WDTPRS POLL: Which was Fr. Z’s?

I was out with a priest friend for the afternoon.  He came into town to visit me and have some RnR after his Holy Week and Easter exercises.

We visited several churches, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and then had some supper.

So… to the readers, in the tradition of the infamous “Gins and Tonic” poll…


Chose your answer and then give your well-considered reasons in the combox below.

Which of these drinks was ordered by Fr. Z?

View Results

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. I have no reason for my choice, I guessed

  2. jdskyles says:

    Who drinks a Manhattan up? seriously? There is only one way to drink a Manhattan, on the rocks with a single cherry garnish. It has to be made with bourbon, none of that brandy crap they serve in a place called Wisconsin.

  3. david andrew says:

    I voted Martini, as I seem to recall seeing you enjoying one (up with olives) one evening during a Z-chat.

  4. JulieC says:

    Hmmm. I had to think hard about this but I’d have to say the martini.

    A martini just seems, I don’t know, more classical and traditional, the quintessential and most cosmopolitan cocktail—all character traits of the redoubtable and urbane Father Z.

  5. dcs says:

    I voted Manhattan, as Fr. P. seems like more of a martini man to me.

  6. priests wife says:

    question: what makes a martini a martini- is it just the glass or…?

  7. Jeremiah says:

    The Martini, for several reasons.

    1. Ceaser walks into a bar and says, “I’d like a martinis, please.” The bartender says, “Don’t you mean a martini?” to which Ceasar replies, “If I wanted a double, I would have asked for it!”

    2. It is a gin martini, the juniper alcohol making it roughly akin to drinking a pine tree, which brings to one’s mind thoughts of the evergreen truths of the Church, still vibrant in this ice age of authentic sprituality.

    3. It is clear, as we hope for our sight to be.

    4. The salt of the olives reminds us of the bitter tears we weep over our sins and those of the whole world.

  8. I voted Martini, “the elixir of quietude”. A clear liquor seems more consonant with your style of writing.

    Personally, I prefer Manhattans because of the bitters and cherry but I’ve never had one with the traditional rye — I use Wild Turkey instead. I’ll not refuse a martini if offered, however.

  9. Jeremiah says:

    Though your brother priest of course did not choose poorly. The Manhattan is a noble drink in its own right.

    1. It is dark and cloudy, as is our sight, reminding us of the frailty of our discernment, seeing things, “darkly, as in a mirror”.

    2. The rich color reminds one of amber, or dark brass or bronze, or of gold, and of precious vessels formed from these elementally beautiful metals.

    3. Not only does the color put you in mind of a well-used thurible, the smokiness – both in appearance and taste – remind us of the incense, to which our prayers are compared, and which drifted upward from the bowls of the elders in Revelation, a sweet smelling fragrance of worship and praise to the Most High.

    4. When garnished with a cherry, we are reminded of the sweetness of the tradition which we have been given, the connection to the first bishops, and also of the sweetness of the intimacy with God that is granted to us by our Church’s faithfulness to the command to Eucharist.

  10. Priests wife: A Martini is gin with (traditionally) Martini and Rossi brand dry vermouth.

  11. EWTN Rocks says:

    I voted for the Martini because it seems more authentic than the Manhattan. You always say it like it is from the heart Fr. Z, and I appreciate your candor.

  12. thebigweave says:

    jdskyles- I drink my Manhattans straight up, and with TWO cherries! Don’t wanna get any of that gross water stuff in my Maker’s Mark.

    Anyway, I voted Manhattan because that is what I would choose. I love a good GnT too, but there really is NO comparison.

  13. MissOH says:

    You knew the words to the song that you posted about last week (The Bronx is up and the Battery down) and I gather you like New York so I voted the Manhattan. Thanks for letting us know what it was as I never wood have guessed. It looked like whiskey in a martini glass to me, lol….I wish I had some Jamisons…

  14. maskaggs says:

    I voted Manhattan, as 1) Fr. Z is in NYC, and 2) I recalled a post including a photo of a tall glass of Johnny Walker, so the Manhattan seems like the better choice.

  15. JKnott says:

    I voted for the Manhattan. Not entirely because it is my favorite (straight up) but because it suggests something of the attributes of Father’s choice and love for music. The Manhattan seems to resonate more with that.

