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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).

34 thoughts on “A New Cocktail for the Old Rite”

  1. DELIGHTFUL, charming, clever and lovely post!! My dad, God rest his soul, owned an Irish pub, and the photo up-top thus holds beautiful memories for me. Slainte!! 🙂

  2. Perhaps I am a sour puss, but I have been to soooooo many Catholic functions, whether they be for the Catholic school, the parish, the Catholic HS., etc, etc., where alcohol is always front and center, and I mean front and center for many laity, including a few priests.

    I even know of a seminarian joking that a priest from the order would be coming to visit and showing them how to do ” shots ” of Vodka. And it is known to be a very holy order.
    Yes, it was a big turn off to a loved one who was discerning, as you can imagine.

    And of course, the Father Barron Series, which is some evangelization tool, was held in our former parish, in the hall underneath church, with the invite to BYOB.

    So, forgive me, if I am a bit thin skinned when seeing photos of alcohol combined with the Church.
    It cheapens the message.

    • Indeed. A small sip of red wine, properly consecrated and transubstantiated into the Savior’s blood, reverently consuned would be of far greater benefit both physically abd spiritually than an unholy indulgence. Yet the concoction and its rationale is funny.

      • Yes, the article is very witty. Even though I don’t appreciate it as much, I am glad many found humor in it. As they say, ” Lighten up.” ( referring to me).

  3. I’ve got the gin, I need to get the other ingredients. Love your book Dr. Foley. Thanks for this. Cheers.

  4. This sounds a little like the cocktail with which a number of us celebrated the election of Benedict XVI: a nip of Benedictine, a half nip of Polish vodka, top up with champagne, and garnish with a Maraschino Cherry.

    It was christened “The Ratslinger”.

  5. One of my sauces in the Vatican, Signor Bolognese, has passed me advance details of the pope’s menu for his Tenth Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum evening meal and unfortunately it doesn’t look like he will be partaking of any Some More, Um, Pontificum.

    He will instead be carefully sipping a ‘Jorge Headbanger’ which I’m reliably informed consists of the following:

    6 oz Angostura bitters [he’s a big fan of all things from the New World {Order}]

    4 oz Amontillado [as famously included in Poe’s macabre tale and the last 4+ years for the Church have been one long horror story]

    Half a pulped Bartlett [because whenever a picture of PF and Cardinal Kasper is shown, the natural response is ‘Now there’s a quare pair’]

    Three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar [to ensure that his expression after each sip is identical to the one which appears on his face whenever he thinks of the dubia cardinals]

    Two sprigs of Wormwood [because for decades, he’s been intimately involved in what’s happening in the Church – with support and advice from his uncle)

    His personal chef has advised the pope to only drink this *after* his evening meal as drinking it beforehand is highly likely to ruin his appetite.

  6. Also lemon, that has an acid ph in itself, creates a favourable alkaline ph once assumed in the organism (indigestions – heartburns). The “acid” opposition -to a certain extent- will be beneficial to the whole ongoing process of establishing the Tridentine rite, hopefully, as the norm (?).

    • VERY interesting, Paolo! I did not know this. I hope you’re right about the effects of this acid in the Body of Christ too!

      • Benedict has failed us and continues to fail us…..for whatever good he’s done, he’s now a disgrace.

        • I suppose you could’ve done better?

          At least wait until the man has been judged by God before you do so

          • Maybe….but I wasn’t elected pope – he was. His continuing silence in the face of what Francis is doing (not to mention his attempt at a bifurcated papacy) is such a blatant failure that only an idiot could fail to note the obvious. You can’t seem to pass up an opportunity for virtue signaling.

          • No. I don’t think I could’ve done a better job either. I have been alternately saddened and angered by Benedict’s resignation but I wouldn’t dare to pass judgment on his motivations or anything else. Call that what you but “virtue signaling” tends to just be what people say when they are mad that someone is implying that what they are doing is unvirtous.

          • Your “virtue signaling” is illustrated by the fact that you consider yourself too noble to criticize or even address Benedict’s failings – therefore no one else should either. It’s telling that you think my judgement is harsher than God’s will be….
            Simple question: should Benedict speak out against the abuses of Francis and the destruction of the Faith?

          • Too noble? Hardly. If anything I’m not noble or virtuous enough. I don’t know whether your judgment will be harsher than God’s (Although with King David I would rather fall into the hands of God than man) but I do think it would be infinitely more just since only God has that right and only God knows all the facts.

            Do I think Benedict should speak out? Probably. But I do see how that could split the Church apart rather irreparably and understand why he might not do it. Especially if he does not view the crisis as much of a catastrophe as we do.

          • So correcting the pope’s errors – i.e. confirming his Catholicity – would split the Church? Sounds like we have a de facto schism already. Hmmm, didn’t we have a discussion about two different churches not too long ago? Funny how that’s come full-circle.

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