‘My favourite cocktail is the French 75 which I simply renamed the Conscientious Objector’: 5 Questions with S.L. Klassen (aka the Drunken Mennonite)

S.L. Klassen, aka the Drunken Mennonite, is a Mennonite blogger from Toronto, though her ancestors are from southern Manitoba. In addition to her witty writing, she has created some pretty epic cocktail recipes.

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?
    • This question must be a mistake. All Mennonite conversations begin with a variation of “how are we related?” So I’ll just start with my paternal grandparents being D.D. and Susan Klassen and my maternal grandparents being Mary and Julius Heinrichs. But none of them inspired me to start the one and only Mennonite cocktail blog on the internet. There’s a good chance that they would have either disapproved or been baffled by the whole idea. But who knows? Had they lived in the internet age, they might have been entirely different people. Sometimes my family and ancestors have inspired specific blog posts but not the whole concept. In general, I was inspired by my experiences as a Mennonite and by the discovery that there was a little corner of the blogosphere where cocktail afficionados wrote as earnestly about mixed drinks as Mennonites write about their faith and life. Surprisingly enough, no one had ever thought to bring these two worlds together. It was a gap in the internet I thought needed filling.
  2. What is your favourite cocktail recipe you ever created?
    • My favourite cocktail is the French 75 which I simply renamed the Conscientious Objector because it was perfect already but I couldn’t sanction drinking a cocktail named after a big gun. Of those I created, I often go back to the Canadian Mennonite which has whiskey, cranberry, maple syrup and a bit of orange liqueur. I haven’t yet made a cocktail in honour of the Canadian Mennonite letters to the editor. It’s hard to get that perfect aftertaste of disgruntlement in a coupe glass.
  3. What do you say to Mennonites who disapprove of your promotion of drinking?
    • No idea. Those Mennonites don’t actually speak to me.
  4. What Mennonite, living or dead, would you most like to go for drinks with?
    • This is a hard one. I’m going to assume this question excludes all the Mennonites that I already know and have already drunk with. I’m also going to eliminate from the running the dead Mennonites – though drinking with a decaying corpse might be preferable than drinking with some Mennonites, I expect that the smell of rot would put me off the cocktail. So now the pool is limited to living Mennonite strangers, and this is risky. Drinking with Mennonites so often starts with awkwardness and ends with either public hymn singing or intense theological disputation (sometimes both). I guess I could choose a cultural Mennonite who has left the faith but, in my experience, even those Mennos have been known to get nostalgic about their time at Church camp and start, after a drink or two, to want to link arms and start singing “it only takes a spark” or “one tin soldier.”  So I guess I’ll just say that guy who writes the Daily Bonnet and hope that we live so far apart it’ll never actually happen.
  5. As a blogger who calls herself the Drunken Mennonite, I’m sure everyone would like to know: what percentage of the time do you spend in a state of intoxication?
    • I’ve never calculated this out. When I contemplate the vast span of time stretching backwards and forwards, I realize that the time I have spent intoxicated is not even a drop in the ocean of history. Which is a humbling thought. Of course, stretching one’s mind to grasp the enormity of time, both geologic and human, is a little easier after a drink or two. And since doing that leads to humility which is a good Mennonite trait, I’ll have to keep drinking. In the fullness of time, that little drop will get infinitesimally larger but it’ll still be hard to calculate as a percentage.  So let’s just say that I am drunk more than Tante Mariechen thinks appropriate and less than Tante Sus encourages.