“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Covid 19 has had weird effects on all of us, trapped at home. Some of us introverts, myself included, reveled in the beginning for all the reading time I now had. Others have had to find ways to entertain themselves between their four walls. Either way, as we are moving into 2022 and the third year of the pandemic, I am sitting here playing a bit of a game with myself. What alcoholic beverages pair well with some of my favorite fantasy books?
Books and drinks are very much personal likes. What is delicious to one person tastes like hell to another. So we offer 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, Fortunes Fool by Angela Boord is a nod to Silver in her books. And Psycho Killers in Love by C.T. Phipps is the famous Psycho killer cocktail by The Dead Rabbit.
Tell me what you think. Is there a better drink pairing? Can you tell me of another book with a perfect drink pairing? I will put together another list.
Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we are all stuck inside!
Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse
By Rae Carson
The container will hold… please god let it hold
Check Out Our Review
- 4 part peach schnapps
- 1 part creme de menthe
- 2 part Baileys Irish Cream
- 1 part grenadine
- 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.
A Deadly Education
By naomi novik
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.
check out our review
Purple People eater Cocktail
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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
- Add all ingredients to a shaker
- Make sure you add the egg white last
- Add ice
- Shake hard
- Strain into a cup
- Garnish with nutmeg
- Serve in a wooden cup if you can
By Stephen King
Thousands of miles away from the small township of ‘Salem’s Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to ‘Salem’s Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.
- 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
“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.”
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.
Check out our review
- 2 ounces Hard Cider
- 1 ounce Whiskey (I used Bourbon)
- Ginger ale, to fill
- Crushed ice
- 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.
By Stephen King
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.
the ultimate bloody mary
- 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
- If you want a rimmed glass, run a lemon or lime wedge around the lip of the glass then roll in kosher salt. Squeeze the citrus into a mixing glass.
- Mix tomato juice, vodka, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper into the mixing glass and stir vigorously. Taste and adjust ingredients, if needed.
- Strain into glass filled with ice and garnish with desired toppings. Cheers!
By Angela Boord
A secret affair. A disfiguring punishment. A burning need for revenge.
Kyrra d’Aliente has a bad reputation and an arm made of metal.
Cast out of the safe and luxurious world of silk to which she was born, played as a pawn in a game of feuding Houses, Kyrra navigates a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies, and smugglers while disguising herself as a man.
War destroyed her family and the man she loved.
Vengeance is within her grasp.
But is she willing to pay its price?
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1-ounce vodka
- 1-ounce silver rum
- 1/2-ounce pineapple juice
- 1/2-ounce white grape juice
- 1/2-ounce pink lemonade
- 1/2 teaspoon caviar or salmon egg roe
- Place sugar in a small saucer.
- Dip the rim of the Martini glass in water and press rim into the sugar to coat.
- Mix all ingredients, except caviar or salmon egg roe, in a shaker.
- Put the caviar on the bottom of the glass and pour the drink over the caviar.
Rise of the gods
By dyrk ashton
Described as American Gods meets The Avengers and Supernatural meets The Lord of the Rings, Paternus combines myths from around the world in a modern story of action and intrigue that is “urban fantasy on the surface, but so much more at its core!”
Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth.
When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter—and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step.
With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi’s enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems–not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves.
The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore—they’re real. And now they’ve come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that’s been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world’s oldest war has begun.
Paternus: Rise of Gods, is Dyrk Ashton’s critically acclaimed debut novel and the first book in The Paternus Trilogy. It has been compared to works by Neil Gaiman, Scott Hawkins, Roger Zelazny, China Miéville, Joss Whedon, and Kevin Hearne.
Check Out our review
Nectar of the Gods
- Stir raspberry-flavored liqueur and agave nectar together in a tall, thin-sided glass using a spoon. Tilt the glass at an angle and pour in champagne
psycho killer in love
By c.t. phipps
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
- 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
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.”
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.
Smoked Old Fashioned
- Ice 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 tbs orange bitters
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 2 ounces whiskey
- Orange for garnish
- 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