Wednesday, March 13, 2013

El Papa: A cocktail

I had wanted to devise a cocktail to drink while awaiting the results of the conclave, but the College of Cardinals beat me to it, surprising everyone with Jorge Mario Bergoglio the first Jesuit, first Latin American pope who will be known as Pope Francis I, in Italian, Il Papa, but in Spanish, El Papa.  (La papa in Spanish is the potato.)  Fool that I am, I tend to be an optimist about these things.  Even though he said that same sex marriage is the work of the devil, as my wife said, he is the pope, what do you expect.  The Jesuit angle is intriguing, as is the choice of Francis as his regnal name, the first pope to choose a completely new name in a millennium.  As to the eternal and central question of whether it is good for the Jews or bad for the Jews, "Who knows?"  I will wait for the Forward to weigh in on this one since JTA is somewhat disappointing.  At least he did not choose Pius.

While pondering the consequences of this momentous choice, you can enjoy this cocktail.  An Argentine is said to be an Italian (like Bergoglio) who speaks Spanish and thinks he is French.  (As some have remarked, if you are going to go outside of Europe for your pope, Argentina is a pretty safe choice.)  This combines grappa and maraschino liqueur (both Italian), and adds some creme de cassis for the French touch.  If you pour it carefully, the cassis will pool on the bottom.  After two of these you won't know which side is up and you can  pretend that the red/purple on the bottom is like one of those cute yarmulkes that cardinals and popes wear.  What is Spanish about it?  The name alone.  I know all of this is a stretch, but it makes a tasty and potent drink.

El Papa

Stir 2 ounces of grappa and 1/2 half ounce of maraschino over ice in a large glass for about 45 seconds until well chilled.  Strain into a martini or wine glass.  Use up to 1 ounce of maraschino if you like it sweet.  Carefully pour about 1 tablespoon of creme de cassis  into the cocktail so that it sinks to the bottom.

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