Some of our greatest writers were, to put it bluntly, total boozebags. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ernest Hemingway, among many others, gave their lives to both writing and alcoholism. That being said, some of the best books written beg for an alcoholic accompaniment. Exercise restraint when drinking—moderation is key (you want to be undrunk enough to turn the pages).
The Catcher In The Whiskey Rye
Underaged Holden has an affinity for scotch and soda, but his spirit drink has to be an Old-Fashioned. Make it yourself with some Angostura bitters, 2 ounces of whiskey, a little club soda, a flick of sugar, and an orange slice. Best enjoyed in a dark city bar while contemplating your existence.
The Gin Fitzey
People say F. Scott Fitzgerald loved gin because it’s undetectable on your breath. Sounds good. So we look to the Gin Rickey, a drink that appeared in The Great Gatsby and is made of gin, lime juice, sugar, and club soda to make it deliciously fitzey.
Madeleine L’Engle’s works call for a traditional margarita—2 ounces tequila, 1 ounce Cointreau, and some lime juice. If you want that Wrinkle In Time effect, drink several of these fast.
The Taming of the Shrewdriver
The Taming Of The Shrew is the name of the play within the play put on for Christopher Sly, the protagonist who is tricked into believing he’s a lord when he is incredibly drunk (certainly not the worst trick that can be played on you when you’re three sheets to the wind). Since alcohol is the impetus of this tale, a Taming Of The Shrewdriver, a classic mix of orange juice and vodka, is the perfect drink.
Combine a Tequila Sunrise (Tequila and orange juice) with an Alabama Slammer (gin, Southern Comfort, triple sec, Galliano, and more orange juice) and you’ve got the perfect drink to sip while reading To Kill A Mockingbird.
The Tequila Sunrise Also Rises
Another Tequila Sunrise recipe, this one with a splash of tomato in honor of The Sun Also Rises’s focus on the fiesta at Pamplona. Hey—nobody said these recipes had to be delicious.
Bloody Mary Shelley
There couldn’t be a more appropriate drink to honor Ms. Shelly than a classic Bloody Mary stirred with a stick of celery that is carved to look like the face of Frankenstein. Easy, peasy.
Sex On The Chisel Beach
Those who have read On Chisel Beach by Ian McEwan know that sex on Chisel Beach is nonexistent. This cocktail is 2 ounces vodka, ½ ounce peach schnapps, 2 ounces cranberry juice, and 2 ounces orange juice—but go ahead and hold the vodka for this sober, sexless party.
In honor of Daisy Miller, the Henry James novel about an Italian-smooching American who (spoiler alert!) dies of Roman Fever, this drink combines the highly flammable Roman Black Sambuca with fire to make you really feel closer to death.
The Samuel Beckett
The Samuel Beckett is an empty glass. If you don’t get it, read Waiting For Godot.