An Ignatian Retreat to the Bottle

Ignatius of Loyola

The Jesuit Order isn’t exactly at its high-water mark of excellence these days, but that’s no reason to take it out on its founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) . The Spanish saint’s feast is this Monday, July 31, and lest you have to think too hard about what to drink as you battle the summer heat, I would like to narrow down your options to one: a Mexico Pacifico. In DWTS I recommend this drink for the Mexican martyr Miguel Pro, but I don’t think he would mind sharing with his order’s founder. A Mexico Pacifico is easy to make and an excellent cocktail for summer: think of it as a more sublime iteration of the margarita.

Mexico Pacificomexico-pacifico
1½ oz. tequila
½ oz. lime juice
½ oz. passion fruit syrup
1 lime wheel for garnish
Pour all ingredients except lime wheel into a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with lime wheel.

The key ingredient, passion fruit syrup, is not only what makes it so delicious but what gives the drink a connection to St. Ignatius. Jesuit missionaries in New Spain made great catechetical use of the Passion Flower, seeing in its details an allegory of Our Lord’s Passion: The flower’s five sepals and five petals call to mind the ten Apostles who deserted but did not betray Christ, the corona represents the Crown of Thorns, the vine tendrils symbolize the flagella used in the scourging, etc.

Last Call
In the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius provides helpful rules for the “discernment of spirits,” but today you can give that phrase a whole new meaning. Before the first round, adopt the motto of the Jesuits and say, “To St. Ignatius: For the greater glory of God!” Before the second round, say, “To St. Ignatius and the art of being Jesuitical!” Before the third round, paraphrase a memorable line from Pascal and say, “To St. Ignatius and his casuists, the lambs of God who take away the sins of the world!”

 

Three Beers for St. Thomas More

The great Saint Thomas More (1478-1535) was martyred for refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. More was beheaded on July 6, which prior to the 1950s was the Octave Day of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. More took consolation knowing that he was being martyred on a feast honoring St. Peter, to whose See he was remaining loyal at the cost of his life. In the traditional calendar prior to Vatican II, Thomas More’s own feast day was assigned to July 9, the first available day after his “heavenly birthday”–July 6 had the octave, July 7 Saints Cyril and Methodius, and July 8 Saint Elizabeth of Portugal. In the new, post Vatican-II calendar, St. Thomas More shares a feast day with Cardinal John Fisher on June 22, the date that Fisher was martyred for the faith.

Why bring all this up now? Because as far as I am concerned, the entire month of July is a good time to reflect on the life and legacy of Thomas More–and if you want a rather macabre reminder of this, consider the fact that since Thomas More was executed as a traitor, his head was placed on a spike on London Bridge for nearly a month until it needed to make way for other heads (his daughter Meg bribed an official and retrieved it when it was time to bring it down; otherwise More’s head would have been tossed into the Thames). We don’t know the exact date when this precious relic was thus preserved, but July 6 through July 31 is “nearly a month.”

And July is also a good time to drink beer. As it turns out, St. Thomas More enjoyed

Thomas More

“No large beer, please.”

“small beer”–that is, beer with an alcohol content low enough to be suitable for “women, children, and manual laborers”! (there was just enough alcohol in the brew to kill water-borne pathogens without making you groggy). Today, the term “small beer” is also used for: 1) the second runnings from a very strong beer mash and, 2) beers that are thought to lack flavor. For small beer in the first sense, the easiest to find is probably Anchor Small Beer, produced by the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco from the second runnings of their Old Foghorn Barleywine. For small beer in the second sense, turn to the blandest light beer you’ve ever tasted and have at it.

I also recently learned that Thomas More’s great-grandfather was a brewer. John Joye,

Trinity Hall Aldersgate Street

Trinity Hall, the former Falcon on the Hoop Brewery, where Thomas More’s great-grandparents lived.

whose daughter Johanna married William More (Thomas’ grandfather), was one of London’s many beermakers. In 1460, he and his wife Joan rented a brewery called The Falcon on the Hoop on the west side of Aldersgate Street, where they also resided. The brew house eventually became Trinity Hall, which survived into the nineteenth century (see photo). We don’t know for certain what the building looked like in John Joye’s day, but in 1782 it was said to have a stained glass featuring “a monkey in a monk’s habit shaving a dog, which is seated in a chair.” Now that would make a great beer label.

