Vicar licked by liquor

4 Oct

I can’t tell whether this story is sad or uplifting. On the one hand, it’s good to see someone change careers and do something useful with his life, in this case a clergyman who swapped the pulpit for the bar rail, the Book of Jeremiah for the gospel according to Jerry Thomas, who stopped preaching about the “cup of trembling” and took to reaching for the Boston shaker. On the other hand, maybe this nebbish should consider teaching or lawyering or chimney sweeping or gold prospecting.  I just don’t think he’s cut out for tending bar.

The Rev. Julius Feicke, who left the pastorate of the First German Evangelical Church of Jersey City because he could not earn enough to live on and went into the saloon business four weeks ago, mixed a cocktail for me yesterday.

He was standing behind his bar in the little saloon “Zum Adler” [The Eagle], at Garden and Sixth streets, Hoboken. He handles the glassware a little awkwardly, yet before long practice will gave [sic] him the most reckless abandon in the use of the gum bottle and the ginger squirt. […]

“Pastor,” I asked, “I am weary and need a bracer. Can you mix me a Manhattan cocktail?”

“Certainly,” said he. “I have books upon the subject.” He pointed to a well-thumbed copy of the “Bartender’s Guide,” which lay upon the table.

There was a juggling of various bottles with metal caps, and the preparation of the cocktail began. He could not place some of the ingredients, yet, with the kindly aid of his wife, he was able to proceed. He mixed this cocktail in a whisky glass, without ice, and stirred it up with a spoon. Here is his recipe:

Gum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . one-half inch

Raspberry syrup . . . . . . . . one-half inch

Vermouth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . three drops

Orange bitters . . . . . . . . . . . six drops

Whisky . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . one tablespoonful

— “Cocktails Mixed by a Minister”, Chicago Daily Tribune, 30 November 1895, p. 9.

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