Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner's Guide to a Holy Happy Hour by Micheal P. Foley
I saw this book online somewhere just after it was published last May and sent a link to Kansas Dad with a note that perhaps we should buy it. He wrote back that he was only disappointed he hadn't written it. A few months later, I used some of the Amazon commissions I earned from the blog (thank you!) to buy it for him for Father's Day. Since then we've had lots of fun perusing it. We've made a few of the drinks, but I'm afraid we have gotten a little enamored with the sangria recipe and have therefore made it on more than its share of occasions. Our dinner parties are not elaborate affairs (kids eat at the table and grown-ups tend to stand in our kitchen because we don't have enough chairs), but we do like to serve tasty drinks.
The book is ordered by feast day with entries for major feasts, or just good excuses to fill a glass. The last section contains entries for the liturgical year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Pre-Lent, Pentecost, and even, believe it or not, a section on Lent). Some of the recommendations are as simple as a kind of wine. Others are recipes for mixed drinks. For example, for the feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha (on July 14th), there is a recipe for a Turtle because she was from the Turtle Clan of the Mohawks (Canadian whiskey and Benedictine) or a White Lily (Cointreau, Daiquiri rum, gin, absinthe). The author includes information on the feast day or the saint as well as suggested toasts, all entertaining enough to be an enjoyable read even for someone who isn't likely to mix any drinks.
Sometimes it's hard to find just the right gift. This book could be the perfect gift for a Catholic family who likes to entertain (perhaps as a hostess gift). If you have some extra spending money, pair it with some alcohol or an interesting set of glasses. I think if you scroll through this post about the book over at Like Mother, Like Daughter, you'll find a suggestion for a newlywed couple as well. It really seems to be just the right combination of joyful and useful.