On The Rocks: The Protestant Reformation

This cocktail is derived from two classics: The Perfect Manhattan and The Presbyterian. Its name I chose because, as it turns out, Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, generally considered the catalyst for breaking up The Roman Catholic Church’s monopoly on the minds and souls of western civilization, has not come up in my adult life as often as I thought it would when I was studying history and humanities in college. As I was typing this, it occurred to me that I should write a Weird Al-style song to the tune of Jay Z’s 99 Problems about this significant event. Because who doesn’t think it’s cool when a 30-something white mom from Connecticut raps? Everyone. Fortunately it’s already been done by some kids studying for the AP test. It’s totally so nerdy, but I already want to listen to it again. Thanks, internet. So, the drink. A splash of ginger syrup adds just a touch of warmth. I love the pretty orange-sugary rim, which gives it a festive fall holiday touch. I could drink a lot of these. But I won’t. You should, though. Unless you have work or school tomorrow or have kids or are under twenty-one or are on antibiotics or driving. I used Bulleit rye whiskey and orange peel by J.R. Watkins.

The Protestant Reformation


  • 3 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/3 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/3 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/3 oz ginger simple syrup

Rim a martini glass with equal parts orange peel powder and granulated sugar. Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice then pour into glass. Garnish with a wedge of clementine and a slice of crystallized ginger.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road. She creates content on the internet, on subjects ranging from summer camps to semi-precious stones to the folklore of food. With Malcolm, Jillian was one of the original "Insiders," for the Visit Maine tourism campaign. She loves telling the stories of her adopted state, finding out-of-the-way places, and people making interesting things. Watching her daughters play in the wild woods and fields of Cushing makes her very happy.

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