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Fun Literary Cocktails

Oct. 1, 2016
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Want to bring a sophisticated edge to Book Club this week? Never fear, your pun-tastic cocktails are here to save the day and earn your squad some major street cred. 

Bonus points if you decorate your book club space with some typewritten quotes about alcohol. 

Tequila Mockingbird

Several sources claim to be the OG pun masters of this fantastically dubbed drink, and who can blame them? It’s a one-of-a-kind confection that even Atticus Finch would have enjoyed (To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus, obviously. We don’t have to talk about Go Set a Watchman Atticus). 


  • 3 oz. tequila
  • .75 oz. lime juice
  • .25 oz. grapefruit juice
  • .75 oz. agave syrup 
  • 1 jalapeno pepper 
  • 1 strawberry slice 

Suggested side: a slice of ham. 

Catcher in the Rye Whiskey

Before there was the seventh-grade-emo-phase of the early 2000s, there was Holden Caulfield. Holden would have loved this drink as much as we loved listening to Green Day on our iPod Minis.


  • 2 fingers of Wild Turkey rye whiskey
  • No ice. Be a man 

Suggested place to drink this: in a hotel room by yourself

Butterbeer for Adults


  • 1 bottle cream soda
  • 3 oz. whipped cream flavored vodka
  • 2 oz. butterscotch schnapps

You know the turn-up was real in the Three Broomsticks. For those of us who are still waiting for our Hogwarts letter ten years after it was supposed to arrive, there are other alternatives to partying in Hogsmeade. This tasty butterbeer recipe is highly recommended as a precursor to firewhiskey. 

Suggested time to make this: After you read Cursed Child and need to discuss bromance. 

The Bell Mason Jar


  • 12 oz. vodka
  • 1 mason jar, disdainfully selected from Pinterest 

Suggested side: anything but crab meat 

Esther Greenwood’s coming-of-age tale continues to resonate with young adult women decades after it was published because it offers an honest depiction of a difficult life phase – and because Sylvia Plath knew that supposedly glamorous internships are not always so. If you, like Esther, need a reprieve from your own less-than-satisfying work experience, take the night off in true [selectively] Sylvia style!

Suggested decorative quote: “I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.” 

Hemingway’s Sangria

For one of the most prolific American authors of all time, Hemingway sure did spend a lot of time extolling the virtues of other countries – as eloquently as possible, of course. The famous running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain inspired Death in the Afternoon, a must-read for anyone with dreams of becoming a wanderlustful expat. 


  • One bottle of red wine
  • 2 apples
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon 
  • ¾ cup brandy
  • 2-3 cups of sparkling water
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur

Suggested side: rabo de toro. Take the bull by the horns. 

Gatsby’s Gin Rickey


  • 4 oz. gin
  • ½ lime 
  • .5 oz club soda 

No literary drink list is complete without at least one Gatsby reference. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the Roaring Twenties, from the all-night parties to the institutionalized sexism. Nick Carroway makes a batch of gin rickeys to assuage one of the many hilariously awkward moments that arise when Gatsby and Daisy are reunited: “We drank in long, greedy swallows.” 

Suggested garnish: a green umbrella so bright you can see it from across the bay, or a green olive that resembles an all-seeing eye. 

Now you’re all set for your next scholarly gathering, book club meeting, or Emily Dickinson-themed frat party. Enjoy! 

Cover Image by Jodeci Zimmerman