Friday, August 1, 2014

Booze & Books

Cocktails for Book Lovers by Tessa Smith McGovern (Sourcebooks hardcover, 1 July 2014).

I'm generally not a cocktail drinker, but this book may change that.

Tessa Smith McGovern, the founder of BookGirlTV, explains in the books Introduction that, growing up, she was obsessed with Virginia Woolf and the seemingly glamorous Bloomsbury Group.  When she moved to the US as an adult, she discovered Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table.

"The elegance of these writers and their Bohemian lifestyle, mixing and mingling over literature and libations! The parties! The cocktails! The witty repartee! It all added up to the most glamorous life I could imagine."

Pleased that cocktails are "in" again, she created this book so that readers can "marry these delectable concoctions with delightful prose and compelling stories".
I was compelled to make a Classic
Champagne Cocktail while reading the book.

The book contains fifty cocktails, each paired with an author in whose work it is mentioned, or in whose era it was popular.  Thus we have the Negus, or mulled wine, that housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax offers to the newly arrived governess in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and the Classic Champagne Cocktail (already one of my favorites) inspired by the newlyweds in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake.

Each entry takes up a double-page spread. On the left-hand page is the author's biography and a very short summary of the work referred to.  On the right hand page is a photo of the beverage, a recipe, and her reasons for choosing that particular one.

Since it's organized alphabetically by author, it's easy to flip through and find your favorite author and corresponding drink.  And not only do you discover a lot of cocktails you may never have tried, your reading list has also increased accordingly.

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the author for sending me a copy of the book to review.

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