Drinking tends to play an influence in so many aspects of writing, from conception, to parts of a story, and even a swelling wave to break the dam of writers block. I think Stephen King said it best during an interview:
“Do you drink?”
“Of course, I just said I was a writer.”
So it was only a matter of time before a book came along to pay tribute to drinking writers, drinking in writing, and combining the two pleasures. Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle is a book of cocktail recipes who’s titles are plays on the books they came from. Some are tweaks on classic cocktails, some seem made up on the spot to go with the book they reference, and others are taken from the books themselves. Here is a whiskey cocktail that pays homage to the city that it came from and that plays the setting for the book it’s from:
A Confederacy of Ounces
- 1.5 oz of Rye Whiskey [Sazerac]
- .50 oz of Anise Liquer [Ricards]
- 3 Dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
- 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
- 1 Tsp of Fine Sugar
- Lemon Twist for Garnish
Take a rocks glass and pour the anise liqueur into it, swirling it around to coat the walls of the glass, add ice and set aside. In a cocktail shaker add the remaining ingredients and shake. Discard the ice in the rocks glass, add one large ice cube, and strain the shaker into it. Garnish with the lemon twist.
The book that this cocktail represents, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, and the cocktail it tweaks, a Sazerac, both share the same background, New Orleans. A Confederacy of Ounces replaces the traditional absinthe wash with anise liqueur [a common substitution] and adds a couple dashes of Angostura bitters along with the Peychaud’s.
But, back to the book, this is a cute and clever little novelty rather than a serious cocktail book. It would make a great gift for a book & booze loving friend or a fun addition to any bar shelf. Alternatively Federle released a companion edition for the more cinematically inclined entitled “Gone with the Gin” which is equally entertaining and occasionally delicious.