Name It, Wear It, Eat It, Drink It

By any other name

Tequila Mockingbird. Margarita Atwood. Purple Mountain Majesty. Rocky Mountain Road. American Beauty. Dragon Girl. What do these things have in common? They’re all names, of cocktails, ice cream, and lipstick, respectively.

Cheers to books!

The cocktails Tequila Mockingbird and Margarita Atwood are literary puns. Literature and cocktails have a long association. From cocktails in literature (see this article from AbeBooks. Or this one from Delicious.) to cocktails inspired by literature (read this piece about Tequila Mockingbird, this list from Open Education Database, or this blog post from The Uncorked Librarian) ideas for literary libations abound.

Do fictional characters eat ice cream?

Book-themed ice cream and beauty products are harder to find than literary libations. While images of James Bond and his martinis and Nero Wolfe and his beer, and apocryphal quotes about the degree of inebriation best suited to writing, come readily to mind, no one thinks as much about a character’s favorite shade of nail polish or preferred aftershave. The Missdemeanors were up to the challenge, however. I asked them, You’ve been hired to create a new cocktail, ice cream flavor, or lipstick color. You have to name it after a book, fictional character, or author. Who’s it named for and what’s it like?

Here’s what they said

Emilya

Ice cream: Blue Velvet — Blueberries and cream with a touch of currants
Drink: Clockwork Orange — Cognac, Grand Marnier, and Orange Juice
Lipstick: Red Dragon

Now, I’m off to make myself a bit of Clockwork Orange.

(Note: Anthony Burgess created a cocktail for his dystopian tale, the Moloko Plus, described in the AbeBooks blog as “A milk-based cocktail with a sprinkling of opiates and hallucinogens.” A bit riskier than Emilya’s. Also illegal. Don’t try it.)

Connie:

Oh, fun! Let’s see—my cocktail would be the Elizabeth Bennet, named for the heroine of Pride & Prejudice:

  • 1 oz English whiskey
  • 1 oz maple syrup
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • 3 oz champagne

My lipstick would be Miss Havisham Rose.

My ice cream flavor would be Howard’s End with sweet cream, biscuits, and peach jam.

Tracee:

Lipstick – A Cold Day in Hell. A Cold Day in Hell lipstick starts off red and intensifies to hotter red as the day goes on.

Ice Cream – vanilla with Maple syrup and cardamom

Cocktail – for the heroine of my WIP, Loretta Mission:

  • 1 1/2 parts bourbon
  • 1/2 part Plum Wine
  • 1 part hot water, mixed with 1/2 part Matcha tea powder and 1 part sugar. 
  • Add the cold liquor to a glass with a large ice cube, then add the ‘hot tea.’ 
  • Top with mint.

Alexia:

These are great ideas! I’m stealing Tracee’s color-changing lipstick idea. I haven’t decided on a cocktail or ice cream yet, but my lipstick will be Ms. Marple. It looks like an understated nude in the tube but goes on a brilliant red. The lipstick for the woman who is often underestimated.

Keenan:

Love it. I’d buy the Ms. Marple. 

Ice cream: Mrs. McCarthy. A blend of clotted cream and strawberries in honor of her award-winning scones.

Drink: Miss Fisher. Absinthe with champagne back. That’s disgusting. Because she’s adventurous and rich.

Lipstick: Agatha Raisin. A hot pink that will never turn orange. It’s her signature color.

Susan:

I’m going to go with Anne Cleeves’s Vera

Ice cream: salty toffee

Lipstick: what lipstick?

Drink: would have to stick with scotch

Michele:

I’ll go with a Permanent Sunset cocktail borrowed from the second book in the Sabrina Salter series:

  • One bottle of gin- the bigger, the better
  • One jar of olives with brine
  • One long straw
  • Pour over ice in a bucket 
  • Drink until you can no longer see the sun

After that, lipstick and ice cream are irrelevant.

(P.S. Don’t try this at home. Fictional characters are more immune to alcohol poisoning than real people.)

Connie:

Michele, so funny!

Alexia:

Okay, I thought of an ice cream flavor—it’s a blend of stout ice cream, black walnuts, and cherries, called Brownstone Blend, in honor of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series.

Hmm, my food naming game has room to improve. Lucky for me, I don’t have to dream up a literary-inspired cocktail. Chantal Tseng, the amazing bartender and sherry expert, created three for me, based on the second Gethsemane Brown novel, Death in D Minor. She read the book then designed drinks inspired by specific lines. Here’s one, with the quote and the page that inspired it.

“One of these days she’d heed Tchaikovsky’s warning.” (P.176) 

  • Boil a cup of cacao shell tea. Add 1 cinnamon stick to the brew. Then, while still hot, add equal parts tea to your honey. Stir until fully integrated and then cool. (Try, for example adding 1/4 c. to 1/4 c. honey)
  • Chill a rocks glass.
  • Add to your shaker:
  • 1.5 oz. Koval Distillery Rye
  • .5 oz. Cacao/Cinnamon-Honey Syrup (1:1)
  • .5 oz. fresh lemon juice*
  • .25 oz. ginger juice** (or a small portion of minced ginger root, skins and all)
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Fill with cracked ice and shake for about 10 seconds. Double-strain into your chilled glass. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and chocolate. (optional)

OR the HOT version:

Add to your Toddy Mug:

  • 1.5 oz. Koval Distillery Rye
  • .5 oz. Cacao/Cinnamon-Honey Syrup (1:1)
  • .25 oz. fresh lemon juice*
  • .25 oz. ginger juice** or just one large disc with slits cut in it
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Stir ingredients and then top with 3 oz. of your hot cacao shell tea. Same garnish.

The wrap up

If you want actual literary lipstick, you may have to pitch the idea to a beauty company. The ice cream you can make for yourself. If you want your very own custom cocktail, you can commission Chantal to make one for you. Or try one of our Missdemeanors’ mixes.

Your Turn

If you were going to create a product inspired by a literary work or figure, what would you call it and what would it be like? Share here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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