A New Cocktail for the Old Rite

A New Cocktail for the Old Rite

Next week marks the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, which on July 7, 2007 granted all priests the right to use the 1962 Roman Missal without the permission of their bishop and which has resulted in a slow but ready rise in celebrations of the traditional Latin Mass around the world. This calls for a drink! And so we present to you an original cocktail in honor of the Pope Emeritus and his historic motu proprio.

The Some More, Um, Pontificum (Click to enlarge)

Some More, Um, Pontificum

1 oz. London dry gin
½ oz. Bénédictine liqueur
¼ oz. lemon juice
dash kirsch
lemon twist

Pour all ingredients except lemon twist into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times (the biblical number for penance). Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Allegorical Explanation

The Bénédictine honors the name that Joseph Ratzinger took upon his election to the Holy See.

The kirsch pays tribute to the Pontiff’s German heritage, and since kirschwasser is a cherry brandy, it also symbolizes Pope St. Gregory the Great, who according to legend was quite fond of the juicy red fruits (see Drinking with the Saints, p. 52). It is appropriate that Pope Benedict’s drink would incorporate a symbol of Gregory the Great, since Summorum Pontificum liberalizes the use of what is sometimes called the Gregorian Rite.

The lemon juice recalls the bitter opposition of tradition’s enemies to Pope Benedict XVI’s liturgical largesse. These enemies are alas still with us but we can use them to our spiritual benefit to grow holier and more charitable, just as we can use bitter ingredients to make a tasty drink.

The lemon twist, on the other hand, betokens not resistance to the Pope’s largesse but the largesse itself. In Drinking with the Saints, the twist is a symbol of St. Martin’s torn cloak generously given to a beggar who turned out to be Christ (p. 311). And because lemon rinds are oleaginous, secreting healthy essential oils, they are also symbolic of the sacraments that can now be celebrated with greater freedom according to the 1962 liturgical books.

As for the London dry gin, we like to think of it as a nod to all of the English-speaking supporters of Summorum Pontificum such as the good folks at OnePeterFive, the New Liturgical Movement, The Latin Mass Magazine, Fr. Z’s Blog, the Society for Catholic Liturgy, Una Voce, Sacra Liturgia, and so on (please forgive me if I left anyone out).

A Toast

To the first ten years, reverend Fathers and recognizable Sisters, ladies and gentlemen: May what has begun in our day be brought to perfection, for the honor of God and of Our Lady and of all the Saints. Happy anniversary and many more!

Last Call

Be it to your bartender or your parish priest, never hesitate to ask: “Can I have Some More, Um, Pontificum?”

Recite over and over again these beautiful lines from Pope Benedict XVI until you have committed them to memory (which may be harder to do after the second round):

What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place (from his Letter to the Bishops accompanying the motu proprio).

Or a similar sentiment expressed earlier in his life:

I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent (Joseph Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth [1997]).


Michael P. Foley, an Associate Professor of Patristics at Baylor University, is the author of a Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour (Regnery, 2015), a book that pairs beer, wine, and cocktail suggestions with the feast days of the 1962 liturgical calendar (see Peter Kwasniewski’s review here).

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