Dipsology: Beyond the Basics -- Literary Libations for Summer

With the advent of summer and the lifting of lockdown restrictions in most areas (sympathies to you prisoners of Southern California) Americans are venturing out anew, and many are partaking in the traditions of the season. Cookouts, road trips, blockbuster movies, and many other activities can once again be enjoyed.

Adding to that list one other hot month activity – a day spent on the shore – has a companion component; the summer beach read. Publishers have long used the summer as a time to release best-sellers and hotly devoured paperbacks, as a diversion for those recumbent under the rays, and with this in mind there is an enjoyable partnering of the reading and the sipping.

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Author and playwright Tim Federle has a series of books where he has crafted new drinks or variations on standards that are based on literary titles and storyline elements. His initial entry, “Tequila Mockingbird” was a hot seller that spawned sequels; a cinematic version called “Gone With The Gin” and then “Are You There God It’s Me, Margarita”. As the titles denote these are literature-steeped and pun-filled affairs (some of the groaners are The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose and The Last of the Mojitos), but there is an impressive array of cocktails filling each volume.

Much like a venture to a bookstore or library, you are not going to sample and savor every option, but just like book shopping the fun is in the browsing. So to give you a sense of some of the more enjoyable options here are a number of recommended selections for you to bookmark so you can read and sip in splendor.

Absinthe And Old Lace

Martini Glass, or Coupe

  • 1oz. dry gin
  • ½oz. Absinthe
  • ½OZ. Green Crème de Menthe
  • ½oz. Simple Syrup
  • ½oz. Half-and-Half/Heavy Cream
  • 1 Egg White
  • Shaved Chocolate

In a shaker with no ice add the liquid ingredients and shake vigorously. Add ice, and shake again to chill the mixture, at least 30 seconds. Strain into glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings floated on the foam.

Love In The Time of Kahlua

In an Old Fashioned glass with ice

  • 1oz. Kahlúa
  • 2oz. Dark Rum
  • 1oz. Heavy Cream
  • Cold espresso

In a shaker add the first 3 ingredients and shake. Pour over the ice, and fill with espresso. Stir slightly and add dash of cinnamon to the surface.

Fahrenheit 151

Two variations are made on one of the most basic cocktails to make this into an amped-up potable.

Collins Glass, half-filled with ice

  • 4oz. 151 Rum
  • 4oz. Energy Drink
  • 8oz. Cola

You can get creative and use different flavors of the energy drink, and then garnish according to the selection.

The Seagram’s Garden

This is a summer refresher in a Collins Glass

  • 1 shot Seagram’s 7 Whiskey
  • 2oz. Watermelon Juice
  • Seagrams Ginger Ale
  • Sprig of Mint

Add the whiskey and watermelon and stir. Fill with Ginger ale. Garnish with mint, pressed by hand.

The Bell-ini Jar

My own variation, which – in keeping with the theme – is served in a Mason Jar.

  • 4oz. Peach Puree, or Peach Nectar
  • 1oz Pomegranate or Passionfruit Juice
  • Prosecco

Add ingredients over ice, fill with Prosecco, garnish with a wedge of peach.


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