He has emerged from his burrow up on Gobbler’s Knob, and as there is no sign of his shadow, has decided to stay out and toast Imbolc with a refreshing cocktail. Spring is here!
Which raises the question:
Q: How many cocks would a woodcock tail,
If a woodcock would cocktail?
A: A woodcock would cock all the tails he could!
If a woodcock could cocktail.
For fans of fascinating facts, the groundhog or woodcock has also been referred to as; Chuck, Wood-shock, Groundpig, Whistler, Thickwood Badger, Canada Marmot, Monax, Moonack, Weenusk, Brown Betty, Wombler and the Red Monk.
The Chinese have a saying: a well-loved child has many names. And who doesn’t love a groundhog, with its rounded body and oversized incisors? The handsome but foul-tempered groundhog took over from Teutonic hedgehogs as the traditional weather forecaster when German settlers moved to America and established this ritual where hedgehogs are less thick on the ground.
Prior to that, badgers as the embodiment of the Sacred Bear had been used in weather lore rituals going back as far as we can trace.
The pagan festival of Imbolc is the same day as Groundhog day. And there is a whisky called Whistlepig, which is another name for the groundhog. In 506 Alaric II, eighth king of the Visigoths promulgated the Breviary of Alaric (Breviarium Alaricianum or Lex Romana Visigothorum), a collection of “Roman law” on the 2nd of February. In 1947, Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett was born…. on the 2nd of February. Coincidence? I think not.
How should we react to these so-called coincidences? Why, the same way that we should react to anything at this dawning of a new Spring and start of a new year. Raise a glass to the Lords of Karma, remember the past unless we intend to be condemned to repeat it, and send out good vibrations.
Whether you prefer Whistlepig whisky or this grassy green cocktail, drink in good health.
Leaves of Grass
2 juicy pears
1 shot Fresh Cut Grass flavour Oddka vodka
Juice the pears, or if you don’t juice at home, find a good pre-made version at the supermarket.
Add a dash of rhubarb bitters, and shake with the vodka over ice. This fresh flavoured vodka is something I found on sale last year, and bought on a whim, almost as if I knew that I would need it for this.
The groundhog eats mainly wild grasses, so this combination of fruit, leaf stalks and grass would be very palatable to him.
Any actual groundhogs reading this for cocktail tips should bear in mind that vodka should be drunk in moderation only, as groundhogs bark, whistle and squeal whilst fighting which is one of the more terrible sounds in nature.
Rodents can become aggressive when drunk, as opposed to marsupials who tend to become melancholy, or reptiles who become more sexually predatory with every drink.
Plus they are for adult groundhogs only, not for the chucklings, which is what baby groundhogs are called.
Serve in a pre-chilled Martini glass.
Happy Groundhog Day & Happy Imbolc from the New City Witches Cocktail Coven!