  16. Paulo says:

    I voted Martini (and I scrolled really fast through all the other comments so not to be adversely influenced). Assuming it’s a true Martini (Gin and a splash of vermouth), that would be the quintessential “Say the Black, do the Red” drink (besides Mystic Monk coffee): when it’s made the way they it’s supposed to be made, and accompanied by intelligent conversation, the experience is nothing but uplifting!

  17. APX says:

    I said Manhattan because that’s what Eenie meenie miny moe said was right.

  18. cothrige says:

    I voted Martini simply because it should have been a Martini. Manhattans are fine, but the Martini, well . . . With gin, of course. Vodka, ugh! And, for those who are defending only bourbon in Manhattans may I recommend a good rye whiskey. It has the better claim, and offers a very interesting alternative to the newer bourbon based versions.

  19. David Collins says:

    In the photo the martini was on the right. Father Z’s blog is on the right. Easy choice.

  20. FXR2 says:

    I voted the Manhattan because Father Pasley is partial to Belvedere vodka martinis. Thank you, you are both in my prayers.

  21. jjfxg says:

    because if you were to drink whisk(e)y it would be straight not mixed, however vodka is allowed to be fragranced by vermouth

  22. jjfxg says:

    by the way jdskyles, i’m going to spend the next week drinking only old fashioned (as a wisconsinite there’re only brandy ol’fashions) just to spite you

  23. thickmick says:

    There is nothing like a martini born in Manhattan.

  24. benedetta says:

    I presumed The Manhattan but I don’t know the background the post alludes to…

  25. Stu says:

    It’s a trick question. You ordered both!

  26. labianchi says:

    I would go with the Martini being the chosen drink of Father Z. It has a classic traditional conservative power feel to it. Father Z is traditional, conservative and he also is a representative of THE true power.

  27. BigRed says:

    My choice for Father is a perfect Manhattan. (Rye with half sweet/half dry vermouth.) I like the brown goods. A gin martini is like drinking hair tonic.


  28. Titus says:

    question: what makes a martini a martini- is it just the glass or…?

    Gin and dry vermouth a martini make. Some call a cocktail using vodka a “martini,” but it isn’t.

    I said manhattan: the martini, while classic and urbane, is also rather harsh and overdone. The manhattan, however, has all of the martini’s panache and none of its hype. It is, furthermore, smooth and refined: a drink for good company. Finally, it is made with whiskey, a Catholic spirit, rather than gin, the most English and Protestant of spirits.

  29. Manhattan, no question.

    Makes me think of Sinatra and One More for the Road.
    The comfort of a warm dark-paneled bar on a rainy night.

  30. cblanch says:

    I guessed Manhattan. Judging by appearance, it seems like the one I would enjoy most.

  31. jarhead462 says:

    I voted Martini….as long as that is Gin…A proper Martini! (and because I suspect Father Z loves olives)
    Doesn’t anyone drink “Old Fashioneds” these days?

    Semper Fi!

  32. amenamen says:

    Why does this remind me of the battle of wits between Westley and Vizzini in “The Princess Bride?”

  33. Teresa-1962 says:

    Assuming you were still in Manhattan, I voted for a Manhattan. When in Rome……

  34. Patti Day says:

    I voted Manhattan, straight up, there is no better way to enjoy one. I drink one martini a year, at Christmas, and it must be icy cold.

  35. Art says:

    Voted for the Manhattan. I don’t think you’d like Martinis especially of the Carlo Cardinal type.

  36. Centristian says:

    The Martini.

    1. You’re too young to prefer Manhattans.
    2. You like your liturgy “straight up”…like the Martini pictured.
    3. No true Romaphile would prefer cherries to olives.

  37. Jeremiah says:

    @amenamen: appropriate, what with the two drinks, no?

    …I put the poison in both drinks. I’ve developed a resistance to Iocaine Powder.

  38. irishgirl says:

    I voted for the Manhattan, since you are in Manhattan, Father Z. And I guess I mentally did the ‘eenie, meenie, miney, moe’ before deciding….
    I’m a teetotaller myself, even though I come from two nationalities who liked their booze (Irish and German).
    My late father liked to drink Manhattans…

  39. Blog Goliard says:

    If the drinks had no names, I would have gone with the clarity and purity (and olives!) of the drink on the right.

