Tag Archives: Drink This Read That

R&D – Greek Edition

What’s better than getting lost in the expansive world of Greek Mythology? I can tell you: it’s getting lost on Mount Olympus with one of these cocktails.

Edith Hamilton’s Mythology isn’t a new release; in fact, it was originally published in 1942. But ol’ Edith knows how to make her books as timeless as the original myths. This book isn’t just a read for pleasure. She has structured this book so well it is a great reference guide to use during classes or for an beginner to learn all the basics. She also includes the Latin forms of the Gods, some latin mythology stories, and as a bonus, Norse mythology as well! Exciting, when you recall that Thor is a norse god.

She draws upon the original poems (Homer, Euripides, Sophocles, Ovid, etc.)  and myths but translates them into plain and easy-to-understand english. Of course some of the flowery language is lost, but what is left is the pure tale of all gods, goddesses, and monsters that so fascinated the Greeks. She includes stories of the original woman scorned, Medea; the world’s worst hairdo, Medusa; poor Odysseus and his 10 year journey home; and the drama of fighting over Helen of Troy, the world’s most beautiful woman.

This cocktail is inspired by Persephone, the maiden of spring, and her darling suitor, Hades, god of the underworld. Hades fell in love with Persephone and tricked her into coming into the Underworld to be his Queen. Her mother, Demeter, was relentless in her search to find her daughter. Nine days she wandered, but finally the Sun told her the truth. Demeter, the goddess of corn, was distraught. In her grief, nothing grew. No seeds for harvest and the Greeks began to die of starvation. At last, Zeus (….please tell me you know who Zeus is) sent a messenger to retrieve Persephone from the underworld. Before she left, Hades tricked her into eating a pomegranate seed; he knew if she did, she must return to him. He was right; Zeus commanded that Persephone must spend a third part of the year in Hades, thus creating winter, and once she ascended back to Demeter, spring would begin.

Now your refresher in Greek Mythology is complete, so pop the cork and enjoy this fizzy refresher!

GreekRD

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail
1 ounce chilled pomegranate juice
3 ounces champagne
pomegranate seeds for garnish

Pour juice into champagne flute. Slowly top with the bubbly. Garnish with seeds. Enjoy!

Novel | Cocktail | Glasses | Ice Bucket | Coaster | Bottle Opener | Bar Tools

Cheers!
-H

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R&D – Within the Walled City Edition

For my birthday last year, my boyfriend’s sister gave me a book authored by her close friend. Yes, I know you may be skeptical. We know how friend’s writing can turn out; like that time a woman wrote Twilight fan fiction and it got published then turned into a national phenomenon about BDSM.

I have good news: it was nothing like that! Instead, I greatly enjoyed the little coming-of-age during study abroad book. Here’s the description of Within the Walled City:

Lily Dunn died seventeen years ago, and the small family that she left behind has buried her memory along with their pain. When her twenty-six-year-old daughter Jillian leaves for a semester in Siena, Italy to complete her Master’s in Art History, she comes upon an unexpected treasure: Lily’s handwritten journal, from a time when she too lived in Siena.

Jillian’s months in Siena are marked by eccentric people, stunning scenery, a trove of exquisite art, and most of all, the enthralling and painful discovery of a mother she never knew and a world of secrets she can’t unlearn. The shadows of the past, the memories of an artist, will either crush or unfold her within the walled city.

Overall, it was an easy and quick read (with a surprise ending {times TWO} !!!), perfect for a spring jaunt by the pool or beach. Whilst reading, make sure you grab a glass of Limoncello to accompany you. Nothing like a crisp Italian liqueur to send you straight to the Italian countryside and the walled city, Siena.

Walled City R&D JPG

Limoncello
Remove the peel of 10 lemons and place in a 2 quart pitcher. Add 1 750-ml bottle of vodka. Steep for 4 days at room temperature.
Heat 3 1/2 cups of water and 2 1/2 cups of sugar in saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes). Cool completely then pour over lemon vodka mixture. Allow to stand overnight. Strain the limoncello and discard the peels. Transfer to bottles; refrigerate until cold.

Novel | Cocktail | Bottle | Cordial Glass | Peeler | Strainer | Pitcher

Cheers & Happy Spring!
-H

 

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Read This, Drink That – Red Rising Edition

“I am the reaper and death is my shadow.” – Darrow

Set many years into the future, society has fallen in to a color caste system; Darrow, a lowly red, is a miner on Mars. His people are in charge of getting Mars prepared for habitation. After cruel treatment by a higher color, a Grey, Darrow’s life is changed forever. *

*Our strict belief of a spoiler-free life here at Untamed Shrews prevents me from saying any more details. Don’t read the B&N overview, because they have less gumption than we do here.