It might be difficult where you are to track down an authentic beer made in London, although the city has its fair share of craft breweries (see here). Many brews are associated with London, such as 1) summer ales, 2) IPAs, and 3) Porters. IPAs and Porters are only a couple of hundred years old. “Summer ale” is also a recent label, although these lighter, golden ales hearken to a medieval tradition of local parishes making “Whitsun Ales” (after Whitsunday or Pentecost) for fundraising and social activities.

Toast

Thomas More’s last words were not, as it is often reported, “I die the King’s good servant but God’s first” but rather “I die the King’s good servant and God’s first.” The difference indicates that even in defying the wishes of Henry VIII, More was being his good servant, bearing witness to the truth and calling him back to God. Even in disobedience Thomas More saw no conflict between serving God and his earthly monarch. The better a servant of God he was, the better a servant to his fellow men. Period. It is a truth worth reflecting upon in our own day and age.

We can take More’s profound statement and turn it into a toast honoring him: “To St. Thomas More: The king’s good servant, and God’s first!”

Alehouse medieval

A medieval alehouse.

 

 

The Bénédictine Option

Benedictine Option

Photo by Andrea Dahm

If you follow religious cultural discussions, you’ve probably heard of Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option” in which Christians are admonished to imitate St. Benedict of Nursia and “strategically withdraw” from popular culture to reclaim their identity.

Dreher’s thesis has been attacked unfairly (check out James K.A. Smith’s broadside, a vigorous counterattack, and Dreher’s own deliciously titled response), but it has also been criticized more dispassionately herehere and here. Accused of not always being the most careful student of history or theology (as he himself humbly admits), Dreher has been challenged on his misunderstanding of St. Benedict’s achievements and legacy, of the nature of the Church, and of the nature of the polis. Unsatisfied interlocutors have subsequently offered alternatives to the Benedict Option (at least as Dreher has formulated it), and hence there are now calls for the the Augustine Option, the Franciscan Option, the Escriva Option, the [William F.] Buckley Option, the Gamgee Option, and my personal favorite for sheer audacity–because it involves chopping down oak trees that are sacred to pagans–the Boniface Option.

But right or wrong, every good intellectual catchphrase deserves its own drink, which brings me to “The Bénédictine Option,” an ingenious cocktail invented by my friend and estimable philosopher, Clifton Bryant.

The Bénédictine Option
2 oz. Early Times bourbon
.5 oz. Bénédictine liqueur
dash of orange bitters
orange wedge
Pour all ingredients except orange into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with orange wedge.

As Bryant explains, you’ve got the Bénédictine in honor of St. Benedict; you’ve got a Walker Percy reference (Early Times was Percy’s favorite and Percy, a Benedictine oblate, is a favorite of Dreher); and you’ve got a drink resembling an Old Fashioned in which you have availed yourself of the “option” of using Bénédictine instead of simple syrup. Beautiful.

The Bénédictine Option is the perfect drink after a long day in the strategically-withdrawn bunker and the ideal stimulus for “an intentional and thoughtful retreat into narrativity.” Indeed, the greater the number of Bénédictine Options, the more creative, no doubt, will be the narrativity.

Surprising Drinks for St. Patrick’s Day

Last year we published Irish ideas for observing  St. Patrick’s Day, and while we still stand by those ideas, this year we want to serve St. Patrick’s Day with a twist. Instead of suggesting Irish drinks (good though they be), let us turn to some non-Irish libations that pay tribute to the early life of the man who would go on to drive the snakes from Erin.