    But they do have names, and it is because of this that I voted for the one on the left.

    When in Manhattan, it is only fitting to honor the place by ordering the drink bearing its name. That’s not a precise analogue to including the name of the patron saint of a particular church in prayers and intercessions…but it is another entry under the general category of “let names truly signify”.

    As for the Martini, as truly excellent and noble as the drink is when properly constituted (Plymouth or London Dry gin and Noilly Prat, in 5:1 or 4:1 ratio, stirred not shaken, and served ice cold), its name does also serve as an unwelcome reminder of a certain emeritus Archbishop of Milan.

  40. contrarian says:

    I realize this isn’t very profound, but I just couldn’t imagine drinking a Manhattan in this sort of humidity (Father Z is here in the city right now, right?). Reasonable people can disagree, but I find any whisky’ish drink to be only an option B in hot and humid weather, especially when one is surrounded by concrete. I consider it a winter drink. A gin Martini? That’s another story. That’s just me though.

  41. Scott W. says:

    How much vermouth goes in a martini? Put the glass of gin on a table in the middle of a small room and shut the door. Open the bottle of vermouth and wave the neck in the air a few times. Seal the bottle and put away. Your martini now has enough vermouth in it.

  42. tealady24 says:

    As a part-time bartender myself, I think the martini is more a “man’s” drink; plenty of women go with the manhattans, on the rocks or up. But then again . . .
    My maternal grandmother loved her Manhattans, much to the chagrin of my late, tee-totaling Lutheran father, don’t get me started.

  43. Rich says:

    Manhattan: when Father Z. drinks hard liquor, he doesn’t take this seldom opportunity to test his palate on something as common as a gin and tonic. He would rather try something more distinct or refined as the Manhattan with its sweet or Italian vermouth.

  44. Rachel Pineda says:

    Wow there are some pretty poetic responses to say the least! I had no idea so I guessed, the Manhattan on the left because a. it looks more “manly” and b. it looks like it tastes better.

  45. Martial Artist says:

    Fr. Z,

    You appear to have inadvertently omitted the other civilized alternative: single malt Scotch, with a bit of room-temperature still (i.e. non-carbonated) water on the side. As a consequence, honesty required that I abstain from voting.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  46. scholastica says:

    Martini___it’s trad too!

    I find myself quite amused imagining two priests going through the exercise of taking pictures of their drinks in a NYC bar:)

  47. Martial Artist: The exclusion of scotch as a possible drink was not inadvertent. I purposely excluded drinks we didn’t order from the poll about drinks we actually ordered.

  48. jeffc says:

    I voted Manhattan, mostly because it’s my favorite drink, but second, because it was properly served: up! (the proper way to make a Manhattan is to mix it in ice, strain and serve in an up glass)

  49. Charivari Rob says:


    What would Mad Men drink?

  50. RichardT says:

    Fond as Father seems to be of Manhattan Island, for drinks the Martini seems far more traditional.

    The Martini is also the rubricist’s drink. The Manhattan, with its various choices (particularly of which type of whiskey), seems to be more Novus Ordo.

  51. RichardT says:

    Scott W – far too much vermouth!

  52. RichardT says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation” again!

    This happened the other day as well, the common factor being that both posts mentioned the consumption of alcoholic drinks.

    Father, your moderation software definitely seems to be teetotal – was it written by a Welsh Methodist?

  53. asophist says:

    I voted for the Manhattan for the reason so ably stated by Teresa-1962.
    “Assuming you were still in Manhattan, I voted for a Manhattan. When in Rome……”

    I have never had a proper Manhattan, but the comments by those, above, who favor them have inspired me to have one tonight!

    Martinis though, are one of my favorite libations. I like the way my bartender makes them: he chills the glass, then dumps the ice out of it, then rinses it with Vermouth, then dumps that out, then adds gin that has been gently stirred in ice (gently stirring avoids putting ice shards in it, as shaking does), then two green olives – and voila! — a crystal clear ambrosia!

