Friday, January 7, 2011

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 1

Photo from
I have an idea for a book that marries my love for reading to my love for cocktails.  So starting with the New Year I'm introducing one book paired with one cocktail recipe the first Friday of every month.  I'm hoping that I can come up with 25 pairings total.  Now, I'm not a mixologist, a bartender or anything like that, but I can mix a pretty good cocktail, and this will give me a chance to experiment (and have fun while I'm at it!).  As far as the books, I'm choosing books that I enjoy.  I know they will tend to go on the "chick lit" side, and I know there is much debate as to this label, but all in all I'm just going with what I know, what I've read, and what I've enjoyed.  As for the drinks I'm going to focus on using ingredients that are accessible to most everyone and can be found in most grocery stores.  Also ingredients that you can make yourself, like infused simple syrups, waters, and teas.  I'm going to be using all of the standard liquors, but I'm warning you now, I tend to gravitate towards vodkaMy first pairing is White Oleander by Janet Fitch and my cocktail The White Astrid.  For this cocktail I wanted the overall result to be white, so I had to think of ingredients that would produce that white milkiness, without using milk (I didn't want a heavy drink tasting of milk).  The end result was a martini made with vanilla vodka, coconut milk, simple syrup and anise extract.  I chose anise because it reminded me of the darkness, turmoils, and betrayals found in the story of Astrid and her enigmatic mom Ingrid.  Overall the drink does have that enigmatic quality because of the hint of licorice, but it is also sweet, creamy but not heavy, and a bit exotic.

The White Astrid
1 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Coconut milk (I used Polar brand coconut milk)
1 oz. Simple syrup (make your own* or use Starbucks Classic Syrup)
1 drop of Pure anise extract
How to: In a cocktail shaker mix ice, vodka, coconut milk, simple syrup and anise.  Shake for at least 30 seconds.  Serve in a chilled martini glass. *To make the simple syrup, take 1/2 a cup of sugar to 1 cup of water and cook over medium heat (watching it and stirring every so often).  When the sugar has dissolved, take the syrup off the heat and let it cool.  Store in a glass jar and refrigerate. 


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  3. Awesome! I have a blog friend named the Tipsy Reader who couples drinks with books :) A lovely combo I always say :)

  4. Ooooh, cool! Her blog looks awesome. :) I love making cocktails, and I love reading, so it seemed a natural pairing. ;)

  5. @Liz, thanks for the comment, I'm going to your blog now.... :)

  6. @Chloe, thank you!! I'm very happy to get the award. :)