I'm Kate Risheill. Welcome to my blog on writing.

My Top 4 Literary Cocktail Recipes


I don't know about you, but I love a good drink. I don't make cocktails often, mostly around the holidays, but I do like to try out new recipes. There are plenty of great recipes out there, but I wanted to compile a few recipes that I already love or am eager to try. So, without further ado, here are a few literary-inspired cocktail recipes.

  • Gimlet - The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
    This cocktail recipe is inspired by the work of Raymond Chandler, specifically his famous P.I. Philip Marlowe. In the novel The Long Goodbye, Marlowe notes that his drink of choice is the gimlet. The base of this simple cocktail is vodka or gin combined with fresh lime juice and Rose's Lime Juice (a sweet, lime juice syrup). It is a classic cocktail and one that doesn't require a ton of ingredients. 
  • Mint Julep - The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald/ Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
    Another classic cocktail, this is one that Daisy Buchanan drinks in The Great Gatsby. This cocktail has a long history and is a favorite among real and fictional drinkers alike (the link above includes tons of trivia on the mint julep in addition to a recipe). The drink has a long association with the South, one that is made explicit in Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, where the cocktail is frequently mentioned. If you want something minty and refreshing without being too sweet, give this one a try. 
  • White AngelBreakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote
    Unlike the last two drinks, this is an invented cocktail. In the book's opening pages Holly Golightly orders the drink, which is a new invention even within the world of the story. Fair warning, this one is strong and not one to do with cheap alcohol: it is just gin and vodka shaken with ice and strained into a martini glass. If you don't like straight alcohol, this may not be the drink for you, but it is a drink that perfectly suits Holly.
  • Daiquiri - Ernest Hemingway
    There is, perhaps, no other writer that could match Ernest Hemingway's prodigious alcohol consumption. He was famously something of a lush and his novels mention various cocktails and liquors frequently. You can read more about Hemingway and his affection for liquor here, if that is the kind of trivia you are into. Much like the other drinks listed here, this is not a syrupy concoction made in a blender. No, this daiquiri is shaken with ice and strained like a martini. 

Bonus Cocktail:

  • Hair of the Three-Headed Dog - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
    Unlike the other drinks mentioned here, this is not a drink explicitly mentioned within the text of the book. Inspired by Fluffy, the three-headed dog from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, this drink recipe is a take on the classic Bloody Mary cocktail. There are 8 different Harry Potter cocktail recipes available in the link above, but many veer into the realm of disgustingly sweet drinks. Personally, I'd much rather opt for a fun twist on an old classic, like this recipe. 

If you have suggestions for other bookish cocktails, I'd love to hear them. Happy drinking!

Genre and Pacing

Classic Retellings