Books and Booze: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampire’s and the Chatham Artillery Punch
I fully expected this book to be a fun and light-hearted, maybe sightly cheesy, vampire story, I blame Charlene Harris for making this a thing. Shockingly, it turns out The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampire’s Grady Hendrix is something else entirely. This book was a whole roller-coaster of emotions for me, I actually had to put it down and walk away at one point because I was so furious. What initially sounded like a bit of fluff actually ends up being a scathing indictment of misogyny and white privilege, which I did not see coming. I loved how surprised I was by this book, and I highly recommend reading it.
Last week I asked for suggestions as I was struggling to find a classic cocktail to go with this book, and I’m so glad I did. I had never heard of Chatham Artillery Punch before, but as soon as I read the description in a coldglass.com article calling it “An iron fist in a velvet glove”, I knew that it was the perfect choice for a book about a bunch of Southern ladies slaying vampires. According to the same article this punch was created in Savanah in the 1850’s for a banquet being thrown by the Chatham Artillery Regiment. The original recipe is measured by the bottle, and is absolutely terrifying. With a little math you can make this as a single serving and it’s way tastier than it has any right to be. One word of warning, this punch will hit you like a freight train so drink with caution.
Next weeks read is The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. I would love any of your book recommendations for the upcoming weeks. Scroll down to make your own Chatham Artillery Punch.
Chatham Artillery Punch (original recipe in brackets)
1/2 - 2/3 oz. Lemon juice (12 lemons)
1 oz. Demerara syrup (2 cups raw sugar)
1 oz. Bourbon or Rye (1 750m bottle)
1 oz. Cognac (1 750m bottle)
1 oz. Dark Jamaican Rum (1 750m bottle)
2-3 oz. Champagne (3 750m bottles)
Mix everything, except the champagne, in a shaker with ice (or a punchbowl). Pour contents of shaker including the ice into a glass, I recommend using a tea cup. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon slice.
I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I can not wait until I can order a drink from a bar, eat a meal in a restaurant, and generally leave my house again. In order to mix things up I decided to go shopping… in my own booze stash. I grabbed a bunch of the dustiest bottles from the back of my bar and mixed up a cocktail. This ended up being a pretty fun little exercise and it reminded me that I need to get out of my comfort zone a little bit more often.
This cocktail is a bouquet of floral notes balanced by the relative sharpness of the tequila. I used a fairly large amount of the Creme de Violette because I wanted to achieve a specific color, but I didn’t find that it overpowered the drink, probably due to both the tequila and the addition of the soda. I did use a store bought lavender soda, but it could be easily substituted for homemade lavender simple syrup and club soda.
1.50 oz. Código 1530 Rosa Blanco Tequila
0.50 oz. Crème de Violette
0.50 oz. lemon juice
0.25 oz. Chareau Aloe Liqueur
0.25 oz. St. Germain
Top with Dry Sparkling Lavender Soda
Combine all ingredient, except soda, in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until slightly diluted, pour into coupe. Top with lavender soda.
I didn’t know anything about the book, Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, when I choose it. I’ve seen this book everywhere, and have been avoiding it like the plague. It was pretty much the only thing I could find on loan from the library in ebook format, and I was desperate. This is why you shouldn’t judge a book (especially) by its cover. It’s about private detectives, and even though it’s the fourth in a series, I loved it! It perfectly walks the line of entertaining without being cheesy, and gritty without being boring. The characters are realistically flawed, but not so much that you want to murder them. And oh yeah, Robert Galbraith is actually JK Rowling. You have known this forever I’m sure, but I have been living under a rock. I’m reading the rest of the series immediately!
I don’t want to ruin anything for you, but spoiler alert, this book is about horses. English people and horses? I’m going to have to go with a Pimm’s Cup as my classic cocktail on this one. While this is really the unofficial drink of Wimbledon, it still works for me on a stereotypical level, so you’re going to have to deal with it. I have actually made a Pimm’s Cup before, but this one is directly from the back of the bottle, and its pretty great! James Pimm developed the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup in London in the 1800’s, while it is a top-secret recipe we do know that No.1 is Gin based. This is a really great warm-weather, low ABV cocktail, I highly recommend enjoying while playing croquet, watching horses or to ease the boredom of a tennis match…
Next weeks read is The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. I'm still trying to figure what classic cocktail to pair with it so any suggestions would be appreciated. As always scroll down to see how you can make your very own Pimm's Cup cocktail.
