Libations and literature have a long and proud history together, from the well-greased mechanics of Ernest Hemingway’s writing process to the timeless summer pairing of a beer and a book. If you have a taste for a hard stuff as well as the poetic, I offer up several new cocktails of my own invention, crafted specifically to appeal to the refined palates of book lovers:
1. Waiting for Merlot
A cocktail specifically designed to be sipped while you wait for the red wine to breathe. Equal parts dark rum, ginger ale, and existential dread.
2. Infinite Zest
Pour 1.5 ounces of vodka and six ounces of tonic water into a highball glass with ice. Top with seventeen lemons’ worth of grated peel.
3. To the Light Beer
Virginia Woolf’s favorite shandy. Pour eight ounces of your favorite light beer and six ounces of seawater into a conch shell using a steady stream of consciousness. Mix well.
4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Gin
Take some gin. Put a huckleberry in it. Pretty simple, folks.
5. Anna Caipirinha
Brazil’s national cocktail with an old-school Russian twist. Combine lime juice, cane sugar, and cachaça in a whiskey tumbler, and slowly mix in two cups of borscht.
6. A Raisin in the Punch
A modern take on the traditional rum punch. Start by stirring together one cup fresh lime juice, two cups grenadine syrup, three cups Jamaican white rum, and two cups fresh orange juice. From at least ten feet over the punch bowl (using a ladder, if necessary) and paying careful attention to go one at a time, drop in five hundred raisins. If two raisins accidently fall in together, please start over, or the cocktail will not taste as it should.
7. Treasure Island Iced Tea
Set sail for adventure with this summertime delight! Shake together one ounce each of vodka, white rum, gin, and tequila, as well as one half-ounce of Triple Sec and two tablespoons of lime juice. Pour into a glass and top with cola, as well two peg legs, a cubic meter of sand, and one pound of parrot flesh.
8. The Sound and the Brandy
Pour four ounces of well-aged armagnac into a snifter. Hire a mean and terrible man to scream into the glass for fourteen minutes. Enjoy at room temperature.
9. The Jungle Juice
Like Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, this cocktail highlights the strong, if a little unorthodox, flavors of a man who accidentally falls into a big vat of boiling lard. Scoop a healthy spoonful of the lard into a tin cup and mix liberally with whatever grain alcohol you have on hand.
10. Pale Ale Fire
A warm cocktail perfect for the winter months, and the only proper way to enjoy an India pale ale. Select a complex, spicy, and high-proof IPA. Pour it into a glass. And set it on fire.