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Cocktails to Pair With Your Favorite Fantasy and Horror Books

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Books and drinks are very much personal tastes. What is delicious to one person tastes like hell to another. So we have offered up some, possibly, tasty cocktails that might pair with your favorite fantasy and horror stories.

My first pairing is from one of my favorite short stories for 2021, Badass Moms of the Zombie Apocolypse. A story that was nominated for a Hugo, and rightly so. It is courageous and extraordinary. A story that makes you fist pump with a hearty, “Fuck yeah.” I paired it with a fun zombie shot. I picked a shot because, frankly, you do not have time to lounge with a drink when you are running from the horde.

My second pick was The Purple People Eater cocktail. If you read A Deadly Education, you know that no one is safe, and creatures are eating folks left and right. This cocktail seemed fitting. You will probably have a hell of a hangover drinking these, which also seemed fitting considering the story. A price must be paid.

We turn our attention to a Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers, a story with a much different feel than the first two. While we are running for our lives in the first and hoping not to get eaten in the second, A Psalm for the Wild Built is a balm for the reader’s soul. It is a hopeful glimpse into a better time where humanity makes the right choices. We chose a cocktail that is creamy with honey and herbs. One that is fit to sit by a fire.

While these are all fun pairings that recommend, a few other notable call-outs are,  Psycho Killers in Love by C.T. Phipps is the famous Psycho killer cocktail by The Dead Rabbit, and the smoked whiskey cocktail for The Book Eaters. Which sounds delicious paired with the pages of my favorite tome.

Tell me what you think. Is there a better drink pairing? Can you tell me of another book with a perfect drink pairing?

Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we find more books too read!

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse

by Rae Carson

The Container has to hold..please god let it hold

Short Story Review – Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson

Read It Here

Zombie Brains

Ingrediants

  • 4 part peach schnapps
  • 1 part creme de menthe
  • 2 part Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 part grenadine

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Fill a double shot glass up to about 1/2 full with peach schnapps.
  • Add a splash of creme de menthe to give the shot a green color.
  • Place a small spoon over the top of the shot glass, upside down, and pour the Baileys on top so that it slides off the back of the spoon (doing this makes the Baileys fan out further while pouring, resulting in larger clumps in the shot glass). Make a small layer of Baileys, about 1/4 the size of the shot glass. See above video for example.
  • Holding the grenadine bottle a few inches above the shot glass, add a few dashes of syrup, trying to aim for the bigger clumps of Baileys. Keep an eye on how the Baileys is reacting in the shot glass so that you get the “zombie brain” look that you want.

Image and recipe courtesy of Homemade Hooplah

A Deadly Education

by Naomi Novak

Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.

There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

Review- A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Purple People Eater

INGREDIANTS

  • simple syrup, optional – can use water or juice instead
  • purple sugar, such as sanding sugar (aka sprinkles)
  • 1 1/2 part vodka
  • 1 part blue curacao
  • 1 part sweet and sour mix
  • 1 part grenadine
  • 1 part cranberry juice, can also use cran-grape or grape juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  • On a small plate, add purple sugar. Wet the rim of a glass with simple syrup (or cranberry juice or just water) and gently dab the top the glass in the purple sugar, coating the rim. See above video for example. Set glass aside.
  • Combine vodka, blue curacao, sweet and sour mix, grenadine, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until combined.
  • Fill the sugar-coated glass with ice. Pour purple people eater cocktail mix into glass until full.
  • Serve immediately.

Image and recipe courtesy of Homemade Hooplah

A Psalm for the Wild Built

by Becky Chambers

In A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Hugo Award-winner Becky Chambers’s delightful new Monk and Robot series gives us hope for the future.