  54. jfm says:

    It would be more likely that a visitor to Manhattan (Father P) would have ordered a Manhattan.
    Plus, I have a sense that Father Z, had he ordered a Manhattan, would have gotten it on the rocks (Peter=rock) in an Old Fashioned (traditionalist) glass.
    Absent this, Father Z ordered the martini.
    (And some fine-looking olives, too.)

  55. rakesvines says:

    I voted Martini because you have that James Bond thing about you. Must be the dark hair.

  56. Katherine says:

    Many years ago a genteel Virginia gentleman and good friend taught me a rule about cocktails. The rule only includes the two drinks before us. It goes like this:

    Manhattans in the Winter. Martinis in the Summer.

    I am no prig, though, and have no qualms breaking the rule when it is particularly warm & lovely in the winter, or particularly cold and wet in the summer. Or when I just want a Manhattan because I like them better.

    Where I live it is still pretty cold and wet. I voted Manhattan.

  57. gracie says:

    I voted Manhattan on the theory of “when in Rome do as the Romans do”.

  58. robtbrown says:

    A priest I used to know would drink Brandy Manhattans. One part sweet vermouth, one part dry vermouth, two parts Brandy, and a cherry. Once I drank one–it had the taste of what I imagine gasoline does.

    The priest, who had 4 doctorates, lived to be 91.

  59. mrsmontoya says:

    The martini, because – a Manhattan in Manhattan, publicized this way, would be a cliche, and Fr. Z would avoid making choices based on cliche’d stereotypes. I am certain Fr. Z enjoys a well-prepared Manhattan, but would not make it a public event in this way.

  60. Prof. Basto says:

    I voted Martini.

    Actually, it is impossible to guess Father’s tastes, but, if it were me, I’d go for a Martini, garnished with an olive. A simple, classic dry martini, gin and vermouth, no vodka innovations, shaken.

  61. muckemdanno says:

    I agree with Titus. Gin is an English, Protestant, Nordic drink. And Martinis are for rich boring Protestants. Whiskey is a Celtic liquor.

    On the other hand, both of the drinkers in question were priests. And Fr Z is of a Nordic racial extraction and used to be Protestant. So I’m going to have to say Fr Z (unfortunately for him) drank the nasty gin martini.

  62. LorrieRob says:

    What a fun poll! My mother introduced me to the Manhattan many years ago…up, a little on the sweet side (no bitters please!) We have enjoyed many wonderful times, good conversation and laughs while enjoying this cocktail. She is old now (85 and 1/2) and not doing too well, no interest in cocktails. I just told her about this poll and mentioned I missed my Manhattan partner as it is most certainly a drink to enjoy with good company :-) So, I don’t know which of these cocktails you chose but I voted for the Manhattan as you seem to have an eclectic and refined taste which suits the Manhattan very well:-)

  63. Prof. Basto says:

    The Martini is the “Glory of the Olive”.

    I guess it must be Pope Benedict’s favourite cocktail, then.

  64. scaron says:

    There’s something about a martini
    something remarkably pleasant!
    A yellow, a mellow martini
    I wish that I had one at present!

    There’s something about a martini
    ‘ere the dining and dancing begin
    to tell you the truth, some say its vermouth,
    but I think it’s really the gin!

    – O. Nash

  65. As one of the 3 readers of this blog that actually appears to work for a living, I missed the poll! *meow* But, seriously, what do you Z Nation folks do all day-wait for the refresh? I would’ve picked the martini on the right as Father’s drink. Furthermore, it looks similar to my gasoline of choice-Bombay Sapphire Gin, straight up, shaken. However, I do 3 olives, rather than 2 but, whatever, if it isn’t Bombay Sapphire forget it. Martini’s made with vodka are just wrong.

  66. The martini…dry with a splash of sweet, and just below the surface, obviously salty! o{]:¬)

  67. Titus says:

    Doesn’t anyone drink “Old Fashioneds” these days?

    Preferably, actually (although I badly muffed mixing one a few weeks ago; mea culpa). Just be careful ordering one in a bar, unless it’s a very good bar.

  68. Katherine says:

    But Father, but Father! Will you tell us which drink you chose? We are on the edge of our seat waiting, waiting, waiting.

  69. Patti Day says:

    Father, Why won’t you tell us which it was. I keep coming back so I can laugh at all of those who got it wrong, Philistines! Oooh, that’s why not.

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