How To

Literary Cocktail Recipes: Summer Edition

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Margret Aldrich

Staff Writer

Margret Aldrich is a writer and recovering book editor who has worked with authors from American Indian activist Winona LaDuke to punk-rock guitar legend Cheetah Chrome. (They were equally intense and equally fantastic.) She is also a former editor, blogger, and librarian at Utne Reader, a magazine celebrating the best of the alternative press. Based in Minneapolis, Margret is a devoted Little Free Library owner who wonders what to do when a Sarah Palin biography shows up in one's LFL. Her book about Little Free Libraries—and how they spark community, literacy, and creativity around the world—came out from Coffee House Press in April. Twitter: mmaldrich

You like books. You just might like booze, too. This summer, why not give your libation a literary twist?

Whether you’re on a patio with your book club or reading at home with the windows open, summertime is the right time for a glass of something cool, refreshing, and full of kick. Here, Tim Federle, author of Tequila Mockingbird, shares three delicious recipes for warm-weather drinks inspired by well-loved novels. Cheers!


Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita

Coarse salt, for cocktail rim

1 ½ ounces tequila

1 ounce lime juice

½ ounce triple sec

1 lime wedge for garnish (optional)

Rim a Solo cup in coarse salt and set aside. Dump all your feelings—er, ingredients—into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain over fresh ice into the salted Solo cup. Or, if you’re feeling classy, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge. This is in Judy Blume’s honor, after all.

The Last of the Mojitos

5 fresh blueberries, washed

3 small, fresh strawberries, washed

8 sprigs fresh mint, washed

½ ounce lemon juice

1 ounce agave nectar

1 ½ ounces light rum

1 (12-ounce can) club soda

Muddle the berries, mint, juice, and nectar in a Collins glass. Add 2 handfuls ice and the rum, give a good stir, and top off with the club soda. Expect a rain dance of happy tears.

And, if you’re hosting book club and need to serve a crowd . . .

The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose

Makes about 8 drinks

10 sprigs fresh mint, washed

1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate

2 cups vodka (like Grey Goose)

Cucumber, sliced into wheels, for garnish

Tear the mint, then place in the pitcher. Add the lemonade concentrate and stir until thawed. Pour in the vodka and 3 cups cold water and stir. Serve over ice, garnish with the cucumber wheels, and remember: age before beauty—if anyone will fess up.

With more literary cocktail recipes like Love in the Time of Kahlua, Vermouth the Bell Tolls, and a Midsummer Night’s Beam, Tequila Mockingbird is a fun liquor-cabinet companion. Federle’s next book, Hickory Daiquiri Dock — full of nursery-rhyme inspired drinks for new parents — comes out this fall.

What’s your favorite quencher when you’re by the pool or on a patio with a good summer read?


Recipes reprinted with permission of Running Press. Image by Adrian Scottow, licensed under Creative Commons