A little help making holiday cocktails — from the Saints

Holy Name Parish to hold fundraiser featuring author of Drinking with the Saints

Aaron Lambert

Despite popular belief, adult beverages and the Catholic Church definitely go hand in hand; just ask Dr. Michael Foley, author of Drinking with the Saints: The Sinners Guide to a Holy Happy Hour.

“I believe that a healthy faith and a healthy drinking culture go hand in hand,” Foley told the Denver Catholic.

On Dec. 10, Holy Name Parish in Sheridan will host Foley as he speaks about his book, which is essentially a bartender’s guide mixed with an encyclopedia of saints. The evening will feature a silent auction, and samples of the some of the drinks featured in the book will be provided. All are invited, and proceeds from the $10 cover fee will benefit the expansion of Holy Name’s parish hall.

Father Daniel Cardo, pastor of Holy Name, said the purpose of the occasion is two-fold; the holidays bring with them lots of gatherings and parties, and Father Cardo thought it would be nice to provide some mixed drink ideas for hosts to serve their guests. More importantly though, he said it’s a way to bring Christ back to Christmas.

“In these celebrations and gatherings for family and friends, we want to bring Christ, but we know it’s difficult,” Father Cardo said. “Many people don’t think about Jesus during Christmas, sadly, so my hope is that this event will also give us some elements as to how, in a very friendly and loving way, to be able to bring Jesus Christ back to our Christmas gatherings.”

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Drinking with the Saints by Michael Foley pairs cocktails, wine and beer suggestions with the many feast days in the Church’s liturgical year. (Image provided)

The idea for Drinking with the Saints was sparked by Foley’s family traditions and his love of a good cocktail. The book is organized by the liturgical year and features over 350 cocktails in addition to wine and beer suggestions, all paired with the Church’s feast days. Each day features a drink suggestion and a short biography of the saint, rife with interesting facts.

“I got the idea to write the book from my own family’s customs – we enjoy the liturgical year – and also my wife and I enjoy an evening cocktail, so it was only a matter of time before those two things came together,” Foley said.

The book, Father Cardo said, is thoroughly researched, and does a good job of presenting biographical information about various saints in a fun manner.

“The book is a very interesting combination of a lot of research, but expressed in a fun and deeply Catholic way,” he said. “It has a lot of information about the saints and the liturgical year, and a lot if information about drinks, which offers a very virtuous, human and fun way of enjoying God’s blessings.”

He added, “I think it makes a great Christmas present.”

A drink recipe from Michael Foley

Two days prior to Foley’s talk at Holy Name is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The author was kind enough to share with the Denver Catholic a recipe for a “White Lady,” which he said was “an appropriate cocktail salute to Our Lady’s immaculate purity.”

White Lady
1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
1/2 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 egg white (optional but tasty)
Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake forty times. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Drinking with the Saints

Saturday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m., $10
Holy Name Parish
3290 W. Milan Ave.
Sheridan, CO 80110

For more information, and to buy the book, visit drinkingwiththesaints.com

COMING UP: Preparing your Home and Heart for the Advent Season

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The Advent season is a time of preparation for our hearts and minds for the Lord’s birth on Christmas.  It extends over the four Sundays before Christmas.  Try some of these Ideas to celebrate Advent in your home by decorating, cooking, singing, and reading your way to Christmas. Some of the best ideas are the simplest.

Special thanks to Patty Lunder for putting this together!

Advent Crafts

Handprint Advent Wreath for Children 
Bring the meaning of Advent into your home by having your kids make this fun and easy Advent wreath.

Materials
Pink and purple construction paper
– Yellow tissue or construction paper (to make a flame)
– One piece of red construction paper cut into 15 small circles
– Scissors
– Glue
– Two colors of green construction paper
– One paper plate
– 2 empty paper towel tubes

1. Take the two shades of green construction paper and cut out several of your child’s (Children’s) handprints. Glue the handprints to the rim of a paper plate with the center cut out.

2. Roll one of the paper towels tubes in purple construction paper and glue in place.

3. Take the second paper towel and roll half in pink construction paper and half in purple construction and glue in place.

4. Cut the covered paper towel tubes in half.

5. Cut 15 small circles from the red construction paper. Take three circles and glue two next to each other and a third below to make berries. Do this next to each candle until all circles are used.

6. Cut 4 rain drop shapes (to make a flame) from the yellow construction paper. Each week glue the yellow construction paper to the candle to make a flame. On the first week light the purple candle, the second week light the second purple candle, the third week light the pink candle and on the fourth week light the final purple candle.

A Meal to Share during the Advent Season

Slow-Cooker Barley & Bean Soup 

Make Sunday dinner during Advent into a special family gathering with a simple, easy dinner. Growing up in a large family, we knew everyone would be together for a family dinner after Mass on Sunday. Let the smells and aromas of a slow stress-free dinner fill your house and heart during the Advent Season. Choose a member of the family to lead grace and enjoy an evening together. This is the perfect setting to light the candles on your Advent wreath and invite all to join in a special prayer for that week.

Ingredients:
– 1 cup dried multi-bean mix or Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
– 1/2 cup pearl barley (Instant works great, I cook separate and add at end when soup is done)
– 3 cloves garlic, smashed
– 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
– 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
– 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
– 1 bay leaf
– Salt to taste
– 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend (basil, oregano)
– Freshly ground black pepper
– One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
– 3 cups cleaned baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)
– 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, extra for garnish

1. Put 6 cups water, the beans, barley, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, 1 tablespoons salt, herb blend, some pepper in a slow cooker. Squeeze the tomatoes through your hands over the pot to break them down and add their juices. Cover and cook on high until the beans are quite tender and the soup is thick, about 8 hours. 

2. Add the spinach and cheese, and stir until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. 

3. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve with a baguette.