ASK FATHER: How to make a “Trinitini” Martini for Trinity Sunday and avoid committing heresy?


We are planning to have a special drink for the potluck to commemorate today’s Feast of the Trinity.

We were planning to do a “Trinitini”, a Martini with three olives to represent the three Persons in the One Triune God.

However, just want to check that we wouldn’t be falling into any heresy (e.g., Arianism, Partialism, Modalism, Tritheism…) by doing so.

What would you suggest? One olive? Three?

I respond saying that, in the matter of Martinis, heresy is very bad.

That said, let’s solve this problem.  In advance, I consulted a highly credentialed theologian to sort this out and to check my work.  No, really, I did.

The first thing we have to deal with is the notion of “making” a Trinitini.  We have to stipulate that, in this vale of tears (with which, of mine enemies, I sometimes will flavor my Martinis) the Trinitini can’t make itself.

To make a non-heretical Trinitini, you must “make” three Martinis simultaneously, from the same gin, in a pitcher.  TO SERVE: Pour them, simultaneously but distinctly by measure, remembering that, in the West,* the second measure comes from the first and the third measure comes from both the first two, into one large well-chilled glass such that you have the three Martinis in one glass which has three garnishes.  The three garnishes, for the three Martinis in one glass, symbolize the three missions of the Martinis.  So, the Trinitini will have its lemon twist (a “Perfect” Martini), its pickled onion (which has layers), and its olive (without stuffing).  Hence, in the one glass containing the three Martinis would be the distinction of the three-in-one nature of each Martini, each sharing in the same nature but distinct, and all working together in everything, but with different missions.

I believe that would avoid most of the heresies listed above.

And, please, serve straight up.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you doubters are now mewling, don’t you know that a Martini with an onion is really a Gibson?!?  You are a heretic by introducing into the Trinity different kind of … um… you know… it’s a… YOU HATE VATICAN II!”

Dear skeptic, be not afeared.  The combined identity of the Martini with onion (which has layers) and the Gibson underscores the two natures in Christ.

Moreover, do not be concerned with the issue of the “blending” of the three Martinis as they are simultaneously and distinctly poured.  This is taken care of by the concept of perichoresis.  The relationship of the three Martinis in one Trinitini is like a “dance” which realizes both their oneness and threeness in an interpenetration leaving them nevertheless distinct. (Cf. John 17:21: “That they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us”.)  Do not doubt that the Spirit is present.  And, that they may all be in us, pour carefully.

QUAERITUR: Would it be okay to substitute a hot pepper for the olive?
RESPONSE: Affirmative.  And it could be appropriate so long as the heat of the pepper doesn’t distract overly from the flavor of the other two garnishes.

On the vital issue of shaking or stirring.

It is okay to make the three Martinis by stirring (cf. perichoresis… circumincession), but not… NOT… by shaking.    Quod Deus avertat.

Lastly, it seems to me that, given what we can tell of God’s sense of humor, the Trinitini should be dry.

With that, it’s time for Vespers.

*There is an question about Eastern Trinitinis.  I’m not sure this is doable but one might have to try to pour the third measure from the first, but through the second measure.   I’m skeptical.  And THAT might just give added proof, pun intended, to the Filioque.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  2. excalibur says:

    My brother and I had a Vesper with three olives. This time he used Hayman’s Old Tom Gin and it was excellent.

    Yes, he shakes, not stirs. The Holy Trinity doesn’t mind. When I make it, I stir.

  3. MissBee says:

    This is an amazing post. Thanks, Father.

  4. Sue in soCal says:

    This will become one of your classic posts. Your humor, like the martini, is very good and very dry. God bless you three times, one for each person.

  5. teomatteo says:

    Let he who sayth that vermouth is but symbolic of medicinal poison be anathema!

  6. WGS says:

    I hope this is in no way offensive to anyone, but the reference to the variation known as a “Gibson” brings to mind the similar martini called the “Althea Gibson” which, of course, is made with a black olive.

  7. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    Vermouth? I’ll take Churchill’s (likely apocryphal) approach and simply face France whilst I stir the gin in cracked ice.

  8. oledocfarmer says:

    Beautiful….and as Catholic as it can get.

  9. ahcollier says:

    Forgive me, Father, for I am but an ignorant peasant and sinner. I had no idea that the theology of the Martini was so complex and fraught with opportunity for heresy like shaking or the use of vodka… which I presume is inadmissible matter for a truly orthodox Martini!

  10. Gregg the Obscure says:

    well, it was also the Octave of Pentecost, which i observed with a double G&T – the double portion of the spirit representing the double procession of the Holy Spirit, of course

  11. Joe in Canada says:

    olive (unstuffed – because a stuffed olive would make it an Apollinarianismini)

  12. JonPatrick says:

    “TO SERVE: Pour them, simultaneously but distinctly by measure, remembering that, in the West, the second measure comes from the first and the third measure comes from both the first two, into one large well-chilled glass”.

    So for Eastern Rite Catholics, you would pour the third measure from the first, but through the second measure?

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