It’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They’re going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers’s new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW

Review – A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

Monks Sour

INGREDIANTS

  • 50 ml Bénédictine
  • 25 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 bar spoons of organic honey syrup
  • 1 dash of orange bitters
  • Grated nutmeg
  • 15 ml of egg white

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker
  2. Make sure you add the egg white last
  3. Add ice
  4. Shake hard
  5. Strain into a cup
  6. Garnish with nutmeg
  7. Serve in a wooden cup if you can

Image and recipe courtesy of A Lush Life Manual

Salem's Lot

by Stephen King

#1 BESTSELLER • Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book.

But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at work.

In fact, his hometown is under siege from forces of darkness far beyond his imagination. And only he, with a small group of allies, can hope to contain the evil that is growing within the borders of this small New England town.

With this, his second novel, Stephen King established himself as an indisputable master of American horror, able to transform the old conceits of the genre into something fresh and all the more frightening for taking place in a familiar, idyllic locale.

GWARBAR’S “BALZERAC”

INGREDIANTS

  • 2.5 parts Blackened whiskey (or a heavy pour)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or 1 cube)
  • A heavy dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • A dash of Rumple Minze peppermint schnapps
  • A twist of lemon peel

INSTRUCTIONS

“Chill a lowball rocks glass either in the freezer or by filling it with ice and a little water and letting sit for at least 30 seconds. In a separate mixing glass, muddle sugar and bitters. Add ice to mixing glass. Add Blackened whiskey to mixing glass and stir gently. Dump out ice from rocks glass. Add a few drops of Rumple Minze to rocks glass (be careful to only use a few drops or the mint flavor can easily take over this drink!). Swirl Rumple Minze and dump out (or drink, I’m not judging). Rub the rim of rocks glass with lemon peel. Strain contents of mixing glass into rocks glass. Garnish with lemon twist.”

Image and recipe courtesy of Metal Injection

Chasing Graves

by Ben Galley

Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.

Grave Digger

INGREDIANTS

  • 2 ounces Hard Cider
  • 1 ounce Whiskey (I used Bourbon)
  • Ginger ale, to fill
  • Crushed ice

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a 12-16 ounce tumbler or high ball glass, combine the hard cider and whiskey.
  • Fill the glass with crushed ice. Fill with ginger ale.

Image and recipe courtesy of Boulder Locavore

psycho killer in love

By CT Phipps

About

FROM THE BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF THE SUPERVILLAINY SAGA

What if all the villains of slasher movies were real? What if the movies made about them were just adaptations of real-life killers with supernatural powers? This is a fact known to William and Carrie because their father, Billy the Undying, was one of the worst slashers of all time. So much so that they’ve spent the past decade in an asylum out of fear they’d end up just like him. Escaping, the two have decided to form a new life on the road. Except, a chance encounter in a dingy diner introduces William to the girl of his dreams.

Too bad she’s a girl on a mission to kill all slashers. But maybe the best way to catch a supernatural serial killer is with another pair of them.

Enjoy this exciting prequel to the United States of Monsters books!

check out our review

Review  – Psycho Killers In Love by C.T. Phipps

BookTrack – Psycho Killers in Love by C.T. Phipps

Psycho Killer

Ingrediants

  • 2 ounces Redbreast 12-year-old Irish whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce cocoa nib–infused Campari*
  • 1/2 ounce Marie Brizard white creme de cacao
  • 1/2 ounce Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • 2 dashes absinthe

Instructions

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

“whiskey cocktail by bartending pro Jillian Vose of The Dead Rabbit.”

Drink Pairing - Psycho Killer

Last Smile in Sunder City

By Luke Arnold

A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that’s lost its magic in a compelling debut fantasy by Black Sails actor Luke Arnold.

Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain.

I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me:
1. Sobriety costs extra.
2. My services are confidential.
3. I don’t work for humans.

It’s nothing personal—I’m human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help.

Walk the streets of Sunder City and meet Fetch, his magical clients, and a darkly imagined world perfect for readers of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.

