Have you heard of Christmas Carols? Of course you have. Well, what if we told you that only a few centuries ago, there weren’t just Christmas carols, but carols for all kinds of holidays (aka “holy days”). Back in the medieval era, a saint’s feast day was just that — a feast day. Some were bigger deals than others, but all called for some celebration.
The relationship between holidays and spirits — the liquid kind — runs deep in Catholicism. As the famous saying goes, “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine.” And obviously, the best beer, because, monks.
Needless to say, this isn’t an excuse to be a total drunk in the name of holiness. Rather, it’s an opportunity to celebrate in the liturgical calendar that’s evolved throughout two millennia. So we created a few cocktails to honor some saints who weren’t necessarily celebrated in the Medieval calendar, but are definitely well-known enough to deserve a drink.
So if you need a reason…
Feast Day: August 28
This brilliant saint (along with his iconic mom, St. Monica) was born in what is modern-day Algeria. Famously known for being a party boy — “Lord make me chaste, but not yet!” — he eventually changed his ways and became one of the most well-known Christian philosophers and theologians in history.
This cocktail is loosely based off of Mazagran, a drink that became a staple in Algeria many centuries after St. Augustine walked around as the bishop of Hippo, but we think that the patron saint of brewers would probably enjoy it, regardless.
1 oz of simple syrup
2 oz of cold brew coffee
2 oz of stout beer
2 oz of rum
1/2 oz of heavy cream (or half and half)
Mix together the coffee, beer, rum, and simple syrup. Add ice, and pour the heavy cream (or half and half) on top.
St. Mother Teresa
Feast Day: September 5
St. Mother Teresa inspired millions — from presidents and royalty to the poorest of the poor. She was a bold, small woman who wasn’t known to mince words. Inspired by her simplicity, as well as her roots in both Albania and India, we’ve developed an apt cocktail to honor this formidable, simple woman:
2 oz of simple syrup
2 oz of freshly-squeezed lemon juice (keep a slice of the lemon for garnish)
1 oz Raki (an Albanian spirit — but you can use brandy if you can’t find it)
1 oz of sparkling water
1 tbsp of mint
Mix all together, muddle the mint, and add ice!
St. Francis Xavier
Feast Day: December 3
This prolific missionary from Spain covered a lot of territory and converted a lot of souls in his mere 46 years, especially when the only mode of transportation to cross oceans was a wooden ship. Known as the “Apostle of the Indies” and the “Apostle of Japan,” he went to India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and China. We think he inspires a pretty global drink, so we suggest marrying sangria with sake. We hope this converts you and all your friends:
8 oz of sake
1 bottle of merlot
6 oz of orange juice
2 oz of lime juice
2 oz of lemon juice
4 oz of cherry (or pomegranate) juice
1 cup of sparkling water
Orange, lemon, or lime (or all) slices
Combine everything together and serve immediately!
St. Pope John Paul II
Feast Day: October 22
Known for his simple ways and his brilliance (the man spoke at least six languages fluently — and many more not-quite-fluently) St. Pope John Paul II wasn’t just a genius but an inspiring leader whose words about living a life boldly without fear still propel both young and old into action today. “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth,” he wrote, “and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth — in a word, to know Himself.”
As the first Polish Pope — and the first non-Italian pope in 400 years — we think a simple drink tasting like a homey apple pie is something this warm, Polish playwright would enjoy:
1.5 oz of Polish chamomile-infused vodka, like Zubrowka
Mix — and you’re done. Add ice if you’re feeling a bit fancy; heat up if you’re feeling cold.
St. Rose of Lima
Feast Day: August 23
This Peruvian Dominican was the first canonized saint of the Americas, and she inspired thousands when she died at the age of 31. She made her mark in as a beacon of selflessness for those in need and was known for her intense self-imposed asceticism — which probably wouldn’t have allowed her to even try this cocktail that we want to make in her honor! That said, using a Peruvian favorite and adding some floral notes, you might enjoy this on a day you’re not fasting.
1.5 oz of rose flavored simple syrup (like this)
1/8 tsp of rose water extract
1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
1/4 cup of pisco (if you can’t find it, brandy works, too)
1 tbsp of grenadine
1 egg white
1 dash of bitters
Put all of the ingredients together in a blender for about 10–20 seconds until it gets nice and frothy and serve over ice.