

In the Eastern Churches December 24 is the Feast of Adam and Eve, who according to tradition felt really, really bad about the Fall and spent the rest of their hundreds of years on earth doing penance and eventually achieving sanctity. Although this feast has never been on the Latin calendar, medieval Roman Catholics took it to heart. Special mystery plays were held on this day that featured a Paradise Tree, a tree representing both the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as well as the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden. The tree was decorated with apples (for the forbidden fruit) and sweets (for the Tree of Life). When the mystery plays were suppressed during the fifteenth century, the faithful moved the Paradise trees from the stage into their homes. The apples were later substituted for other round objects (such as shiny red balls), and lights and the Star of Bethlehem were added, but the symbolism remained essentially the same.

Thus, our modern Christmas tree is actually the medieval Paradise tree, a reminder of the reason why God deemed it important to become man in the first place and a foretaste of the sweet Tree from which our Lord’s birth would once again enable us to taste. The lights of the Christmas tree also form a glowing Jesse tree, with each light representing one of Christ’s ancestors and the Star representing our Lord Himself.

So where does this leave us today? Kudos to those who can hold out to December 24 to observe the classic custom, but in many areas finding a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve takes a Christmas miracle, even if you’d settle for a Charlie Brown version. So here are some practical options:

1. Buy a tree when it is still available and store it (and water it) in the garage until December 24. Place it in your home and decorate it on Christmas Eve, before you head out for Midnight Mass;

2. Fudge a little and put the tree up on December 17, the first of the O Antiphons or Golden Nights (which we will talk about in a later post). On the first night leave it bare, and then on subsequent nights decorate it gradually until it is ready by Christmas Eve;

3. Fudge a little more and put the tree up on December 17 and decorate it then, but perhaps wait until Christmas Eve to turn on the lights;

4. Overcome your scrupulosity and put up the Christmas tree when it is convenient for you. After all, family religious customs should be an occasion of joy and not another reason for anxiety.

Over the years our family has experimented with all of the above. How about yours? Sound off on the Drinking with the Saints Facebook page.

And, of course, there is also the question of when to take the tree down. Here in our adopted home of Waco, Texas, the city collects Christmas trees from immediately after Christmas until the day after Epiphany. It either mulches them or throws them into Lake Waco to create a habitat for catfish. The Christmas tree should be the center of family festivity for the entire Twelve Days of Christmas, from December 25 until January 5, the Vigil of the Epiphany. And so I am glad that the Keep Waco Beautiful Chipping of the Green Christmas tree recycling service is operating on January 7, when participants are “provided a small bag of Christmas tree mulch.”

I must confess, though, that we don’t always meet even this deadline. Instead of helping catfish, our trees end up sheltering rat snakes as the trees compost in a part of the yard our children tend to avoid. The good news is that the resulting soil is rich and fertile, and in the summer we occasionally find a lost ornament no longer hidden behind green needles, ready for the next Christmas.

Accept the Advent-Christmas Challenge!

adventwreath
Dear friends,
The season of Advent begins today—appropriately enough for some of us, on the feast of St. Bibiana, patron saint of hangovers—and I am wondering if you would like to join my family and me in accepting the “Advent-Christmas Challenge.”
The Challenge is simply this: to observe a traditional or old-fashioned Advent and Christmas as best one can. I will disclose additional details in later posts, but here is the basic idea:
1. Make Advent a time of both spiritual and temporal preparation for the Lord’s Coming rather than an extended pre-game party before Christmas.
2. Observe traditional Advent customs, which include Advent calendars, Advent wreaths, setting up a nativity scene and having some of the figures “travel” to the stable, etc.
3. And, perhaps hardest of all, celebrate all Twelve Days of Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany, from December 25 to January 6.
The good news is that an old-fashioned Advent does not necessarily involve abstinence from alcohol, although it may be a good time to let your liver catch its breath before the Christmastide festivities really kick in.
Like I said, we fill in the details with a series of additional posts that will contain explanations of the season and practical ideas–including, of course, drink suggestions. (Our next post in a couple of days will be entitled “When to Put Up the Christmas Tree”). And you can add comments or suggestions of your own on our Facebook page.
So who’s with us? Do you have any Advent tips you would like to share? And who else among your friends and family would be interested in taking up this Challenge?

 

An Important Note on the Life Blood Warmer for the Feast of St. Januarius

januarius 2

Philip Greene is a columnist for The Daily Beast and author of several great cocktail books including his latest due out next month, A Drinkable Feast: A Cocktail Companion to 1920s Paris (Penguin Random House). Phil is also a friend who helped me when I was writing Drinking with the Saints. Over the summer he sent me the following note:

“Hello Michael, I hope you are well. I think I solved a mystery for you; unfortunately it means you have a mistake in your book! In the drink recipe Life Blood Warmer you speculated that the initials LBW stood for the Lillet Blanc Wine. When I read that I was dubious because back in 1937 it was not called by that name, it was called Kina Lillet. I then perused the online version of the 1937 Café Royal book and discovered that the initials represent lemon barley water.”

Phil later added that if you google “lemon barley water UK,” you will see “that it was a thing, like we drink cola or lemon lime soda.”

Phil was referring to my entry for the Feast of St. Januarius (September 19), the martyr januarius blood 2whose dried blood is brought out every year in a phial on his feast day and which miraculously liquifies when it is placed close to his severed head (no, I am not making this up). In Drinking with the Saints I recommend an old cocktail for the feast called a Life Blood Warmer. The problem I faced was that one of the ingredients was listed only as “LBW,” which a later editor erroneously thought was an abbreviation of “life blood warmer.” I knew enough from logic that you can’t define a term with the term in the definition, so I speculated that the abbreviation stood for Lillet Blanc Wine, tested the cocktail with this ingredient, and was sufficiently pleased with the result.

But Phil is right: unbeknownst to me at the time, the term “Lillet Blanc Wine” did not exist in 1937, and lemon barley water does appear elsewhere in the famous 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book, whence I obtained the recipe.

So it was back to the drawing board. Although lemon barley water is still common in Great Britain, it is difficult to find locally. Happily, you can make it yourself with the help of an online recipe. Here it is now:

Lemon Barley Water
lemon barley water½ cup pearl barley
water
10 cups water
1 lemon rind, grated
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Rinse the barley well.
  2. Cover barley in a pot with cold water & bring to the boil; drain.
  3. Return barley to saucepan with the lemon rind & 10 cups water, cook slowly for 1 hour.
  4. Add the lemon juice & sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  5. Strain and chill to serve.
  6. Discarded barley can be mixed with some dried fruit & nuts and warm milk and makes a great breakfast.
  7. This recipe takes about 70 minutes and makes approximately 1⅞ liters.

The recipe I included in DWTS (with Lillet) is still pretty good, so now we have two options. I foolishly took the Pledge for the whole of this Embertide week, so I won’t be able to do a taste test. Any volunteers? Here are the two recipes:

(Original) Life Blood Warmer
From the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book
½ oz. lemon barley water
½ oz. orange juice
1¼ oz. gin
½ oz. Cointreau
Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

(New) Life Blood Warmer
By a sincere but misguided Mike Foley
½ oz. Lillet Blanc wine
1 oz. orange juice (½ oz. more than the original recipe)
1¼ oz. gin
½ oz. Cointreau
Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Last Call
A toast in gratitude to those who correct us: Through the intercession of Saint Januarius, may our blood never boil when they point out our mistakes.