1.50 oz. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
Fever Tree Ginger Ale
Garnish with lemon, lime and strawberry’s
Pour Pimm’s into a glass half full of ice, top with ginger ale.
If you’re anything like me you’ve been stuck at home with your children for more days than you’re willing to count, and things are getting a little scary. Here, at least, we are running dangerously low on washable paint (them) and patience (me). My kids seem to burn through crafts at a ridiculous rate, so any new activities that don’t involve a ton of prep or mess is preferred . Whether you have kids who need entertaining or you’re just bored AF, what could be more fun then making some cocktail umbrellas, creating some fun drinks, putting on some music and having a party!
Here’s what you need:
Now that you have your cocktail umbrellas create a non-alcoholic cocktail and have a party!
This weeks book is Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. This book is full of stories about Jenny Lawson’s colorful and hilarious life. I love Jenny Lawson’s writing, and I’ve actually been saying this book for when I really need something that’s going to make me laugh so hard that I cry. Lately, I have put down more than one book because I can’t handle anything even remotely depressing while being stuck in the house with my children for way too long. If you want to find out how roadkill hand-puppets are funny, and be inspired by someone overcoming all of the bullshit that life can throw at them, read this now! Also, you’ll laugh until moisture drips from your eyeballs… I guarantee it.
I really have no basis for choosing an Americano to go with this book except that Jenny Lawson is American… and I’m pretty sure she would tell me to do what ever the fuck I want. According to thespruceeats.com the Americano was originally created in the late 1800’s at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, Italy. The Americano, originally named a Milano-Torino, is the laid back day drinking version of the Negroni. Equal parts Sweet Vermouth and Campari topped with soda water make this a lighter, brighter version, renamed after its popularity with American tourists. A Negroni is one of my favorite cocktails, so it’s highly embarrassing to admit that not only had I never made one, but I had never even tasted an Americano before. Luckily, I have remedied this and just in time, because I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite summer cocktail!
Scroll down for the recipe to make your own Americano. Next weeks book will be Lethal White by Robert Galbraith if you want to read along. I would love any book suggestions or classic cocktail requests if you’ve got them, leave them in the comments.
1.50 oz. Campari
1.50 oz. Sweet Vermouth
3.00 oz. Soda Water
Garnish with half orange slice
Pour Campari and Vermouth into and old fashion glass filed with ice and top with soda water.
recently made a classic Martini, for the first time…for my Books and Booze series. I have to admit that I’ve been pretty dismissive of vermouth in the past, but I’m coming around to how it might be a thing. So, for this weeks cocktail I thought I would use that classic Martini as inspiration. In addition to gin and vermouth I wanted to make use of some of my lesser used bottles, and so I reached way into the back of my bar and picked out a bottle of Raspberry Eau De Vie.
This martini is very subtle with just the slightest hint of sweetness and raspberry notes that work perfectly with the floral botanicals in Highclere Castle’s Gin. I’m generally a proponent of a shaken drink, but in the spirit of expanding my horizons I’ve been stirring this, and I really can’t complain. If you love a classic Martini but are looking for something a bit different, or you happen to have a bottle of Eau De Vie hanging around the back of your bar, this is a great option.
Eau De Vie
1.75 oz. Highclere Castle London Dry Gin
0.50 oz. Dolin’s Dry Vermouth
0.50 oz. Lillet Blanc
0.25 oz. Etter Waldhimbeere framboise Eau De Vie
1-2 drops Fee Brothers East Indian Orange Bitters
Garnish with lemon twist
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir until chilled and slightly diluted. Strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass, express a lemon twist over the glass and place on the side.
