The Heroine’s Barshelf: One Year, 12 Cocktails

By Kj Swanson, with Column Five’s Ian Klein

To celebrate the one-year publication anniversary of The Heroine’s Bookshelf, Erin and I thought it would be fun to create a literary-inspired cocktail list. Okay, truth be told, the idea came from us making fun of the pronunciation of St John River’s name from Jane Eyre. “Sin Jin.” “Sin Gin.” “Sounds like a cocktail!”

What an insane, awesome, fun, crazy, wild year! A toast to The Heroine

Having bartended primarily at theaters for the past decade, I’ve picked up a hobby of inventing cocktails inspired by the plays being performed. Thus, it didn’t take much prompting for me to say yes to creating cocktails inspired by the amazing authors, characters and stories featured in The Heroine’s Bookshelf. I brought in my longtime mixology collaborator Ian Klein, and we stretched our imaginations to consider what ingredients, flavors and spirits best evoked the “spirit” of each chapter’s heroine and author. We adapted some pre-existing cocktails and created some originals as well. Try some of these at your next book club gathering or ask your local bartender to give one a go.

Erin, I raise my glass to you. Here’s to another year of reading and living heroically!

The Lizzie Bennet | Spy-Glass of Faith | Anne With An “E” | The Color Purple | For Francie | The Complete Claudine | Scarlett O’Hara | The Scout Finch | The Long Winter | The Currer Bell | Jo Meets Apollyon | The Mary Lennox

The Lizzie Bennet

As sparkling as her wit, this cocktail in honor of Pride & Prejudice’s heroine evokes popular tastes of the Regency era.

3 parts Sparkling Lemonade, such as R.W. Knudsen
1 part Cream Sherry

Serve over ice; top with floating raspberries

Spy-Glass of Faith

In honor of Zora Neale Thurston and her heroine, Janie Crawford, enjoy this lush drink and its exotic flavors that emerge with every sip.

3 parts Mango Nectar, such as Goya
2 parts Vodka
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon rose water

Shake and serve up

Anne With An “E”

“Carrots” may have been her least-favorite nickname, but we think Anne would approve of this cheerful reinterpretation.

1 1/2 part Carrot Juice
1 1/2 part Gin
1/2 part Ginger Liqueur

Shake and serve on ice; sprinkle cinnamon to top

The Color Purple

In honor of Alice Walker and Celie, an elegant drink as lovely as night and sweet as friendship.

3/4 part Galliano
1/2 part Gin
1/4 part Creme de Violette
1/2 egg white
1 dash Orange Flower Water

Shake and serve up

For Francie

Enjoy some Brooklyn nostalgia with this fun twist on an fountain-style cherry cola.

1 part Vodka
1 part Cherry Brandy
1 part Cranberry Juice
2 parts Cola to top

Stir and serve over ice with a cherry

The Complete Claudine

Raise a glass in honor of Colette with this indulgently Parisian blend of herbs and citrus.

½ part fresh lime juice
3 parts Gin
1 part Triple Sec
1 splash Green Chartreuse

Shake and serve up in an Absinthe-rinsed glass

Scarlett O’Hara

Peggy Mitchell said “Fighting is like Champagne. It goes to the heads of cowards as quickly as of heroes,” and this champagne cocktail is as tough and sweet as Scarlet herself.

2 parts Scotch Whiskey (Please note: if you can’t tolerate the idea of a drink for an Irish girl made with Scotch, feel free to sub Irish Whiskey.)
1 part Strawberry Liqueur
3 parts Champagne

Serve up in a champagne flute with a strawberry slice.

The Scout Finch

In honor of Scout and her creator, a perfect drink to enjoy on the front porch after a day of adventure and discovery.

Muddle 2 blackberries
1/2 part simple syrup
3/4 part fresh lime juice
2 parts sweet tea vodka

Shake and serve on ice

The Long Winter

Pull up your favorite quilt and warm yourself with this delicious drink in honor of Laura Ingalls.

3 parts Hot Chocolate
2 parts Brandy
1 part Kahlua

Top with nutmeg

The Currer Bell

Jane Eyre’s original readers might not have known Currer Bell was a woman, but we can now enjoy this audacious cocktail in honor of Charlotte Brontë.

2 parts Madeira wine
1 part White Rum
1 part Passion Fruit Juice, such as Vasso
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake and serve up

Jo Meets Apollyon

Named for a chapter from Little Women, this cocktail is as daring and endearing as Jo March.

2 parts Bourbon
1 part Cointreau
Shake and serve up in a Honey-laced glass

Fig garnish

The Mary Lennox

This cocktail starts a bit sour but ends with gentle floral accents, expressive of Mary’s transformational experience in The Secret Garden.

½ part fresh Lemon Juice
3 parts Brandy
1 part St Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Shake and serve up with a lemon twist

Note from Erin: This list was made with love by a dear childhood friend. Thanks so much, Kj and Ian, and thank you to all of the readers, friends, and publishing companions who have made the last year a truly heroic journey. I raise my glass to you!

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  • Marycourtney Ning

    I raise my glass to you both and will be be trying anything with St. Germain in it!

    • http://www.theheroinesbookshelf.com Erin Blakemore

      Thanks!

  • Laurel Kallenbach

    What a clever idea! But shouldn’t Scarlett O’Hara’s drink contain Irish whiskey instead of Scotch??

    • http://www.theheroinesbookshelf.com Erin Blakemore

      Oho!!! I just talked to Kj and she said that Irish Whiskey will work if you don’t want to seem like a damn’d Orangeman ;)

  • Buriedinprint

    What a fantastic idea: love it!

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