For you see, one of the ironies in thinking of St. Patrick’s Day as a holiday for celebrating Irish Identity (as we do here in the U.S.) is that Saint Patrick himself was not Irish. Worse, according to some of his biographers, he may have been (gasp!) English. As a young lad the future Apostle of Ireland was kidnapped off the coast of Great Britain (possibly England, probably Scotland) and made a slave to an Irish chieftain. Patrick eventually escaped, at which point he studied in France, was ordained a priest, commissioned by the Pope to return to Ireland to preach the Gospel, and subsequently consecrated a bishop. It is that side of Patrick, the side that gets neglected amidst all the shiny shamrocks and green beer, that we hereby wish to honor with drinks.

St. Martin of Tours
Young Patrick studied at the monastery founded by St. Martin of Tours. Although St. Martlemas Martini Hyatt WashingtonMartin had gone on to his eternal reward by then, Patrick was related to the great saint on his mother’s side. To honor this chapter of Patrick’s life, try the drink that we recommend on St. Martin’s Day, a Martlemas Martini:

Martlemas Martini 
2 oz. Grey Goose vodka
1 dash dry vermouth
1 lemon twist
Pour ingredients into shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist to represent Martin’s torn cloak.

St. Germanus
Patrick was ordained a priest by St. Germanus, who also recommended him to the Pope for the Irish mission. Germanus’ name graces every bottle of St. Germain, the magical liqueur made from elderflower.


St-Germain-Cocktail

St-Germain Cocktail
2 oz. brut champagne or dry sparkling wine (like Prosecco)
1½ oz. St-Germain
2 oz. club soda
lemon twist
Stir liquid ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice, mixing them completely. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Pope St. Celestine I
Pope Celestine commissioned Patrick to bring the Irish people into the one fold of Christ and gave him the name by which he is known today.  According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Celestine called the newly commissioned missionary Patercius or Patritius, “not as an honorary title [as if he were ‘patrician’], but as a foreshadowing of the fruitfulness and merit of his apostolate whereby he became pater civium (the father of his people).”

We have no special drink for St. Celestine, but anyone who sits on the chair of St. Peter deserves to be honored by the drink of St. Peter, which in our book (and we mean that literally– see Drinking with the Saints is  a Gibson:Gibson St. Peter

Gibson Martini
2 oz. gin
1 dash vermouth
pearl onions
Pour gin and vermouth, into a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with one or two pearl onions speared by a cocktail sword. For a Vodka Gibson, substitute gin for vodka.

St. Maximus
Patrick was on his way back from Rome when he learned of the death of Palladius, the bishop who had first been sent to the Irish but who abandoned the mission after he was bullied by an Irish chieftain (sometimes, the Irish can be ornery). So Patrick went to St. Maximus of Turin (380-465), who ordained him bishop.

There is a legend about Maximus commanding a doe to nurse a thirsty man, so we recommend the next best thing, a Hart. A hart, of course, is an adult male deer: like we said, it’s the next best thing.

Hart
1 oz. gin
1 oz. Dubonnet
1 oz. dry vermouth
Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Last Call
Whatever your drink on St. Patrick’s Day, don’t forget the toast. This passage from the beautiful prayer “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” is a good choice:

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

St Patrick snakes out of Ireland

Catholic Drinks for Groundhog Day

bill-murray-groundhog

Can a good Catholic drink to the groundhog and his shadow on this secular holiday? He sure can, for the groundhog works for the Blessed Virgin Mary, and this secular holiday owes its existence to the Church calendar.

In the traditional calendar,  February 2  is “Candlemas,” the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which commemorates Mary’s ritual purification and her solemn presentation of her Son in the Holy Temple forty days after His birth. It was on this occasion that the aged prophet Simeon took the infant Jesus in his hands and declared him to be a “light for the revelation of the gentiles” (Luke 2:32). Simeon’s prophecy and the focus on light eventually led to a folk belief that the weather on February 2 had a particularly keen prognostic value. If the sun shone for the greater part of the day, there would be, it was claimed, forty more days of winter, but if the skies were cloudy and gray, there would be an early spring.

