It’s Thirsty Thursday, and Bookstr is bringing you Booze & Books, our newest weekly feature dedicated to drinking games and booze-book pairings. This week, we’re bringing you another booze & book pairing. Our recommendation? Any booze and any book. Since that’s a little too general, we’re going to be paring classic & popular novels with cocktails to help you get what all the buzz is about. Admittedly, some of these cocktails are pretty vile. But since vile people often feature heavily in books, the drinks make for appropriate pairings. (That is, these cocktails are nasty unless you actually WANT to put milk into beer. If you do, you may be one of the aforementioned vile people.)
So, friends, read up & drink up. By the end of this list, these pages won’t be the only thing turnt.
Ingredients: Gin, white rum, silver tequila, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, lemon juice, cola. Alternatively, whatever you found in your mom’s cabinets dumped into the sublte water bottle that clearly no longer contains water.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I pair The Great Gatsbywith a classy beverage, like a Tom Collins or anything with an umbrella in it? It’s pretty simple—Gatsby’s not all that classy of a guy. He may have some serious panache, but in the end, he’s new-money who likes to show off what he’s got: the biggest house, the best parties, the hottest ride. It all seems romantic because it’s set in the roaring 20s, but if this were the 2000s Gatsby was after a girl who went to the Ivies while he got a practical degree at State, you know he’d be trying to impress her with his McMansion and excessive Instagram stories of his house parties. ESPECIALLY given that the novel is set on Long Island, a place that may as well have been named after the drink.
Also, a Long Island Iced Tea will get you drunk, which is maybe the only thing you’ll have in common with this cast of high-society characters.
Ingredients: Absolut Kurant, Grand Marnier, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Midori melon liqueur, Malibu rum, Amaretto, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, whatever tears you have left to cry.
‘1-900-FUK-MEUP’ is an accurate description, both of the story and what the story does to our fragile little hearts. If you’re not familiar with this newer release from #1 bestselling author Rainbow Rowell, the gist is that Georgie, a TV writer in a failing marriage, discovers a way to communicate with her husband—a phone that makes calls to the past. It seems like a second chance, an opportunity to talk to a younger Neal and fix the problems in their marriage before they begin. But maybe fixing the relationship isn’t the thing Georgie is supposed to do. Maybe she’s supposed to prevent it from happening. Emotional, right? Drink up.
Ingredients: Peach, strawberry, and wildberry Schnapps, Red Bull, Jägermeister, profound existential pain.
At only fifty-five pages, Franz Kafka’s novelette is a short trip down into the blackest depths of human consciousness. If you can for a moment forget that you’re alone in the world and strapped to a mortal body that may never reflect your internal self-perception, Kafka is here to make sure you remember. We’re all just bugs on this Earth, baby!
Ingredients: Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, lime juice, grapefruit juice, years of substance abuse.
Of course Hemingway, literary icon and known drunk, would have a cocktail named after his own work—an accomplishment that, while less impressive than naming a university wing after yourself, may or may not be cooler. Back in 1935, a mystery man in a Cuban bar downed a daiquiri that was left sitting unattended (classy move, E.H.). His response was as to-the-point as his dialogue: “that’s good, but I prefer it without sugar and double rum.”
Apparently, the reason Hemingway wanted less sugar was so he could drink more of them—which makes him as relatable as he was talented.
Ingredients: Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Jameson, Johnnie Walker Black, Bacardi 151, at least one bad idea.
Listen: a flaming shot is a beverage that was not created for the flavor. If you start your night off drinking one of these, you’re going to be getting into some shenanigans. And shenanigans is basically the plot of Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens—shenanigans and the End of Days, which are, apparently, exactly the same thing. So why not drink this one at the end of the world? When you wake up the morning after, it’s going to feel like the apocalypse anyway.
Ernest Hemingway coined the termed “the iceberg theory” which refers to an understated style of writing that concerns itself with surface elements in a story rather than the more preachy approach. In other words, Hemingway respected the intellect of his readers—we can see what’s beneath on our own. This is perhaps one of the reasons the man became so popular, this and his larger than life persona. One could argue that it was his relationship with the world that catered to his relatability and universal appeal. His most notable works are The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell To Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. The latter, for which Hemingway won the Pulitzer and Noble prize in the 1950s has just been adapted into a play by someone who used to fish with Master Hem himself.
Image Via Theguardian.com
AE Hotchner, a friend and longtime biographer of Hemingway’s during the time in which The Old Man and the Sea was written, promised Ernest he would adapt the novella before he died. The story goes, Hemingway went to see the 1958 John Sturges film version of his book with Hotchner and was dissatisfied (this is a nice word). In a recent interview, Hotchner described Hemingway’s reaction to the film:
“He said, ‘You know, you write a book that you really like and then they do something like that to it, and it’s like pissing in your father’s beer’,” Hotchner said. (Hemingway reserved this particular turn of phrase for a handful of hated adaptations of his work, he said.)
The film was miscast and lacked the novella’s vision. Hemingway asked his friend to take a “crack at it” and now, at 101 years old, Hotchner finally has. The subtext of The Old Man and the Sea more or less has to do with success; while writing The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway was under a lot of pressure to reclaim his former glory. In the same way that the fisherman Santiago is after his marlin, Master Hem was after the reaffirmation of his own creativity and self-worth. This part of the story was not conveyed as well in the film adaption, it is the part that AE Hotchner wishes to accentuate on stage. He promised his friend he would.
Image Via cdapress.com
Some people define legacy as the things we leave behind; our relationships, work, and the impression we make on people. It’s easy to get distracted by our careers as we become obsessed with superficial things like money, fame and the fruitless pursuit of immortality. What we can all can take away from Hotchner’s life-long devotion to his friend is a blissful sense of pride in the only immortal thing that has ever existed; beneath it all—the sanctity of human connection. And now, after making a version of Master Hem’s tale for a new audience (not the annoyed teenagers in Mrs. Gross’s high school English class), Hotchner feels he’s honored the connection he once formed with a friend.