Every four years February is graced with an extra day known worldwide as Leap Day. The scientific reason for this occurrence is that the earth turns roughly 365 and a quarter times on its axis by the time it has completed a full year’s orbit around the sun. This means that periodically the calendar has to catch up – thus creating the principle of leap years.
The occasion of Leap Year does not end at a simple scientific fact. As legend has it during this year, women around the world will get down on one knee to ask for their fellows’ hand in marriage. This bit of folklore dates back to the 5th Century in Ireland. St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for a man to propose, and so he declared that ladies could ask a man to marry them on the last, extra day of February during a leap year.
While I am usually a whisky neat kind of girl, there are certain occasions in which a cocktail is the perfect compliment. What better way to celebrate a proposal then with a delicious cocktail?
Legendary bartender Harry Craddock’s Leap Year cocktail is said to have been responsible for more proposals than any other cocktail ever mixed. 76 years later, you can still find it being served up in the bar at The Savoy Hotel in London. Forget the drop of whisk(e)y today and celebrate bagging the man of your dreams with this delightful swallow!
Leap Year Cocktail
2 parts gin
1/2 part Grand Marnier
1/2 part sweet vermouth
1 dash fresh lemon juice
Shake well and serve in cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.
Hendrick’s Gin has declared itself as the unofficial gin of Leap Day, as it contains a most unusual, but wondrous marriage of botanicals and flavors. After popping the question, celebrate with a Hendrick’s original cocktail created specifically for this untraditional custom.
1 ½ parts Hendrick’s Gin
¾ parts fresh Blood Orange juice
½ part Lillet Rouge
¼ part Crème de Cassis
1 slice of Cucumber
In mixing glass, muddle one slice cucumber, combine remaining ingredients, add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with blood orange peel and cucumber slice.
So gentlemen beware this Wednesday; If you have been putting off that engagement for some time now, your lady might just take matters into her own hands!