The Germans amended this lore by bringing into the equation either the badger or the hedgehog (not to mention their shadows); yet when they emigrated to Pennsylvania in colonial times, they could find no such creatures around. Instead they saw plenty of what the Native Americans in the area called a wojak, or woodchuck. Since the Indians considered the groundhog to be a wise animal, it seemed only natural to appoint the furry fellow—as Phil the Groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is now called—“Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.”

The Feast of the Purification got its nickname “Candlemas” (Mass of the Candles) because candles would be blessed on this day and used in great processions that would drive away the winter’s night.

candles

A nice way to commemorate the grand Candlemas processions of old is with a flaming, minty after-dinner drink called a Medieval Candle. The wide mouth of a cocktail or liqueur glass works best; we found that a snifter, with its narrow top, does not properly combust the surface fumes. (It also helps that the ingredients are at least at room temperature.) Finally, the 100-proof Southern Comfort is preferable for combustion purposes. And don’t worry: some of that alcohol will be burned off.

Medieval Candle
½ oz. white crème de menthe
½ oz. Southern Comfort (100 proof if available)
Build ingredients in a small cocktail glass or liqueur glass and light the top.

Turn off the lights in order to enjoy the full effect. It will be tempting to let the mesmerizing blue flame continue burning, but remember that the longer it does, the hotter it will make the rim of the glass (and we do mean hot). You may even need to pour the drink into another glass to be on the safe side. And yes, you’ll want to blow out the flame before attempting to consume.

Other Options
One of our favorite movies is the 1993 Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell andie-macdowell-sweet-vermouth(if you want my Catholic interpretation of the movie, click here. The article, incidentally, is much better after the second round). Several drinks in the movie are mentioned: Phil Connors (Bill Murray) drinks Jim Beam on the rocks, and Rita (Andie MacDowell) drinks sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist, which sounds like a girly drink but is actually quite good. And in the background you can also see giant steins of tantalizing beer in the German restaurant where Phil and Rita dine. Groundhog Party, anyone?

To make Rita’s drink, pour a couple of ounces of sweet vermouth into an old-fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with a twist of lemon and swirl about a bit before drinking.

Toasting Suggestion
One of the old candle blessings for this day makes an ideal toast, especially when a Medieval Candle is being served. “To our good Lord, a Light to the revelation of the Gentiles, who was presented in the Temple on this day. May we one day be presented in the Holy Temple of His glory, inflamed by the fire of His most sweet charity.”

 

 

A Superior White Lady for the Immaculate Conception

A happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to you! Last year I posted drink suggestions for this august solemnity here, including a recipe for a White Lady cocktail.

This year my good friend Father Robert Johansen has made a video showing us how to make a more elaboration variation of the White Lady that he claims with great conviction is superior to the one presented in the blog and in our book Drinking with the Saints. The venerable Internet Cocktail Database (which was a key resource in the composition of our book) lists six different versions of the White Lady, and that does not include Fr. Rob’s version, which he learned from an older imbiber who found the recipe in a dusty old cocktail book decades ago. So we are doubly grateful that Fr. Rob is now bringing this recipe back into the public eye.

Here is the list of ingredients for the “superior” White Lady, followed by Fr. Rob’s video.

White Lady
1 oz gin
1 oz vodka
1 oz Cointreau
1 egg white
2 tsp powdered sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 oz water
lemon bitters (optional)
crushed ice

And Fr. Rob’s video on how to make it is here. Thank you, Father! You have definitely whetted my appetite for tonight’s happy hour.

O Mary Immaculate, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Our-Lady-of-Washington

Holy Hangover Day

bibiana-church

Santa Bibiana in Rome

Today, December 2, is the feast day of St. Bibiana, the patron saint against hangovers. This Christian virgin and martyr received this honor in a roundabout way. After various attempts to make Bibiana renounce her Catholic faith, she was scourged to death. Bibiana was buried in the garden near her home on the Aventine Hill in Rome, and her home likewise became a church. Soon after the garden was reputed to grow “healing herbs.” In addition to patronizing tipplers with hangovers, Bibiana is also the saint to seek when suffering from headaches or epilepsy.

