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7 Cocktails Inspired by Your Summer Reading List

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7 Cocktails Inspired by Your Summer Reading List
Grab a book and a perfectly paired cocktail from our must-read summer reading list. Photo Credit: Stocksy/Kayla Snell

Your flights are booked and your suitcases are packed, and now it’s time to find exceptional summer reads for 2018. This season, set time aside for some new releases and stories that are soon to grace our screens — and definitely include time for refreshing libations to pair with them.

Inspired by the books everyone will be reading this summer, Kate Young (cookbook author and blogger at The Little Library Cafe) offers recipe suggestions for cooling summer cocktails. Some of these drinks are straight from the hands and mouths of the characters themselves. Others are inspired by the worlds where these books take place — for instance, “Crazy Rich Asians” paired with a Singapore sling by the pool or at the beach. Now that’s a pretty good combo, if you ask us.

Bloody Mary From “Little Fires Everywhere”
The beauty of the bloody mary is how easily it adapts to your preferences. Photo Credit: Kate Young

Bloody Mary From “Little Fires Everywhere”

Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, “Little Fires Everywhere,” by Celeste Ng, opens with the large Richardson home in flames. We’re then taken back a year earlier, as visual artist Mia Warren and her teenage daughter Pearl arrive in town and begin renting the Richardson’s second property across town. The book cleverly knits together the Richardsons and the Warrens and peels back the cheerful suburban veneer of Shaker Heights. The book was optioned by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington and will be filmed as an eight-episode drama starring both women.

The Bloody Mary is the perfect pairing for “Little Fires Everywhere,” a drink seen on brunch tables from the city to the suburbs. Pair it with poached eggs, good sourdough and plenty of small-town gossip. Feel free to make your Bloody Mary as fiery as you like, but be warned: A little hot sauce goes a long way here — especially with the horseradish.

Recipe and Nutritional Information: Bloody Mary From “Little Fires Everywhere”

Brooklyn Cocktail From “Halsey Street”
The Brooklyn cocktail has recently had a surge in popularity that it hasn’t seen since prohibition. Photo Credit: Kate Young

Brooklyn Cocktail From “Halsey Street”

After years spent trying to carve out a career as an artist in Pittsburgh, Penelope returns home to Brooklyn to care for her father and finds herself in a place she no longer recognizes. Her mother has left for the Dominican Republic, and gentrification in the area means Brooklyn is a different neighborhood than the one in which she grew up. The story shifts between Penelope and her mother, Mirella, and explores the complicated relationship between mother and daughter and what it means to search for a sense of home.

While the drink called the Manhattan is still the most well known, each of the five New York City boroughs has its eponymous cocktail. The Brooklyn, particularly distinctive for its use of maraschino liqueur and rye whiskey, fell out of favor following prohibition, but it has experienced a resurgence in popularity during the latter part of the 20th century.

Recipe and Nutritional Information: Brooklyn Cocktail From “Halsey Street”

Irish Whiskey Sour From “Conversations With Friends”
While the classic whiskey sour contains bourbon, this version swaps in Irish whiskey. Photo Credit: Kate Young

Irish Whiskey Sour From “Conversations With Friends”

"Conversations With Friends” is Sally Rooney’s brilliant debut: a story set in Dublin after the financial crash about being a woman in her early 20s, about love and sex and about politics and art. It follows friends and ex-lovers Frances and Bobbi as they encounter an older married couple, Nick and Melissa. The writing is captivating, and Rooney has a second novel out later this year that is destined to be a hit.

Sharp and strong, the whiskey sour is the ideal companion to Frances’ story. Though the classic whiskey sour contains bourbon, Irish whiskey is a welcome alternative here and a much-appreciated nod to the Dublin-based narrative.

