The fourth in a series of videos discussing my book, Menno-Nightcaps.
I discuss the second section of my book, Menno-Nightcaps, Cocktails Inspired by that Odd Ethno-Religious Group You Keep Mistaking for the Amish, Quakers or Mormons (Touchwood, 2021).
Music: The 606 Rag, composed and performed by Ed Heese
Videography: David Brulé
[Music] Hi. I’m Sherri Klassen, author of Menno-Nightcaps: Cocktails Inspired by that Odd Ethno-Religious Group you Keep Mistaking for the Amish, Quakers or Mormons.
Today, I’m drinking a Peaceable Gimlet. This is a cocktail I designed to represent the traditional Mennonite peace stance. Because today I’m going to talk about the section of my book — the second section — which is all cocktails about religion.
So, Mennonites are a religious group. This might surprise you because if you ask a Mennonite what a Mennonite is, you usually get a long history lesson when you might have been expecting to hear: they believe this and they believe that. But in actual fact Mennonites, are a religion. There are Mennonite Churches all around the world and one of the things we are known for is our traditional peace stance. This is something that goes back to early Anabaptism — not right to our very early roots but still it goes back to the 16th century and like I mentioned in the last video, the practice of baptizing adults instead of babies has a sort of non-coercion element to it. Some people like to think of that (now, in particular) to mean that our religion says that nobody should be coerced into anything.
Because there are so many different groups and different kinds of Mennonites, there’s a lot of diversity in terms of what we believe. In fact, sometimes it seems like there isn’t a whole lot that we believe in common. We are a Christian faith, so there’s that but beyond that [shrug]. Most of the mennonites now still hold on to being pacifist but what that means varies a lot from one group to another. Historically, it would generally meant not killing people and being against war.
So a couple other things that mennonites are known for in terms of what we believe:Community is very important; economic justice is important; non-conformity to the world; and being anti-hierarchical. Now, in all of those things, we might all agree sort of in principle to all of those but what that actually means in practice varies really wildly. People will think especially like non-conformity to the world — I mean, what does that mean? We all have different ideas really about what it means so that’s why you’ll see some Mennonites out there driving horse and buggy and not using electricity. That’s part of not conforming to the ways of the world. But you have other Mennonites like me who define the ways of the world more around all those nasty multinational corporations. And we just try to live a good and ethical life.
One of the things that sort of ties all of us together is the belief that faith is not so much about what you believe as in how you live. It’s like we’re not dogmatic. I mean we are. We’re actually a really dogmatic people in the common parlance but in terms of do we follow dogma? it isn’t really as important as just how it comes out in the way you live.
So, there’s a few things that are really important but otherwise it’s much more about being good and serving the people, trying to make the world a better place — very service oriented– like I said, very community oriented.
So, I like to think that since faith is enacted in your everyday life, one of the ways it’s enacted then is in the cocktails that you drink.