Could this be mere pious legend, invented for no other reason than the fact that “Bibiana” resembles the word “Bibulus,” which means “fond of drinking”? That is one explanation I have heard, but I personally don’t buy it. For one thing, it would have made more sense to anoint a Saint Crapulus, since believe it or not the word for “hung over” in Latin is crapulatus, not bibulus. Either way, I think it wise not to test St. Bibiana’s efficacy by getting  a hangover just to see how much of a difference her intercession makes on your throbbing head and sensitive eyes.

Tonight, “hair of the dog” drinks would seem to be appropriate, starting with the classic Bloody Mary:

Bloody Mary
1½ oz. vodka
3 oz. tomato juice
1 dash lemon juice
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 or 3 drops Tabasco hot sauce
salt and pepper
lemon or lime wedge, celery stick, or olives for garnish (optional)
Place all ingredients except garnishes in a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish: the more, the merrier.

Oh! And I almost forgot to mention the toast: “Through the intercession of St. Bibiana, may we never need the intercession of St. Bibiana.”

 

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bibiana

Pick a Patron for Our New Book and Win a Prize!

saintsman

We are pleased to announce our first-ever Giveaway. Here’s how it works:

At the request of my publisher and readers, I am currently writing a sequel to Drinking with the Saints. The new book, entitled Drinking with Your Patron Saint, will offer a wide array of drink suggestions for celebrating the holy patrons and patronesses of places, things, occupations, maladies, and the like. But because patron saints do not need to be determined by the Magisterium (most of them were chosen by folk custom), I would like to make the final chapter a list of new ideas for patron saints.

The new suggestions can range from the serious to the silly. An example of the serious: St. Louis Martin (the father of Therese of Lisieux) suffered from mental illness at the end of his life and can therefore be a patron saint of those similarly afflicted. An example of the silly: St. James the Less as the patron saint of light beer.

But I need your help in coming up with new saintly patronages, and the more the merrier! You can propose a connection based on the life of a saint, or you can simply make a bad pun on the sound of their name, like St. Isidore as the patron saint of entryways (get it?) or St. Peter Chanel as the patron saint of good smells.

There are only two rules:
1) The idea has to be your own—no cribbing from the internet.
2) The proposed patron has been duly canonized or beatified by the Church—Sorry, but we can’t name Bear Bryant the patron saint of Alabama football.

Best of all, you could win a prize! We will be giving away a “Gold Package” for the Greatest Number of Helpful Entries and a “Silver Package” for the Most Creative. The winner of the Gold Package will receive a signed copy of Drinking with the Saints and the complete line up of DWTS merchandise: an apron, a mixing glass, a wine charm set, a pair of cufflinks, and a set of coasters, with a total retail value of over $100! (see our new Facebook shop).  The winner of the Silver Package will receive a signed copy of Drinking with the Saints and a DWTS wine charm set, pair of cufflinks, and coasters, with a total retail value of $60.

And, we will also be giving away lots of consolation prizes, based on merchandise availability at the time. Finally, all winners great and small will be formally acknowledged for their contribution in the front matter of the new book.

To enter, just submit your ideas on the DWTS Facebook page, and feel free to like or react to the entries of others as well.

But hurry: the contest ends in three weeks—December 16, 2016, to be precise. We want you to receive your prizes in time for Christmas Day.

So now you have something fun to think about during Thanksgiving and Advent with your friends and family and to pick up some great gifts for under the tree!
Hipp_hipp_hurra!_Konstnärsfest_på_Skagen_-_Peder_Severin_Krøyer

Catholic Drinks for Election Night

whiskey-parties-inside

Like other Americans, Catholics have agonized during this election season over some unsavory choices, but come this Election Night on November 8, it is time to wash away the bitter aftertaste with a flood of appealing refreshments.  The following is a list of saintly drinks to lift your spirits (or at least numb them) as the votes are being counted.