Drink Pairing - Smoked Old Fashioned

Smoked Old Fashioned

Ingrediants

  • Ice 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbs orange bitters
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • Ice
  • Orange for garnish

Instructions

  • Dissolve sugar in the bitters and add liquid smoke.
  • Add whiskey and stir
  • Add ice to whiskey glass
  • Pour drink over ice
  • Garnish with orange

The Skald's Black Verse

by Jordan Loyal Sort

About The Skald's Black Verse

Brohr has been lied to, abused.

All he wants is to live in peace, away from the ignorance of his village, to outrun the raging ghost which haunts him.

But a hidden evil seeks to harness Brohr’s fury.

Accused of murder, hunted by ruthless soldiers, Brohr delves the way of the Skald, unlocking forbidden blood magic as he unearths terrible family secrets.

When the red moon is broken, and all is lost, it’s up to Brohr to lead a rebellion, or face the end of the world

Red Moon Over Manhattan

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Step 1 – Shake all of the ingredients together with ice for 20 seconds.
  2. Step 2 – Spray an orange peel into the cocktail glass and rub the rim of the glass.
  3. Step 3 – Add in the ice sphere and strain the cocktail over the ice.
  4. Step 4 – Add two cherries on a cocktail stirrer to garnish the glass.

Child of the Night Guild

by Andy Peloquin

About Child of the Night Guild

They killed her family. They ripped apart her home. But to repay her debts, she’ll have to sacrifice her innocence.

Robbed of everything she loves, Viola mourns the sudden loss of her mother. Now burdened with an impossible debt to the Night Guild, she’s forced to train as a cunning thief. Subjected to cruelty at every turn, the scrawny criminal apprentice vows to survive long enough to become the kingdom’s best.

Thrown together with unlikely allies, her burgeoning skills draw the attention of sadistic bullies and jealous rivals with dark intentions. But fueled by grief-filled rage, Viola won’t let anything distract her from preparing for The Guild’s most treacherous test.

In a cutthroat den of thieves, can Viola rise to power and outrun a brutal death?

Child of the Night Guild is the first book in the gripping Queen of Thieves epic fantasy series that’s not for the faint of heart. If you like grimdark battles, improbable heroines, and graphic scenes, then you’ll love Andy Peloquin’s unflinching coming-of-age tale.

The Forty Thieves

Ingredients:

1 dash Angostura bitters
0,5 oz ginger & lime syrup
0,5 oz lemon juice
0,75 oz pineapple juice
0,5 oz amaro Ciociaro
0,5 oz amaro Nonino
1 oz rye

Mixing:

Shake all ingredients with fresh ice, strain into a double rocks glass.

Glassware:

Double rocks

About A Wizard's Forge

Wizards are forged, not born.

Victoria of Ourtown lived through a nightmare to become the ruthless soldier known as Vic the Blade. Once she wished to explore the world settled by her spacefaring ancestors; now she thinks only of revenge.

Prince Ashel’s carefree days are filled with music, revels, and dreams of a life with Vic. Those hopes die when the thrust of an assassin’s knife drives him to war.

The target of Vic’s and Ashel’s wrath is Lornk Korng, a tyrant whose schemes stretch across a continent and a lifetime.

A mysterious alien race holds the key to a legendary—and lethal—power. Whoever possesses this power will hold the world in their hands. Will they save it, or doom it?

A gripping tale of empowerment and revenge plays out against a breathtaking backdrop of dark fantasy and science fiction.

Wizard In Black

Single Drink
1½ ounces Ron Zacapa 23 Solera rum
½ ounce cold brew concentrate
¼ ounce Punt e Mes
1 teaspoon Tempus Fugit Crème de Banane
½ teaspoon Demerara Syrup (see Notes)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes (or 20 drops) Salt Solution (see Notes)
Garnish: 1 orange twist

Stir all the ingredients over ice, then strain into a double old-fashioned glass over 1 large ice cube. Express the orange twist over the drink, then add it to the glass.