This weeks read is The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey. This is essentially a post-apocalyptic zombie story so if you’re experiencing any anxiety about our current situation you might want to take a pass on reading this right now. If you already started reading it and are now pissed and having a panic attack…I’m sorry, my bad. I actually do mean that, because even though I think that I’m pretty unflappable about these kinds of things, this book was actually a little scary. Even though it might have been the part that scared me the most, I’m in love with the creativeness of using a fungus as the pathogen. I think there is a real lesson about plant-blindness and the earth reclaiming itself from humankind, but maybe I’m overthinking it. If you’ve read this book, what did you think of it? Did you find it scary? Do you think Miss Justineau got what she deserved in the end?
A Zombie was the obvious choice to accompany this book, especially since I’ve already made a Corpse Reviver… I did a little research, and it turns out that there are about a thousand different recipes for a Zombie. This is because Donn of Don the Beachcomber fame, the original creator, was totally paranoid and encoded the recipe, listing ingredients by numbers that corresponded to unlabeled bottles. Thanks to Beachbum Berry’s diligence most of the original recipe has been cobbled together, including the mysterious Don’s Mix. Supposedly, Donn referred to this drink as “the mender of broken dreams” so drinking one of these will make you feel a bit better if this book freaked you out, no more than two as per Donn’s instructions. If you want to read more about this drink or Tiki culture, check out beachbumberry.com. I personally love a good Tiki drink and a good Tiki bar, what’s your favorite?
Next weeks book is Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson. It’s hilarious and not scary at all, I promise. I you want to make your own Zombie scroll down!
0.75 oz. lime juice
0.05 oz. Falernum
1.50 oz. Gold Puerto Rican Rum
1.50 oz. Dark Jamaican Rum
1.00 oz. 151 Demerara Rum
1 tsp. Grenadine
6 drops Pernod
1 dash Angostura Bitters
0.50 oz. Don's Mix
Combine in a blender with 6 oz. of ice and blend for approx. 5 seconds. Pour into a tiki glass and garnish with an umbrella.
Captain’s log, Day 3085… but seriously, let me out of here! Virtual drinks are weird, I don’t like it. I want to be able to say awkward and inappropriate things to your face, it just feels better that way. I mean…can’t wait to talk to you guys tonight!
I feel like happy hour has been creeping earlier and earlier, between the boredom, stress, anxiety, and for many of us longer hours and extra work (I see you parents, I feel your pain). It’s totally understandable. I’m personally always ] all for a low ABV cocktail, still fun and tasty, but won’t knock me on my ass after one drink. So here is a totally customizable low ABV option, perfect for when happy hour just can’t come early enough.
Sloe An’ Easy
2-4 oz. Shcramsberg Tognetti Vineyard Brut Napa Valley Carneros (big glass? Little glass?)
1 0z. Campari
1.oz. Sipsmith Sloe Gin
Q Mixers Soda Water
Fill glass with ice, pour Campari and Sloe Gin into bottom of glass, add sparkling wine (float if you want to be fancy). Top with soda water. Feel free to add more or less or none at all of the sparkling wine.
I don’t think there is another book in existence that will make you want a breakfast cocktail more than Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man. This is one of Hammett’s fantastic detective stories, written in the 1930’s with all of the glamour and cocktails of the era. I loved this book, the 1930”s nostalgia, the twist ending, and most importantly quick talking duo that is Nick and Nora. That’s right your favorite glassware is named after the main characters from this book.
While literally every character in this book drinks constantly, from first waking until late into the night, only a few actual drinks are named. Mostly, the characters are just mixing numerous unnamed cocktails. To me this means a classic (Gin, is there any other kind?) Martini. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never had a classic Martini, as I’ve always ordered them very dry and dirty, like my Nana taught me. Since this cocktail is most likely named after Martini Dry Vermouth, appearing in Frank Newman’s 1904 bar guide, American Bar, as a Dry Martini, the vermouth seems like it might be a key component to this drink. Scroll down for the recipe so you can make your own classic Martini.
Have you read The Thin Man, what did you think of the book? What’s your preferred Martini? Let me know in the comments. And if you’d like to read along, next weeks book will be The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey.
Martini (Meehan’s Bartender Manual)
2.24 oz. Monkey 47 Gin
0.75 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
Garnish: 1 olive
Stir with ice and strain into a Nick and Nora glass. Express lemon peel over the top of the drink and garnish with an olive.