Happy March! We've gotten through leap day, and we're on to celebrate St. Patrick! What better month to kick off our "Drinking with the Saints" calendar? With Dr. Michael Foley's permission, we are sharing his delightful choices for a handful of March's celebrants.
March 1st, St. Albinus
Wine is the beverage of choice for this Saint who was a champion of the oppressed; he fought against incestuous marriages and freed hostages from pirates. His feast day is tied into the wine growing season, and the French have a St. Aubin adage:
Prune on the day of St. Aubin,
In order to have large grapes;
And if it rains on St. Aubin’s,
Water will be more expensive than wine.
March 7th, St. Thomas Aquinas
Ah, the famous Dominican! Long story short? His family wanted him to be a Benedictine (prestigious!), he rebelled and became a Dominican (known as beggars & itinerants!) and became the greatest theologian of all time. Celebrate with a “Fat Friar!”
1.5 ounces Benedictine
1.5 ounces Apple Brandy
¼ ounce Triple Sec
¼ ounce Lemon Juice
Pour into an ice filled shaker, shake 40 times, strain into a cocktail glass.
March 12th, St. Gregory the Great
The first monk to become a pope, and a lovely story goes along with his tenure: Apparently, Pope Gregory had a hankering for cherries on St. Mark’s Day (April 25th) and his obedient followers scoured the area until they found some. Every pope since has a tradition bowl of cherries on that day…you can celebrate with a Gregorian Royale:
2 tsp cherry syrup
Pour syrup into a champagne flute, top off with Prosecco
March 17th, St. Patrick
We celebrate the most famous saint of all in March, our dear St. Patrick. Beer, beer, and more beer is the drink of the day. Bonus points if you fit in a green one. In lieu of a drink recipe, here’s a toast to the beloved “Apostle of Ireland”:
Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who, through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland:
Here’s a bumper to his health!
But not too many bumpers,
Lest we lose ourselves, and then
Forget the good St. Patrick,
And see the snakes again.
March 19th, St. Joseph
The beloved husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph was the foster father of Our Lord. (You know I had to get a plug in here for foster parenting, right?). We’ll celebrate him right & proper with one of the oldest cocktails known to man, the Sazerac.
1 splash of absinthe
½ tsp simple syrup
2 ounces rye whiskey
2 dashes Peychaud bitters
1 lemon twist
Place absinthe in a well-chilled old-fashioned glass, swirl it around to coat, discard excess
Build the rest of the ingredients in the glass.
March 21st, St. Benedict
This gentleman gave up a life of nobility by retreating to a cave for three years; living alone and meditating about devoting his life to Christ. He went on to found thirteen monasteries, including the great Abbey of Monte Cassino.
Although it was not considered appropriate for monks to imbibe in alcohol, he allowed a glass of wine a day. Way to keep the troops happy, St. Benedict!
We’ll celebrate this noted saint with a drink named appropriately for the day, The Benedict.
1 ounce scotch
½ ounce Benedictine
Build the scotch and Benedictine in a highball glass filled with ice
Fill with ginger ale, stir.
March 22nd, St. Catherine of Sweden
Forced into marriage at an early age, St. Catherine persuaded her new husband to join her in a vow of chastity so they could devote their lives to works of charity. She is the patron saint for those trying to ward off miscarriages, and we celebrate her day with a “Hart.”
1 ounce gin
1 ounce red Dubonnet
1 ounce dry vermouth
Pour into a shaker glass filled with ice, shake forty times. No more, no less.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
March 24th, St. Gabriel
One of the three archangels, St. Gabriel is best known for being given the honor of announcing to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would become the Mother of God. Did you know that his words to her are the first part of the Hail Mary prayer? Go ahead, belt one out, I’ll wait.
Let’s try a Silent Broadsider for his day, shall we?
1 ½ ounces light rum
½ ounce anisette
½ ounce lemon juice
½ tsp grenadine
Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times. You know the drill: no more, no less.
Strain into a cocktail glass.