Recipe and Nutritional Information: Irish Whiskey Sour From “Conversations With Friends”

Missouri Mule From “Sharp Objects”
Ironically, the Missouri mule was created in London for President Harry S. Truman. Photo Credit: Kate Young

Missouri Mule From “Sharp Objects”

If your only experience of Gillian Flynn is the best-selling, genre-defining “Gone Girl,” you are in for a treat. Her debut, “Sharp Objects,” follows journalist Camille Preaker from Chicago back home to Wind Gap, Missouri, where she returns to report on the murder of a young girl. While there, she reconnects with her estranged family. Expect twists, turns and dark, gothic horror from this one.

Created by head barman Joe Gilmore in the American Bar at London’s Savoy Hotel, the Missouri mule was first served to President Harry S. Truman (commemorating his home state of Missouri). It’s also wonderfully potent — the kind of drink you'll need to take the edge off about halfway through “Sharp Objects.”

Recipe and Nutritional Information: Missouri Mule From “Sharp Objects”

Margarita From “When Life Gives You Lululemons”
Margaritas are eponymous with summer and easy-to-read poolside novels. Photo Credit: Kate Young

Margarita From “When Life Gives You Lululemons”

More than a decade after the events of “The Devil Wears Prada,” Emily (Miranda’s other assistant, immortalized in a scene-stealing role by Emily Blunt in the film) is back. She’s an image consultant now, reshaping and reframing the lives of Hollywood stars. After a job takes her to Connecticut, Emily forms tight bonds with a new client and their mutual friend — and shenanigans ensue. And that’s all before Miranda Priestly makes a welcome reappearance.

In the first chapter, Emily stands poolside at a party in Los Angeles, a margarita in hand. A wonderfully refreshing summer drink, it’s great made in batches for a party (or just enough for one) and enjoyed in the sun.

Recipe and Nutritional Information: Margarita From “When Life Gives You Lululemons”

Singapore Sling From “Crazy Rich Asians”
The Singapore sling is as tasty and delightful as “Crazy Rich Asians.” Photo Credit: Kate Young

Singapore Sling From “Crazy Rich Asians”

Before you seek reprieve from the summer heat in the movie theater by watching “Crazy Rich Asians,” first read Kevin Kwan’s novel on which the movie was based. The book follows New Yorker Rachel Chu as she travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, to attend the wedding of his best friend. The book shifts perspectives between Rachel and Nick as well as Nick’s mother and his cousins, Astrid and Edison. The novel provides plenty of fun as it balances an enormous cast of characters, opulent parties and complicated family politics.

Famously developed at Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Singapore sling has become famous around the world. While the recipe has varied over the hundred or so years since its inception, it is usually made with gin, pineapple juice, lime and cherry brandy. This slick, modern version (served with ice and a wedge of lime) is ideal for sipping while reading this page-turner.

Recipe and Nutritional Information: Singapore Sling From “Crazy Rich Asians”

Martini From “Still Me”
A martini, as iconic as the Empire State Building, is a must-sip alongside this New York City-based story. Photo Credit: Kate Young

Martini From “Still Me”

A couple of years after the events of the best-selling “Me Before You,” Lou Clark is back — this time in New York City. Struggling to reshape her life after Will’s death and live life as boldly as she promised, she moves to the States to take on a job as assistant and companion to a wealthy socialite. Torn between the glitz and glamour of the new job and the library and vintage clothes stores downtown that feel more like home, Lou struggles with life away from her family. But she also longs to find a place in New York and build a life that she finds rewarding.

The classy New York cocktail is the ideal companion to Lou’s story of rags to riches. According to folklore, the first dry martini was created at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Manhattan in the early 20th century. And while it can be made with gin or vodka, to stay true to the classic version, make it with gin.

Recipe and Nutritional Information: Martini From “Still Me”

What Do YOU Think?
Tell us what you think! Photo Credit: Happy Hour

What Do YOU Think?

What is your favorite summer cocktail? Have you read any of these books yet? Which combination will you enjoy first? Let us know in the comments below!

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