As most of you figured out by now, I spend a lot of my spare time reading, reviewing, and researching books. What some of you don’t know is that I also spend a lot of time researching food and drinks to pair with my bookish moods. Here are some of my recent adult beverage experiments that I’ve met with success:
Code of the Woosters- Vinho Verde
Personally, I’m a big fan of bubbly wines like prosecco and champagne, but when I’m reading I often avoid these drinks as they can give suddenly me a headache without any warning. A nice compromise is a Vinho Verde. These “green” wines are young Portuguese wines that have a lot of bite to them and the slightest of fizziness, without the same potency as true sparkling wines. The alcohol content is generally quite low (2.5-3% ABV), so I can sip on a glass of this and still focus on my reading. They usually have a strong citrus note, and are very reasonably priced (one of my favorite Vinho Verdes costs $6 from my local grocery store). They’re a perfect match for a light read that still includes enough quick-wit in it that you need to stay on your feet.
The Woman in Cabin 10 – Dark n’ Stormy
For a dark mystery set on a tumultuous cruise, what drink could be more aptly named than the Bermuda-based Dark n’Stormy? Be sure to get Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and keep your doors locked while reading this suspenseful novel.
Absalom, Absalom! – Sazerac
As a Southern girl, I play favorites with literature. To me, Faulkner is one of the greatest writers in history, especially for this epic novel. Even though Faulkner is a Mississippi native, he spent a good deal of time in Nola, and the New Orleans Sazerac is a perfect libation to enjoy while untangling the Sutpen family narrative.
Bleak House- Tawny Port
Whenever you think about reading Dickens, do you picture winter nights curled up by a fireplace like I do? And port is the perfect late-night sipping selection. Port is having “a moment” right now in the bar scene, and I must admit I’m kind of a fan. That probably makes me sound like a 65 year old British man, but I’m 100% ok with that. Anyway, port can get quite expensive, but as one of my favorite food and wine writers, Marissa Ross, said: it tastes like waffles covered in maple syrup, so it’s probs worth the splurge.
The Night Circus – Zinfandel
Anyone else obsessed with this whimsically mysterious book? I’ve read it twice, which is a big deal since I rarely get around to re-reads. I paired this with a dark, jammy-spicy Zinfandel my second read and it was a perfect match to the mix of mystery, romance, and suspense The Night Circus provides.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, or really, any Harry Potter book – Pumpkin Beer
Is it just me, or does everyone else automatically think of crisp autumn afternoons, apple cider, and cozy sweaters when you reminisce about your first Harry Potter reading? I always associate Harry with my favorite fall memories, and usually re-read one of the seven greatest books of all time every October. With the play script that came out this summer, however, I have something fresh to read this year!
I know pumpkin-flavored beverages are more than a little #basic, but since the books reference a pumpkin juice, I think in this case it’s acceptable. There’s a million out there for you to try, but I especially enjoy this one.
Other options if you’re not a beer fan? Hard cider is another option to evoke falling leaves and cooler temperatures, or if you’re feeling ambitious you could even make your own butterbeer.
Dracula – Bloody Mary
This is a match made in heaven, because 1) You probably only want to read Dracula in the daylight hours if you’re a Nervous Nelly like me, and 2) the drink name is just absolutely perfect to match with the book. I’m personally not a big fan of tomato juice, so to enjoy a Bloody Mary I need it full of spice to offset the tomato flavor. My husband and I use the Zing Zang mixer and recipe to make our brunch booze.
Whatever you please with Whatever Book You Want
…Because your choice of libation shouldn’t be bound by any rules or reason!
What are your favorite drink pairings with books? Comment below!