Books Inc. in Alameda store manager Nick Petrulakis has been known to mix a cocktail now and then. 

In this monthly feature, Nick creates a cocktail to go with one of his favorite books for the month.

Drinks_with_Nick's blog

Craig Johnson’s collection, Wait for Signs, signals October with its cover image of an owl backlit by a full moon, and one of its stories, Fire Bird, inspired this month’s drink.  Breaking and Entering Bourbon takes pride of place in honor of the star of Mr. Johnson’s tales, Sheriff Walt Longmire, and Gunpowder Tincture adds a smoky accent. 

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so there’s a shot of Tabasco, too.  Trick or treat!


Fire Bird
2 oz. Breaking and Entering Bourbon    
.5 oz  Gunpowder Tincture
.25 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Tabasco
Combine all and stir with ice.  Strain into a chilled canning jar and garnish with an orange twist.

Captain Marlow

2 oz. Knappogue Castle 12-year-old Irish whiskey
1 oz. Warre's Otima 10-year-old tawny port
.25 oz. Grand Marnier
10 drops Urban Moonshine Maple Bitters
1 tsp. lemon juice

Stir all with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

It's cause for celebration when David Mitchell releases a new novel. Since September brings us The Bone Clocks, we bring you the Captain Marlow.

The Irish whiskey is a nod to the background of Mitchell's main character, Holly Sykes. Port, though, adds a bit of posh because Hugo Lamb - the dark to Holly's light - might think just the whiskey would be slumming. He'd be wrong, of course, but Hugo's wrong about a lot of things.

Sláinte!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I asked my wife, Karen, what color she’d paint a horse, she didn’t hesitate. “Red,” she said, “of course.” Perfect, I thought, because when Catherine, in Malcolm Brooks’ masterful Painted Horses, meets her first mare in Montana, she thinks she’s stumbled upon the ghost of a war pony, its stamping legs painted with bands of red and yellow. With that image in mind, I crafted my own Painted Horse. Like a mustang, it’s small, but packs a kick.

Painted Horse #2
Grenadine
Kahlúa
Baileys Irish Cream
Rye

Float carefully, in the order given, by pouring each over the back of a bar spoon into a chilled pony glass. Enjoy!  

 

Jack & Lydia
5 oz. Tsingtao beer
1 oz. Galliano
2 shakes Bar Keep Chinese bitters
Stir all gently with ice. 
Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.

Summer is everywhere, so our cocktail is a thirst quencher in honor of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. 

Complications arise in her novel when a young, blonde college student marries her Chinese American professor – in 1958. 

While there aren’t many Chinese cocktail ingredients available in the states, Tsingtao beer is one – and beer cocktails this time of year go down easy.


 

 

 

 

This month’s cocktail inspiration is Fourth of July Creek  by Smith Henderson.  Named after the first of many bars in Smith Henderson’s Fourth of July Creek, the Dirty Shame takes its cue from the Dirty Martini’s call for olive juice, but I went with bourbon, not gin, because that’s what soaks the novel’s pages.  I wish I could've utilized the whiskey Henderson cites – Redeye – but that’s unavailable, so use Montana’s own RoughStock to evoke this fierce novel’s terroir.

Dirty Shame:
2 oz. RoughStock Montana Whiskey
.25  - .5 oz. olive juice (make it as dirty as you want)
.25 oz. simple syrup
1 full dropper Bittermens Hellfire bitters
Olives
Shake all – except olives – with ice and strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass.  Garnish with olives
(mine are jalapeno stuffed, but any will do).

Books Inc. in Alameda store manager Nick Petrulakis has been known to mix a cocktail now and then.  In this monthly feature, Nick creates a cocktail to go with one of his favorite books for the month.

This month’s featured book and cocktail inspiration is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  Ten years in the writing, "All the Light We Cannot See" is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" ("Los Angeles Times").
Sea of Flames

1.5 oz. Hendrick's Gin
1 oz. Byrrh
.5 oz. St. Germain
2 tsp lemon juice
2 dashes The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Bitters
Stir all with ice. Strain into chilled glass.
 

“This one came together nicely - and I know I'm not supposed to say that about my own concoctions, but there it is! The Byrrh is a really lovely, red-wine based aperitif that was created in France well before WWII (the setting of the novel). The St. Germain is also French. The other story line begins in Germany, so I added the Bitter Truth bitters - a German product.” Enjoy!