Freezer Batch
15 ounces Ron Zacapa 23 Solera rum
5 ounces strong cold brew*
2½ ounces Punt e Mes
1½ ounces Tempus Fugit Crème de Banane
¾ ounce Demerara Syrup (see Notes)
1 teaspoon Angostura Bitters
1 pinch of salt

*Adjust for your taste, but I use 2:1 cold brew concentrate to water, or sometimes straight cold brew concentrate at home.

Notes:

To make demerara syrup, combine 2 parts demerara sugar and 1 part water in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 months.

To make salt solution, combine 10 parts water with 1 part kosher salt in a bowl and whisk until the salt has dissolved. Transfer to a dropper or dasher bottle.

Carrie

by Stephen King

About Carrie

Stephen King’s legendary debut, the bestselling smash hit that put him on the map as one of America’s favorite writers 

“Gory and horrifying. . . . You can’t put it down.” —Chicago Tribune

Unpopular at school and subjected to her mother’s religious fanaticism at home, Carrie White does not have it easy. But while she may be picked on by her classmates, she has a gift she’s kept secret since she was a little girl: she can move things with her mind. Doors lock. Candles fall. Her ability has been both a power and a problem. And when she finds herself the recipient of a sudden act of kindness, Carrie feels like she’s finally been given a chance to be normal. She hopes that the nightmare of her classmates’ vicious taunts is over . . . but an unexpected and cruel prank turns her gift into a weapon of horror so destructive that the town may never recover.

Bloody Mary

Ingredients

4 ounces tomato juice

2 ounces vodka

2 dashes worcestershire sauce

2 dashes hot sauce

1 pinch salt

1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Garnishes: Celery stalk, pickle spear, green olives, sprig of parsley

The Book Eaters

by Sunyi Dean

About The Book Eaters

“I devoured this.”—V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue

An International Bestseller
An NPR Best Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction Book of 2022
A Book Riot Best Book of 2022
A Vulture Best Fantasy Novel of 2022
A Goodreads Best Fantasy Choice Award Nominee

A Library Journal Best Book of 2022

Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.

Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon—like all other book eater women—is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairy tales and cautionary stories.

But real life doesn’t always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger—not for books, but for human minds.

PENICILLIN NO. 2 (*note-while the name does not match the book, this cocktail reminds me of the dark smokey atmosphere in The Book Eaters)

2 oz blended scotch (I used Exceptional Malt)

3/4 oz fresh lemon

3/8 oz honey syrup

3/8 oz ginger syrup

Instructions: Shake in your cocktail shaker with ice, and then strain over ice in a chilled rocks glass. Then layer a spoon of Islay scotch (I used Lagavulin 16) over the top. Garnish with candied ginger (made from the ginger pieces I’d boiled into the syrup) and a Filthy Cherry.

To make the ginger syrup, dissolve a cup of sugar into 3/4 cup water. Then add about a cup of freshly sliced ginger and boil for 15 minutes. Let cool.

That Time I got Drunk and Saved a Demon

by Kimberly Lemming

About That Time I got Drunk and Saved a Demon

Spice trader Cinnamon’s quiet life is turned upside down when she ends up on a quest with a fiery demon, in this irreverently quirky rom-com fantasy that is sweet, steamy, and funny as hell.

All she wanted to do was live her life in peace—maybe get a cat, expand the family spice farm. Really, anything that didn’t involve going on an adventure where an orc might rip her face off. But they say the goddess has favorites, and if so, Cin is clearly not one of them.

After Cin saves the demon Fallon in a wine-drunk stupor, Fallon reveals that all he really wants to do is kill an evil witch enslaving his people. And who can blame him? But now he’s dragging Cinnamon along for the ride whether she likes it or not. On the bright side, at least he keeps burning off his shirt.…

Black Devil Martini

Directions

  1. Stir and strain into chilled martini glass, garnish with olive.

To make the ginger syrup, dissolve a cup of sugar into 3/4 cup water. Then add about a cup of freshly sliced ginger and boil for 15 minutes. Let cool.

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