This is the follow-up post from my article that is currently on EpicPew.com. The five drinks that I have chosen are listed below with the corresponding saints’ day and one of the Sundays in Advent.
December 6, Saint Nicholas – Bishop’s Wine
This was the first time I have tried making Bishop’s Wine. The first sip and consecutive drinks were tart. It is a different recipe than mulled wine, so if you are expecting mulled wine, it does taste differently, although the ingredients are similar in both recipes. I believe the reason why this recipe is tart is that there is less sugar than in a regular mulled wine recipe. My in-laws, who my family and I are staying with at the moment, make mulled wine on Christmas. I will try to remember to return to this post and update this section when I try their mulled wine.
When you drink this version of Bishop’s Wine or another Bishop’s Win, I would encourage you to invoke Saint Nicholas’ intercession and toast him by saying,
“To the real Santa Claus, scourge of the heretics and champion of the poor: May he help us defend the faith and assist the needy.”
December 7, Saint Ambrose – Milan Cocktail
This was the first time I tried making a Milan Cocktail. I followed the directions of the recipe, however, I had to triple the recipe because my father-in-law and mother-in-law shared the cocktail with me. If you like a stronger cocktail, then this could be your drink. It definitely had a kick to it. The two ingredients (out of the three) that I tasted were bourbon and orange juice. Overall, I liked the drink since bourbon is my go-to-drink, especially when I am smoking a cigar.
For tonight’s drink, we had two toasts – the first toast was for my newest nephew who was born today. We toasted to him, his parents, and grandma and grandpa who were drinking the cocktail with me. This is their 14th grandchild. They are very blessed!
The second toast, I wrote myself, since there was no toast listed in the book. Since Saint Ambrose venerated the Blessed Virgin Mary in his writings and defended the divinity of Jesus Christ against the Arians (just like Saint Nicholas), my toast reflected these theological ideas –
“Saint Ambrose of Milan – Like you, may we come to venerate and love the Blessed Virgin Mary and express the Hypostatic Union to all we encounter. Let us remember your words – ‘What was the reason for the Incarnation? It has to be this: the flesh that had sinned had to be redeemed by the same flesh.’”
December 10, Saint Melchiades – Grappa
For being 100% Italian, I had never drunk Grappa before this night. As far as digestifs go, growing up in my family we drank Anisette, and on occasion, Sambuca. The friend of the family that brought over the bottle of Grappa psyched us all out a bit on the flavor and taste of the Grappa, but I have to say, I really liked it. It was smooth and had a good flavor to it. Very different than the two drinks digestifs I mentioned above since they both taste like black licorice. I have always liked dessert wines and have had a few as of late.
A bottle of Grappa can pretty expensive but if you have the means to purchase a bottle, I would encourage you to do so. If you enjoy trying new drinks and enjoy after-dinner drinks, Grappa could be your new drink.
December 13 – Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) – Pink Gin
Like all the other drinks on this short list, this was the first time I ever made and tasted Pink Gin. Out of the cocktails so far, this one was by far my favorite drink. I am not the biggest Gin drinker, however, with the bitters, this drink a tasted like Cinnamon Gin. It had a sweet taste to it.
My father-in-law also tasted it and really liked it as well. Although the picture below doesn’t really show it, there was a pinkish hue to the finished drink. Not sure what would have made it truly pink. I think I will make this drink again for future Gaudate Sundays in Advent.
Yes, I know, the vestments that the priests wear on this Sunday are technically Rose-colored, but they sure look pink. Raise a glass is to all the priests that wore “Rose” vestments today (still say they look pink!).
December 27 – Saint John the Evangelist – Thunderclap
Out of all the drinks on this list, I would have to say that the Thunderclap came out the best and it was my favorite of all the drinks. Like I said above, I am not the biggest fan of Gin, but the Gin, the Bourbon (you can use Rye too), and the Brandy all blended well together. I could taste the Bourbon and the Gin with the brandy coming through in the aftertaste. The recipe calls for a cocktail glass, however, the cocktail glass I had the other drinks disappeared. I used a highball.
I used Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin, Four Roses Small Batch (usually I would never use Four Roses for a cocktail but I had about 2 oz left in the bottle), and E&J Brandy Grand Blue V.S.O.P.
I really liked this cocktail and will have to make it again. Next time, I will decrease the gin and increase the bourbon and brandy.