Baptism Birthday (a Holy Day cocktail)


  • 1.5oz Gin
  • 1.5oz Light Rum
  • .25 Anisette Liquer
  • .5 barspoon Absinthe
  • 3 dashes Rhubarb Bitters
  • Express a lime peel over the top

Stir all ingredients in mixing glass and strain into a martini glass or coupe. Express the oils of a lime peel over the top. No garnish.

* * * *

For a several years now, I have celebrated my annual “baptism birthday” to reflect on my baptism, my membership in the family of God, and the seal of assurance God has on me.

It’s beautiful and meaningful, and it deserved a cocktail. And, seeing as yesterday was the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, this seems like a good time to share it with you.

My goal was to make a drink like baptism–it looks like it’s just water but there’s a lot more going on.

Boy, did I succeed.

The drink is a lovely balance of floral and nutty with some herbal spice to it. These flavors really meld well together to create a complex bouquet of flavors that’s really striking (why don’t more drinks mix gin and rum!?).

This drink is a favorite of mine for its meaning, aesthetic, and taste, and I hope it can become that way to you. As you drink it, remember your own baptism and the promise of God to mark you and keep you as his child.


I used a juicy, citrus-forward, and very flavorful gin rather than a dry gin. For the rum, I used Maggie’s Farm White Rum, which is fantastic and has more character than most light rums, but whatever you have should work fine. Absinthe is an acquired taste, but it’s used in such small quantities and there are enough competing strong flavors that Absinthe-haters should not fear. It’s a lovely accent on the drink.

The only somewhat obscure ingredients are the bitters and liqueur. I supposed you could use orange bitters in place of rhubarb, but only if they are a very strong sweet orange flavor. The Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters taste almost like sweet tarts, with a unique strong burst of flavor (it’s especially delicious added to plain seltzer). So if you can get your hands on those, they’re worth your time.

Lastly, when most people think of Anise in cocktails, they think absinthe, but the liqueur is a very different beast. Absinthe begins with anise, but adds a lot of bittering agents. Anisette adds sugar, coriander, and other ingredients that make a very sweet, nutty flavor. So much so that you might be able to substitute Amaretto into this drink.


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