The Land of Forgotten Cocktails

The Income Tax. photo/The Fuge

The Income Tax. photo/The Fuge


When the Evangelical Environmental Network went to war against SUVs in late 2002, they asked a seemingly simple question: What Would Jesus Drive? I’ll admit to having only a slight ecclesiastical bent, so their slogan didn’t have its intended effect on me. Rather than question the morality of our transportation choices, I sensed deeper mysteries at work whose implications were much broader than mere oil dependence or catastrophic climate change. Such as: 

Where is Jesus driving to? I call shotgun!

Would Jesus stop at RSVP to pick up a six-pack on the way back? He could at least make Himself useful.

Could Jesus drink and drive? Can He drink a lot without getting drunk? Or can He sober up at will if He gets pulled over?

What would Jesus drink?

What would Jesus drink? The question came to me often in the middle of the night, and sometimes I’d pore over old bar books or the heretical gospels looking for clues. I threatened to write a book about my findings and I created a modified Christian theology on the very nature of Jesus: that He was more mortal than deity (though still divine), that the Godhead required an incarnation made of meat if It was to suffer or feel anything in the same manner that Man does. While omniscient, the Godhead’s knowledge is purely nominal; It knows that we have created cocktails and that they taste good and provide a pleasant feeling, but It doesn’t know how they taste or what they taste like or even what being drunk really is. Come the second coming, I’m sure The Son of the Son of Man will be wondering what all this cocktail business is about.

So with Easter upon us, here’s a roster of cocktails to keep at the ready in case a thirsty, risen Christ comes a-knockin’. 

We’ve dealt with some of my favorite Christ-ian cocktails in previous issues, but they bear repeating. The Rusty Nail and Blood and Sand were covered in our January issue and are particularly appropriate tipples on Good Friday, as is the Last Word from the October issue. Corpse Reviver #2, from last year’s Spring issue, is a good way to start out Easter morning.


The Christ Cocktail was handed down to us from on high by Albert Stevens Crockett, the historian of the old Waldorf Hotel. In his Old Waldorf Days, he presents us with two recipes for cocktails with Jesus’ last name. The first he describes thusly: 

This was the content of what was described as a ‘Christ’ cocktail, and which I prefer to believe was named after some mundane materialist who may have needed something spiritual, but got only as far as the spirituous. It began harmlessly enough. First, there was the juice of half a Lemon; then came a half a spoonful of Sugar, followed by a pony of Raspberry Syrup, and then a quarter of a pony of White of an Egg. Here the Tempter came in, and took the form of a jigger of Gin.

His second recipe is identical to what we find in Jacques Straub’s Drinks, though he calls it a Chrisp Cocktail. Straub was best friends with the chef at the Waldorf, the Emeril Lagasse of the period, a man known simply as Oscar of the Waldorf, and one wonders if Oscar didn’t facilitate a little plagiarism. Very un-Chrispian, indeed. It’s a simple and straightforward cocktail, gin and sweet vermouth with a slight orange accent. 


John the Baptist was like a brother to Jesus. Luke even says they were cousins, so you’ll be seriously testing Jesus’ ability to forgive when you serve Him the Salome. Salome was the niece (and, later, stepdaughter) of King Herod, and when she gave him a New Testament lap dance, he promised her anything in the world. Her mother wanted John’s head on a platter, so that’s what Salome asked for and that’s what she got. 

At first blush, the Salome is a strange-looking drink made from not much more than fortified wines and a little absinthe. It’s a wicked beguiler, to be sure, but low enough in alcohol that you won’t lose your head after  downing a few of them.


Curing the blind, deaf, leprous and possessed (not to mention the out-and-out dead) should have earned Jesus a better nickname than Lamb of God or Son of Man. Jesus “The Desert Healer” Christ has a much better ring to it. It’s remarkably similar to the aforementioned Blood and Sand (swapping gin for the whiskey), and one wonders if there isn’t some unseen hand at work here.


Jesus often hung out with publicans, causing confusion among his disciples and consternation in the villages. I too was confused: What’s wrong with keeping the company of saloon keepers? As I’d later find out, a publican, in Gospel times, was a tax collector. JC didn’t hold it against them, preferring to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God the things that are God’s.” Is it any wonder then that Easter and Tax Day should fall so close together on the calendar? The Income Tax should take some of the sting out of it.


I don’t care what the scholars or the priests or the missionaries at the door say: If you’re dead one day and I see you walking around a couple days later, you are probably a Zombie. The most famous of Don the Beachcomber’s drinks, the Zombie was the Long Island Iced Tea of its day and was vilified for its knee-wilting properties by the Pharisees of the American Saloon. Jack Townsend, then-president of the Bartenders Union of New York, called it a “sideshow drink” and a “malady.”

Some are inclined to give Don the Beachcomber in Los Angeles the distinction of foisting it upon an unsuspecting public. … The full blame, however, must be spread over many shoulders, for many blazoned over their bars the now-infamous ‘two-to-a-customer’ legend. The drink became the rage in the late thirties, at a dollar a throw. … Since a ‘correctly made’ Zombie [the implication here is that a Zombie defies the very notion] contained at least four ounces of rum, part of it 150 proof, it is no wonder that it produced a lot of walking dead men.

The recipe can be difficult to pull off, particularly with the rum selection available here in Maine. Some deviation from scripture is necessary, so long as it doesn’t rise to the level of heresy. Keep in mind, however, that without a little heresy, there would be no need for orthodoxy.




2 dashes orange bitters
1 ½ oz Plymouth Gin
1 ½ oz sweet vermouth
1 slice of orange

Shake over ice until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist



2 dashes absinthe
1 ½ oz sweet vermouth
1 ½ oz Dubonet Rouge

Stir with ice until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist


Desert Healer

Juice of 1 orange
2 oz gin
1 oz Cherry Heering

Shake over ice until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist


Income Tax

½ oz orange juice
½ oz dry vermouth
½ oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Gin
2 dashes Angostura or other aromatic bitters

Shake over ice until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist



1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
1 oz white Puerto Rican rum
1 oz 151 Demerara rum

Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and/or fruits in season.

— John Myers

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