As the festival of Ostara approaches, let us consider the Easter Bunny. He’s a funny old stick.
Represented in early folk culture as a stern old-timey Germanic Easter hare or Osterhase, he would judge people annually to deem them worthy or not of his colourful bounty of eggs – not unlike Santa Claus at Christmas.
Of course these days the practice is eggs for everyone and chocolate a go-go, but not back in the 1600’s. Then, the hare, which has long been seen as a symbol of fertility partly due to its reputation as a hermaphrodite (not deserved, although they are capable of superfetation or double pregnancy) and later the rabbit (also notorious for its breeding ability) would choose the recipients of those baskets of eggs rather carefully.
In fact they have more in common with the stork and his baby delivery service than jolly old Saint Nick, as hares/bunnies/eggs all represent fertility both of the womb and of the earth, at this time of the Vernal Equinox.
The dawn goddess Ostara or Eostre (who gives Easter its name) is pictured in some cultures with the head of a hare, and travels in a chariot drawn by cats. She also gave her name to the fertility drug Eostrogen, so that isn’t a co-incidence, in case you were wondering.
The hare as a sacred animal pre-dates even Eostre. Cave paintings have been found from the Paleolithic era which show them as one of the prehistoric animal gods representing fertility, femininity and the lunar cycle – and when witches take on animal form, a hare or a cat is the most popular option.
As Eostre has likely evolved from the goddess-hare of the ancients, it is no wonder they stand for the same things, including the supplying of eggs.
Over the years, as the custom of distributing gifts of eggs at this time of year spread, the hare mutated into the more frequently seen rabbit, and the sex of the creature altered to being generally considered male, possibly due to the role involving the bringing of food into the home being viewed as a male preserve #everydaysexism
At this time of renewal and rebirth, why not evoke the sacred hare and toast the death of winter with a frothy drought of brown bubbles and black jelly?
It’s sweet enough to give you the energy to bound around like a March hare.
Chocolate Boba Bunny
1 x large milky chocolate bubble tea
3 shots chocolate liqueur
1 shot vodka
Makes 3 (these babies slide down real easy)
Bubble or pearl milk tea is a Taiwanese drink invented in the 1980’s. It comes in an enormous variety of flavours, mostly involving a cold tea base shaken with fruit or milk, to which chewy tapioca boba balls (or ‘pobbles’) and jelly pieces are often added. If like me you live in an area with a broad ethnic range, you can probably pick up a bubble tea quite easily from a café or supermarket, but it can be fun developing your own blends at home.
The bubble tea I used for this drink could be easily reproduced at home with chocolate milk, crushed ice, black boba tapioca balls and wheatgrass jelly. You can buy boba balls and jellies from Amazon online, or oriental supermarkets.
While the tapioca balls are sweet, they aren’t super-sweet. The most exciting option is the “popping” boba which you pop against the roof of your mouth with your tongue…like an oral version of popping bubble wrap, which is so famously relaxing.
I like the wheatgrass jelly in a very sweet drink like this, because it’s a thrilling Gothic black, and it brings a vaguely grownup edge of darkness to the flavour, especially to the aftertaste.
The whole thing needs to be very cold, to avoid accusations of sickliness.
Simply combine all ingredients, shake, and serve. If your cocktail shaker isn’t big enough, pour everything into a jug and stir vigorously.
If you only have one chocolate bunny this year, this is a good option.
“Run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run
Don’t let the farmer have his fun, fun, fun.
He’ll get by,
Without his rabbit pie.
So run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run.”
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