Cocktails Taken from Classic Literature

8th January 2024

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In the UK, September is the start of a brand-new school year. While the children are perusing great works of fiction by famous authors, looking for meanings between the lines and appreciating the great stories, we can take some cocktail inspiration from these books. Many a classic cocktail has been mentioned in literature, with some stories even being the birthplace for some of our favourite beverages! Here are some of our cocktail-novel picks - perhaps they might inspire you to get reading too!

The Great Gatsby: The Mint Julep

A book that centres on the party scene of the roaring twenties, the characters are rarely seen without a drink in their hand! The Mint Julep is one of these beverages, mentioned during an argument between Daisy, Tom and Gatsby. This simple combination of mint, sugar and bourbon is a delicious nod to those intoxicating times that is sure to make you want to don a flapper girl dress or a gangster suit.

Love in the Ruins: The Gin Fizz

A super-smooth cocktail comprising of gin, lemon juice, soda and sugar, the Gin Fizz is a delight for the cocktail enthusiast. In this incredible work of science fiction, Thomas More is quite a fan too. Unfortunately, his recipe also included eggs and aggravated an allergy with disastrous consequences. A satirical story of love, mental confusion and the degradation of society, this a novel that is well worth a read, obviously enjoyed with an egg-free Gin Fizz.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: The Hot Toddy

A favourite drink of Brick Pollitt, the Hot Toddy is soothing, warming and full of whiskey - which is why it appeals so much to the story's protagonist. Presented as an alcoholic who drinks to make himself feel peaceful, Pollitt may have had issues, but he certainly had good taste when it came to cocktails. Made of scotch, honey, lemon juice, sugar and cloves, we recommend enjoying a Hot Toddy responsibly.

The Sun Also Rises: The Jack Rose

Another novel that romanticises the idea of alcohol dependency, The Sun Also Rises focuses on a couple who travel from Paris to Spain, navigating the nightlife and cultural differences as they do so. The Jack Rose is enjoyed by Jack Barnes in a Paris hotel, which is made with Applejack, grenadine and lemon juice.

Casino Royale: Vesper Martini

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James Bond is responsible for the creation of this elegant drink. ian Fleming was very specific in his directions for making it: "Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel." This was the first time this drink was brought into public consciousness and it is now considered to be one of the classics. 

Next time you settle down to read a good book, make sure to inspiration from the characters in your complementing drink!

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Bartender's top tip

Keep your cocktail costs down. If you have favourite spirits or ingredients to make your cocktails, buy bigger bottles to keep your costs lower.

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