Summer cocktails. For writers and characters alike.

TRACEE: Any special summer cocktails on the menu this time of year for you or your characters? Living in Switzerland, Agnes Luthi typically relaxes with a glass of regional white wine in a traditional Swiss wine glass. Now, due to events at the end of A Well-Timed Murder she is also indulging in some special “homemade” although about-to-be-marketed fruited brandy.   

CONNIE: Since The Suffolk Rose Tea Room is a favorite in the fictional village of Long Barston, I think my protagonist, Kate, would love this wonderful frozen summer wine cocktail:

Frozen Suffolk Rosé (serves 4)

1 c. ice cubes 

1 c. chilled rosé wine

1 c. chilled pink lemonade

1 c. ripe strawberries, stemmed and halved 

4 whole ripe strawberries for garnish

dash of lime juice

Chill 4 large wine glasses. Place ice in blender followed by the wine, lemonade, strawberries, and lime juice. Pulse 2 or 3 times, then blend for 30 seconds, or until you achieve a slushy consistency.   Make a small cut on the bottom of each whole strawberry, stopping just before you reach the middle. Pour your Frozen Rosy Slush into chilled wine glasses and park a strawberry on the rim of each.

ALISON: After Connie’s recipe, I must admit I’m rather looking forward to trying these drinks! 

My contribution is a classic Caipirinha. Abish’s mother loved Lime Rickeys, but being Mormon, her drink was a virgin version. (I couldn’t resist that alliteration; say it ten times fast!). Abbie is generally a wine girl–though she’s been known to have a few fingers of Scotch every now and then with Flynn–but her affinity for dry, even acidic, wine means she’s a natural for this lime-based drink. Anthony Bourdain once described the caipirinha as the perfect cocktail. I agree.


4 limes

1/2 cup sugar 

Ice cubes

Cachaça (I like Leblon)

Quarter each lime lengthwise, and cut each quarter in half crosswise. Divide lime segments between two glasses. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar (or less, if you like it tart like I do), then muddle until sugar dissolves. Fill each glass with ice and one or two jiggers of cachaça. 

Then make more.

ROBIN: Oh that sounds yummy. Emma Quinn is a wine girl, too. She’s a native San Franciscan with close proximity to Napa, so how could she not be? If someone else is buying, though, she’d prefer a top shelf Margarita made with organic tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh-squeezed lime, no salt, no sugar.

CONNIE: Alison, that’s a new one for me. Will definitely try it!

ALISON: Hope you like it, Connie! I sometimes top it off with seltzer so it sparkles a bit.

ALEXIA: I’m going to go to the Deerpath Inn tonight and research my answer to this question. 

TRACEE: Then I’ll check your Instagram feed! I rely on it for cocktail inspiration. One day I will have to visit the Deerpath Inn.

CATE: I would like to pair a glass of Durrell Vineyards Rose with my book One Little Secret. The color of the cover is a match. 

MICHELE: Sabrina Salter’s drink preference has been well documented in my books set in St. John and in a wonderful book, Cocktail Noir, by Scott M. Deitche. He’s one of Gina’s clients so we’re all related, right? Sabrina enjoys lemon vodka (Crop Organic Meyer Lemon is terrific) with fresh lemon juice shaken so it’s very cold and poured into a martini glass rimmed with sugar. I’ve attached a portion of Sabrina’s 15 minutes of fame in Cocktail Noir. It was so much fun!

LAURIE: Lane Sanders does love her cocktails, as did everyone in the late 1930s;-). For a summery drink, she goes for a Flora Dora. For parties I’ve made a pitcher of the gin or vodka, lime and framboise. Then had ginger ale and lime slices on the side so people could make their own. You can also substitute raspberry purée for the framboise. 


(Named after a Broadway musical hit from the early 1900’s)

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin (or vodka if you prefer)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce framboise liqueur
  • Ginger ale
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Pour the gin, framboise, and lime juice into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a lime wedge.

PAULA: For Mercy Carr, it’s all about wine, no matter what the season. Namely Big Barn Red, from Vermont’s own Boyden Valley Winery. 

ALEXIA: I don’t normally go for fruity, frilly drinks but I got bad news about my dad today–he fell and broke his hip–so I needed a silly, summery drink to cheer me up. So, Pimm’s Cup is my cocktail of choice. Gethsemane would probably go for something more sensible, like a Sazerac.

The Pimm’s Cup

Hendrick’s gin

Pimm’s No. 1

Ginger beer

Lemon Lime soda

Fresh berries, cucumber, and mint

A flower

MICHELE: Let me know where and when I can meet Gethsemane for a Sazerac. On Cape Cod we’d have one with a bowl of Wellfleet oyster stew. 

ALEXIA: Michele,at the Deerpath Inn, where else?

SUSAN: Maggie Dove is an Old-Fashioned, of course, but a spicy one! Here’s a recipe with jalapeno peppers.

Spicy Old Fashioned

1 ½ ounce Rye

1 ½ ounce Bourbon

1 slice Orange

1 or 2 Jalapeno pepper slices

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

1 teaspoon of Spicy Jalapeno Simple Syrup* (Recipe below)

Stir ingredients together. Shake briefly. Pour onto ice.

*Recipe for Jalapeno Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, washed and stemmed

Put sugar and water in a saucepan. Cook at medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Slice jalapeno and add to pan. Boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steep for 20 minutes. Put through a strainer to remove all the pepper.

Then put the syrup in a sealed glass container and store in the refrigerator.

TRACEE: Thanks everyone! Plenty of time left this summer to try all of these!

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