Drink of the Week: The Maiden’s Prayer

The Maiden's Prayer

C. K. Dexter Haven: The moon is also a goddess, chaste and virginal.
Tracy Lord: Stop using those foul words. – “The Philadelphia Story” (1940)

Let’s face it. Sex sells, now and forever. If anything, it sold even more so in the earlyish 20th century when there wasn’t quite such a glut on the market. In those days, the idea of visions of actual coupling — and tripling and quadrupling — of every imaginable sort being but a few mouse clicks and keystrokes away was beyond the imagination. Way beyond.

In those days even the absence of sex could be read as hot, hot, hot because, of course, it implied the theoretical presence of sex.  Then as now, of course, a drink or two or three was often a prelude to the actuality of carnal knowledge. Birth control might not have been as widely available back then but, well, there’s a good chance that going back a generation you — who knows, maybe even I — might owe our very existence to that fact. (Great-Grandma, how could you??) In an era when alcohol had more of a forbidden frisson than it might today, all the more so.

In any case, this is all a long winded way of delaying my admission that I’m actually not all that wild about today’s Drink of the Week, though you might feel differently. For one thing, time simply didn’t permit me to try out something different before my deadline on account of my current hectic schedule and the fact that one or two drinks a night is my limit most of the time. (There are times when not being more of hardcore boozer is an absolute handicap in this here booze blogging game.)

Also, it’s hard to ignore the name and the fact that the Maiden’s Prayer was apparently positioned ironically as a possible corrupter of young ladies of virtue. This is a men’s magazine blog after all. It’s certainly a simple enough concoction and all the ingredients separately are quite nice, I just don’t find it particularly seductive. On the other hand, the art of love and the craft of cocktails have a thousand pathways.

The Maiden’s Prayer

1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Work out your frustrations by shaking the drink as vigorously as you can manage. Pour it into a chilled cocktail shaker and give to the nearest corruptible member of the opposite sex who isn’t too fussy about cocktails.


The provenance of this one is apparently related to a now obscure song hit about the virtues of not doing what comes naturally. Fine, but all I know is that, if I were the maiden in question, I’d be praying for a swain with better taste in drinks. It’s just kind of overly simple, even using Cointreau was only a very slight improvement over triple sec.  Better, I think, to be corrupted by a Manhattan or a Bronx or a swoon-worthy Mary Pickford.

Whatever you do, if you are serving this to an actual maiden who knows the name of the drink, I would be careful about garnishing this one with a cherry. Safer to stick with a lemon or orange twist.


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