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  • Brian Maxwell

Day 23: Reverend Mather


It's said "those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it." Do you think philosopher George Santayana had any idea how true those words would be someday? Welcome to our twenty-third day of cocktails and quarantine. If you're brave enough to follow the news lately, you may have heard some murmurings from the political front today. Regardless of which side of the fence, or should I say "wall," you fall on, Things are beginning to feel a bit too familiar again. This might be a great time to look back deep into our imbibing history for today's drink inspiration.

Today, we can't frequent our favorite bars, because they aren't even allowed to operate, but in days of Puritanical Massachusetts, your ability to drink was less influenced by a global pandemic and more influenced by the feelings of the local clergy. The man who sticks out most when considering this topic was the Reverend Increase Mather. Now Mather is most famously remembered for his involvement in the Salem With Trials, but for us imbibing-history nerds, he is very much the early poster-child of "please drink responsibly." Increase was a devout Puritan, who did not fully condemn the consumption of alcohol, but merely the abuse of the spirit. He considered alcohol to be "a creature of god that should be received with thankfulness," although he believed "the abuse of drink is from Satan." Serving as the president of Harvard through the late 1600s, he was a central figure of moral order in the colonies. I always found the balance with which Mather lived to be fascinating and very much ahead of his time. In an age where people were still holding public witch trials, preaching moderation for alcohol was probably not the most pressing topic. The Reverend should probably have his own cocktail after all.


Reverend Mather

1oz Rye Whiskey (I would suggest using something with a higher proof than 80, as lower proof rye whiskies tend to get lost in this drink. I had Redemption Rye on hand, and it fit the bill.)

.5oz Pineapple Rum (The sweetness in Stiggins Fancy works perfectly.)

1.5oz Rainwater Madeira

.25oz Green Chartreuse

3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters


Double Old Fashioned Glass

Stir and strain over a large piece of ice.

Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.






Are we going to let history repeat itself? What's next, burning more people at the stake for witchcraft? Some people might think I'm being a bit far fetched when comparing today's geopolitical issues with something we view as primitively as witch trials. I've never considered myself a political activist, but I do care about our future as much as anyone. Can we be like Reverend Mather, and try to find a middle road of moderation, or will we reach for our pitchforks? Stir up this cocktail today. If you enjoy it, then I'm doing my job, but if it made you think, that's another thing entirely. Stay safe everyone, and keep shaking.

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