Happy Groundhog Day, but it looks we’ll have to keep the snow shovels handy as Punxsutawney Phil, Shubenacadie Sam and Wiarton Willie all saw their shadow predicting six more weeks of winter – and six more weeks of indoor drinking.
How the heck did we become reliant on psychic rodents to predict the emergence of spring in the first place? Well, let’s blame the Germans, Groundhog Day has its origins in ancient European weather lore, where they used a badger or sacred(?) bear as the predictor instead of the lowly groundhog. The holiday began anew in North America as a Pennsylvanian German custom in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the movie Groundhog Day, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) travels reluctantly to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover the Groundhog Day celebrations. What he didn’t know was he was cursed to be repeat the same day over and over again. In one attempt to get close to his producer Rita (played by Andie McDowell) he joins her in a bar and shares her favorite drink, a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist. After repeating this scene over and over, Phil uses the information from previous days conversation to his advantage in the following scene
Phil: Yeah I’ll have a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist.
Rita: I’ll have the same, thats my favorite drink.
Phil: Mine too, it reminds me of Rome…in the evening when the sun lights the buildings.
Rita: what should we drink to?
Phil: I always drink to world peace.
Rita: World peace…
Sweet Vermouth is a white wine with brandy and infused with herbs, flowers, fruit peels and other plants that give it a unique flavour. It is a popular apertif in Europe, but it not often used straight in North America.
The Groundhog Day Vermouth Cocktail
– Double Old-Fashion cocktail glass filled with ice
– Pour sweet vermouth over ice
– Stir and twist lemon peel over the glass
– Serve with a cocktail straw and lemon twist as garnish
Cheers to the Groundhog and World Peace!