The Bonafice Cocktail

by Wendy Helene Hodges
I know this is a little late for the holidays, but as I’m sure you were, I was very busy trying to get things done so that I could watch the smiles on my family’s faces Christmas morning. The following cocktail was created because I was in the mood to make something with rosemary. The end result reminded me of a freshly cut evergreen. That being said, I did a bit of research for the name of it as well. No matter what it is that you celebrate, I hope that you will enjoy the story and the cocktail!
The Legend of the Christmas Tree
I named this cocktail after St. Boniface who is credited, in one legend popular in Germany, for the tradition of bringing Christmas trees into the home. St. Boniface was an English bishop who traveled to Germany in the eighth century to preach Christianity to the people. He had done great work there and left to go to Rome. Upon retuning to Germany he was really pissed off when he found that the Germans had reverted to their former idol worshiping of Pagan gods and were about to sacrifice a young man under Odin’s sacred oak tree. Fired by holy anger, Boniface took up an ax and dared to cut down the oak to prove to the people that their god would not punish him because he didn’t exist. At the first blow of the axe, a strong gust of wind instantly brought down the tree. The Germans fearfully recognized the hand of God and humbly asked Boniface how they should celebrate Christmas. (winter solstice) Boniface then pointed to a small fir tree that had miraculously remained upright and intact beside the debris of the fallen oak. He was familiar with the popular custom of taking an evergreen plant into the house in winter and asked everyone to take home a fir tree. This tree signifies peace, and as an evergreen it also symbolizes immortality, with its top pointed upward, it additionally indicated heaven, the dwelling place of God.
The Bonafice Cocktail
2 1/2 ounces Beefeater Gin

1 ounce Dolin Rouge

1 ounce Fresh pomegranate seeds

2″ sprig of Fresh rosemary

1 spray St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram*

1″ sprig Fresh rosemary for garnish

Muddle pomegranate and rosemary. Add gin, vermouth, and ice. Stir until chilled and double strain into cocktail glass. Using an atomizer or small spray bottle, spray the dram over the top of the cocktail and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
*allspice dram is a liqueur that is sometimes difficult to find. If you can’t purchase it, there are many recipes online you can use to make it homemade. You could also substitute falernum. I know of a couple on the market, but I prefer to make it homemade. I will take pictures and post that recipe soon. 🙂
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