If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a good cocktail. And if you’re reading a book blog, you probably enjoy reading as well. My question is…
There’s nothing quite like experiencing two things that give you a similar feeling. Reading a book and listening to music that gives you the same feels. Reading a book and drinking a beverage that evokes the feeling of the book. It’s the coolest. So, in the spirit of enjoying well…spirits, I thought cocktail pairings for some of my favorite books would be a fun experiment.
The book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The cocktail: Cider, Dark & Stormy
If you’re going to drink a cocktail while experiencing the magic that is The Night Circus, it needs to include cider. Preferably mulled cider that explodes fall all over your taste buds. This book needs a cocktail that blends sweet and spicy with a hint of darkness underneath everything. This cocktail blends all of that perfectly with the inclusion of both cider and ginger beer and the addition of the dark rum makes it not only dark in color, but deep in flavor as well. With an apple slice of garnish and a cinnamon sugar rim, how could you not want to be sipping on this while walking through the magical exhibits of the Le Cirque des Rêves? Now all you would need is some yummy and adorable chocolate mice to nibble on while you get lost in the book.
The book: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The cocktail: Vodka Rosemary Lemonade Fizz
This book is rooted (see what I did there?) in Eastern European folklore, so vodka is a must. I like the addition of the strong citrus flavor since there is a strong female main character. I think the rosemary and its pine-like scent pay necessary homage to the evil Wood. And then there’s the fizz…for the sizzle of romance. WINK. (“Did you say wink or did you wink?” “He said that too, Dad.”)
The book: The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
The cocktail: Brown Derby
Now technically, this drink is from the 40s in Hollywood and this book is set during 1938 in New York. But I think I can get away with it. I’m definitely getting away with it.
This is an old fashioned book in need of a classic bourbon cocktail. There is a scene in this book at a race track and I cannot help but get a “derby day” vibe from it. And I read it for the first time in the summer, so the addition of the sweet honey and the tropical grapefruit gives it the perfect summery taste. I think this cocktail gives the mint julep a run for its money and will certainly put you in the right head space to enjoy the hell out of this book.
The book: Faithful Place by Tana French
The cocktail: The Smoky Sour
Frank Mackey wouldn’t be caught dead drinking this. That’s fine. More for us.
This book (this whole series, in fact) is set in Ireland. So whiskey is a no-brainer. I’m personally a big fan of the whiskey sour
despite an unfortunate first introduction on my 21st birthday. But to match the whiskey sour to this book it needs to be darker. More substantive. So enters the addition of a Lapsang souchong tea syrup. If you didn’t know, Lapsang souchong is a very smoky tea. Intensely smoky, in fact. I was first introduced to it when I had a blend known as Russian caravan tea which contains some of this variety. I think the deep smoky aspect represents the atmosphere of the book while the lemon, representing Mackey’s cutting sense of humor, balances out the overwhelming tea. And the creamy aspect of the egg white evokes the sensation of reading Tana French’s really amazing writing.
So those are all the book/cocktail pairings I have for today. I loved doing this, so there will most certainly be more of these in the future. Let me know if you try any of these. I certainly will be enjoying some of them during some of my rereads this year.