There's a Drink for That: National Book Reader's Day

Ahhh. There’s nothing like a lazy Sunday. You can sit back, listen to music, take a bit of the hair of the dog that bit you if you went a little too hard on Saturday, or maybe read that book you’ve been neglecting.

Oh, right – it’s National Book Reader’s Day, a celebration of all things literary. In that spirit, consider having a little pour with your pages. An old English professor of mine once said that the only way to really read was in a comfy chair with good scotch in one hand and your material in the other. (On second thought, maybe she was talking about grading papers… same basic concept, right?) In that spirit, here’s what you should be drinking based off of what you’re reading (or, if you want to skip the hard work of reading and just go straight to celebrating, what you would be reading, if you weren’t busy drinking.)

Genre: Fantasy | Drink: Flaming Dragon

What you’re reading: From Game of Thrones to Harry Potter, you will read anything with some kind of discernible or implied magic system in it. Sure, maybe you lean more towards that Middle Earth high fantasy life, or maybe modern urban fantasy like the Dresden Files series is more your style… but if there’s one thing all fantasy fans can agree on – and this might be literally the only thing we can all agree on – it’s that dragons and dragon-themed things are cool as hell.

What you’re drinking: A shot that is also cool as hell. Here’s your poison:

  • one ounce Green Chartreuse, or good absinthe, if you can find it and don’t need to do anything tomorrow
  • one ounce rum
  • a lighter
  • a shot glass, preferably that commemorative one you bought at the Renaissance Faire last year

Mix your liquor together (we’re not doing a floater here) and pour into the shot glass. Light on fire. Ooh and ahh for about fifteen seconds, then blow the damn thing out and take the shot unless you want to look like Melisandre mistook you for a statue of the Seven.

Genre: Literary Fiction | Drink: Alabama Slammer

What you’re reading: Well, anything you had to read for a course at some point or that your kids will someday have to read for a course. This can range from David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” to “A Portrait of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, but if you’re the kind of person who reads Good Literature for fun, odds are you’re thumbing through Harper Lee’s much-anticipated – and very controversial – second release about race, politics, and family in Maycomb, Alabama.

What you’re drinking: Short version: Enough. Long version: a Southern cocktail with enough booze in it to quell your guilt about reading the first draft of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which Lee may never have wanted to release, because you can’t quite overcome the voyeuristic urge to see what everyone’s talking about. Here’s what you need:

  • an ounce (or, like, three) of Southern Comfort
  • an ounce of sloe gin
  • an ounce of amaretto (or amaretto to taste)
  • two ounces of orange juice
  • a maraschino cherry
  • a shaker
  • a highball glass

Combine all your liquid ingredients into the shaker, shake it up, and pour over ice into your highball glass.

Genre: True Crime | Drink: Rusty Nail

What you’re reading: Maybe you’re digging through “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson, an examination of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and H. H. Holmes, the serial killer who set up shop in a booby-trapped hotel of his own design and killed fairgoers with almost-impunity. Maybe you’re glancing over “Blind Rage” by Anita Paddock, a story about a murdered town matriarch in Van Buren, Arkansas. Maybe you’re just a grocery store paperback peruser who always gravitates to the true crime novels. Whatever the case is, you love digging through anything to do with strange psychology, gorey scenes, and murder most foul.

What you’re drinking: A cocktail with a hard name but a bit of a sugary-sweet aftertaste to fortify you while you’re reading about all those dirty deeds and bitter hearts. If you want it dry, you can alter the recipe so it’s a 4:1 ratio of Scotch to Drambuie and feel like a hard-boiled film noir detective. Here’s what you want:

  • two ounces Scotch
  • an ounce Drambuie
  • lemon twist
  • an old-fashioned glass, if you’re fancy; a flask, if you want to feel extra noir (which entails a lot more Scotch and Drambuie if you want to fill it)
  • a couple of Google sessions along the lines of “is it weird that I watch so much Criminal Minds”

Pour your booze over ice, if you’re using a glass, or straight in a flask if you’re feeling brave. Slouch in a doorway for extra detective points.

Genre: Sci-Fi | Drink: Water of Life

What you’re reading: Anything from Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” to pretty much anything Ursula LeGuin has ever written. Maybe you’re kicking it old school this weekend and revisiting Frank Herbert’s Dune series. In that case – great, because that’s where this cocktail comes from.

What you’re drinking: A little bit of everything, frankly, but it looks cool and doesn’t taste terrible. In fact, the flavor profile of the drink shifts from sip to sip, just as its namesake tastes different every time you try it in Herbert’s novels. (Unlike the other cocktails on this list, this one’s origin is in fact traceable; more where this came from here.) Here’s what you need:

  • One ounce gin
  • One ounce absinthe
  • One ounce ginger liquer
  • One ounce Green Chartreuse
  • 1.5 ounces cinnamon schnapps
  • 1.5 ounces blue curacao
  • some sort of container to drink it from
  • some aspirin for tomorrow morning

Pour this weird mix and stir with ice. Imbibe as you brood over the lack of commercial jet packs.

What are your favorite book-and-booze pairings? Let us know in the comments.

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Ed Hirtzel is the Summer 2016 Fly intern. She’s currently an English Honors student at Millersville University. Her hobbies include scribbling, writing both fiction and nonfiction, and compiling useless information about cryptids.

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