Option #1: Honor Christ the King
A Drinking With The Saints semi-original, the Rex Regum (King of Kings) cocktail celebrates the only ruler who keeps His promises. The Crown Royal whisky recalls our Lord’s kingship; the Drambuie is made from a recipe linked to “Bonnie Prince” Charles Stuart, Catholic claimant to the English throne and grandson of the last Catholic king of Great Britain; the grenadine is made from pomegranates, which are a symbol of self-giving (perfect for our sacrificial King); and the lemon juice symbolizes the bitter gall offered to Our Lord during the crucifixion–plus it adds a bright complexity to the flavor profile.

Tonight, toast with a hardy “¡Viva Cristo Rey!”

Rex Regum
1¾ oz. oz. Crown Royal Canadian whisky
½ oz. Drambuie
¼ oz. grenadine
¼ oz. lemon juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Option #2: Honor the Patroness of the United States
Lest you lose hope, turn to your Blessed Mother. The Patroness of the U.S.A. is Oour-lady-of-washingtonur Lady of the Immaculate Conception. If the Mother of God under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe was able to convert the descendants of the Aztecs, surely under the title of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception she can do the same for the descendants of the Puritans and the offspring of the “huddled masses” that comprise our great nation.

And so tonight, toast to the Blessed Virgin’s immaculate purity with a White Lady. There are several variations of this smooth classic: here is the simplest.

White Lady
2 oz. gin
1 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
1 oz. lemon juice
Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Option #3: Ignore the Secular
If you’ve become too jaded to think any more about politics, turn your thoughts from Washington D.C. to Rome. November 8 is the Vigil of the Feast of the Dedication of the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior (more commonly known as St. John Lateran), one of Rome’s seven great basilicas and, indeed, the highest ranking church in the Catholic world. (Contrary to a popular misconception, St. John Lateran is the official cathedral of the Pope and hence it–and not St. Peter’s– holds the rank of Archbasilica.)

St. John Lateran’s Roman identity can be honored tonight with a delicious Pallini Martini made from a local favorite, limoncello.

Pallini Martini pallini-limoncello-italian-lemon-liqueur-2-500x500
¾ oz. Pallini Limoncello
¾ oz. citrus vodka (regular vodka will suffice)
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
sugar (for the rim)
1 lemon peel (for garnish)
Rim a well-chilled cocktail glass with sugar. Pour all liquid ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times. Strain into the cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Option #4: Think Local
Or, eschew the national and embrace the local. Is there a popular state or regional beer? How about a new microbrewery in town? Is there a local wine, cider, or liquor you have always been meaning to try? How about a family favorite? If charity begins at home, so does a healthy body politic.

microbrew

Final Advice
For the first round, raise your glasses high and quote Psalm 145(146):2-3: “Put not your trust in princes, in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.”

For the second round, change it up a bit. If Hillary wins, say: “Put not your trust in the FBI’s Most Wanted, in the Clinton Foundation, in whom there is no salvation.” If Donald wins, “Put not your trust in princes of industry, in baby men, in whom there is no salvation.”

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Spike in Sales?

sales-increase

Some good news from my publisher.  Over the last week, the “sell-through” of Drinking With The Saints (the sales to actual customers at stores and/or online retailers) increased by 288% from 48 to 186. That’s the biggest week of sales since last December–Christmastime!

Thanks be to God for this increase, but the lingering question is why it happened at all. There was no special advertising, no noteworthy mention of the book or its author in the news or the blogosphere: in short, nothing special to induce a surge in sales. It is true that I am giving talks in Florida and Colorado in November and December (more on that some other time), but the sales increase is nationwide and not regional.

So why the spike? I have three rather weak theories of my own:

1. Preparation for an ill-advised drinking binge on All Saints’ Day (November 1).
2. The current election has some people turning to God and to the bottle–at the same time.
3. Books purchased in May 2015 (launchdate) need to be replaced because they are so stained with spilled cocktail mixes and red wine.

 

What are your theories? Sound off!