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.


“It’s Still Christmas” (a Holy Day Cocktail)


Drink Base

  • .5oz Brandy
  • .5oz Jamaican Rum
  • .5oz Dry Curacao
  • .25oz Allspice Dram
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • .5oz Demerara Syrup

Drink Topping

  • 2oz Strong Earl Grey Tea
  • 2oz Steamed Oat Milk
  • 2 dashes Rose Water (optional)
  • Garnish with Grated Cinnamon and Nutmeg

Served hot. Add the spirits, bitters, and demerara syrup to a mug and stir together. Brew the Earl Grey Tea extra hot and extra strong and add 2oz of it to the mug with the spirits. In a separate container, add 2 dashes of Rose Water to the oat milk and steam it. Pour over the drink in the mug and garnish with freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

* * * *

I was not raised with the Christian Church Calendar, so imagine my joy when I found out that, historically speaking, Christmas is not just a single day, but a 12-day Christian festival!

And so, to remind us all that Christmas is still going on, I bring you this cocktail–a beautiful hot drink to help us through these darkest days of the year. It is a merger of The Embassy cocktail and the fantastic “S’No Problem” by my favorite cocktail YouTuber, Anders Erickson.

The main flavor note is warm spice, with some dark funk and molasses. The first few sips catch the floral notes of rose, bergamot, and orange. But as the flavors mix, it settles into an almost chamomile flavor that calms and soothes.

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“O Emmanuel” | Incarnation O’Fashioned

For each of the ancient “O Antiphon” prayers in this week preceding Christmas, I will be offering prayers and a variation on an Old Fashioned.

Today’s O Antiphon: “O Emmanuel”

We arrive at our final O Antiphon. Emmanuel means “God who is with us”. It is the most stunning title of them all, and represents the biggest surprise in the history of God’s healing work in the world. God did not just save us from afar, or by declaration, or by force. Instead he he came to be with us; and not just then, but also now and for eternity. That is the essence of our salvation in Christ: union with him.

Today’s Prayer & Scripture

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, Hope of the nations, and Savior of all people: come to save us, O Lord our God.

The main text is Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son and shall name him Immanuel.” For further reflection, read Matthew 1:18-25, when this text and title are applied to Jesus. You can also read the original, full lyrics to O Come, O Come, Emmanuel to see all of these O Antiphons put in beautiful poetic form.

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The Black Advent (a Holy Day Cocktail)


  • 1oz Black Rum
  • 1oz Brandy
  • 1oz Averna
  • 2 dashes Chocolate Bitters
  • 2 dashes Citrus Bitters
  • 1/4tsp Fernet Branca

Stir with ice, and strain neat into a rocks glass. Garnish with two cherries and add some of the juice into glass as well.

* * * *

I have been crafting cocktails for Holy Days and seasons for a little bit now, inspired by Michael P. Foley’s amazing Drinking with the Saints, and I’m going to start posting them on the blog.

We begin the Church Calendar with this drink, “The Black Advent”. You would think that celebrating the same seasons every year could get old and dry, but I find each year brings out specific themes and emphases.

This year, it has felt like the pastors and theologians have really emphasized the darkness aspect of Advent–the need to really sit in contemplation, grief, and longing before we get to the joy of Christmas.

For that reason, this year’s Advent cocktail is one for the darkness. It’s a stirred drink served neat (no ice), so that you can sip it’s silky texture for a long while. This isn’t a super boozy drink. It is smooth, dark, and a little sweet.You could easily turn down the sweetness and still have a great drink. It has notes of chocolate, orange peel, and mint.

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