Friday, August 5, 2011

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 8

Photo from
I've had Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on my reading list for quite some time and I have to say that I'm glad that I kept it on my list.  I gave it a solid 5 stars and it sure brought me to some bitter and sweet tears at the end.  However, I'm not basing the cocktail paired with this book on the story itself, which has to do with internment camps during World War II, lost love, and bridging cultures, instead I'm basing it on the idea of bitter and sweet, like the title suggests.  I'm doing my version of a whiskey sour, using both lemon juice and orange juice, as well as a simple syrup and calling it A Bittersweet Corner (substitute the simple syrup with grenadine and you have yourself a Ward 8).  Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry and indulge in a very potent bittersweet concoction that is actually quite drinkable.  The bite of the lemon enhances the potency and taste of the whiskey, and then you get the sweetness of the oranges and the simple syrup.  Very refreshing.  I didn't have any fresh oranges or cherries on hand, so I went sans garnish.  Also, I used a rocks glass, but you could also use a highball or a martini glass (without the ice).

Missing some embellishment, but still enjoyed this tangy drink

Production of Maker's Mark bourbon whiskey began in 1954 and the first bottle was produced in 1958. It's distinctive red wax seal is patented and for many years the Kentucky bourbon's tag line was "It tastes expensive... and is".
Come to mama!

This is actually the perfect drink to enjoy whilst listening to some jazzy tunes.  The Seattle jazz scene has a pivotal role in this book, especially one of its pioneers, Oscar Holden.  You can find a little more information on him if you click here.  There isn't much on YouTube for Oscar, but I did find a couple songs sung by his daughter Grace.  Or you could also just look up jazz from the forties, which is when half of the story takes place in Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  Here is a tune that caught my ear. 

A Bittersweet Corner
1 oz. Bourbon whiskey
1 1/2 oz. Lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. Orange juice
1 oz. of Simple syrup*
In a cocktail shaker mix ice, bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup.  Shake for at least 20 seconds.  Strain into a short glass tumbler or rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a thin slice of orange and a cherry.  *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.


  1. LOVE your book and cocktail meme.

    Just letting you know that you probably want to stop by my blog and check out my latest blog post. ;)

  2. Hi Lari!! Thanks for the comment - I just visited your blog and it is beautiful! I started following you :)


  3. Thanks! I was happy to nominate you for the Liebster! Your blog is awesome.



  4. I found you on Goodreads and you have "won" an award for your blog at