I can’t say anything more because you seriously have to read these books. I told my mom I haven’t loved a series so much since Harry Potter (and potentially, Song of Ice & Fire. Will have to re-read to make this decision). Darrow, like Harry, is so flawed, but so likable and very easy to stand behind for his cause. They are quite similar because they are our window into this vast and different world. They are both totally clueless men & have a beautiful girl to take the reins, show the way, and kick major ass.

For Darrow’s Read & Drink, I chose a whiskey drink (one he references often). Since the trilogy takes place in the entire solar system, I wanted to keep things a little earthly. The Golds care a lot for tradition, and I think Roque would have served his guests a sweet Old Fashioned.

RR R&D.jpg

Old Fashioned
2 ounces Woodford Reserve
1/2 ounce Demerara Syrup
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters

Add ingredients to the mixing glass. Add ice to the mixing glass and serving glass. Garnish with lightly expressed orange peel.

Novel | Cocktail | Ice Bucket | Bar Tools | Shaker | Opener Rings | Decanter

 

Cheers & GO READ THIS BOOK.
-H

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Read This, Drink That – The Silmarillion

I may not be a great blogger, but I am a great girlfriend. My significant other is a huge Tolkien fan (like another this blog is familiar with). Anyway, because I am such a great girlfriend  I agreed to read The Silmarillion with my boyfriend. Yes, me. Who has read no other Tolkien than The Hobbit. Needless to say, this was a bit over my head.

The Silmarillion (Within this book there are 6 short stories.) is a “brief” history of Tolkien’s universe where his other novels take place. This universe is called Eä. This book describes the beginning of time. I mean, when Eä was just DUST it was so beginning of time. The first book tells the story of Eru (also known as Illúvatar) creating the world.

Y’all, I am being for real when I say this book is for DIE HARD TOLKEIN FANS. If you have never wondered “Who created the Elvish within the land of Middle-Earth?” then do not read this book. The beginning was so tough for me to get through, mainly because these characters have so many names: an “english” name, an Elvish name, another name, plus 3 more names. I had to keep reminding myself that Melkor, Morgoth, Arun, Bauglir, and Belegurth are all THE SAME CHARACTER!! And those aren’t even all his names!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I say this not to discount the book. It was published posthumously, created from Tolkien’s notes. This man’s brain must have been the size of a watermelon to hold all of this fantasy world and perfectly intertwine all the stories. Once I got past the “Genesis” (if you will) creation stories and into the battles that shaped Middle-Earth, it was tolerable. Learning how the beautiful jewels, The Silmarils, were created, lost, and rescued was a great story; just remember, if you are in Middle-Earth NEVER swear to an oath or you WILL die trying to uphold it.

My favorite story had to be Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age. It tells the tale of Sauron, who is known to any movie viewer as a fiery eyeball at the top of a tall tower. The story goes on to explain how the one ring was made and why it is so powerful.

I say all of this not for your praise or recognition of possibly deserving the Greatest Girlfriend Ever Award, but instead to present you with this Read and Drink. The book is so heavy, please, for the love of Illúvatar, have a light and refreshing cocktail to enjoy whilst reading. This may be the first R&D that has no relation to the actual story. That’s because this story made no mention of alcohol. So I got creative(ish). Cheers!

 

Silm R&D

Moscow Mule
Lime
2 ounces vodka
5 ounces ginger beer
Squeeze lime juice into glass. Add large ice cubes, then pour vodka. Add cold beer. Stir.

Book | Cocktail | Cocktail Shaker | Mugs | Bar Tools | Ice Bucket

Next up, we are reading A Christmas Carol. Since this is a super short story I hope to be sharing a Christmas themed cocktail with you soon! What’s the opposite of Bah-Humbug?!
-H

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Read This, Drink That – Dracula Edition

Here at Untamed Shrews we can hardly contain our excitement; Labor Day brings the end of summer and the start of our favorite time of the year, fall! Halloween decor is already in place at my haunted house. To get in the spirit, I picked up Dracula and couldn’t put it down. It’s hard to believe a novel published in 1897 is still relevant and TERRIFYING over 100 years later. It is told through journal and diary entries, newspaper stories, and the occasional ship’s log to make it feel more authentic.

Of course, everyone knows the story of Dracula, the blood thirsty vampire looking to expand his army from Transylvania into London. Poor Jonathan Harker, newly established solicitor, travels to the Count’s lair to provide support for the sale of a property in London. It doesn’t take long for Jonathan to realize that something is wrong: the lack of servants, Dracula never eats, and only visits after dusk are major red flags. When the Count enters Jonathan’s bedroom and has no reflection, Jonathan realizes it is past time to GTFO, but can he escape before he becomes a victim?!

The Count journeys to England, and begins to track Jonathan’s heartbroken bride-to-be, Mina, and in true gentleman fashion, feeding on her best friend, Lucy. Then we are introduced into another iconic character, Dr. Van Helsing, the world renowned doctor, aspiring vampire hunter and destroyer, potential savior of Lucy. This feeding comes at a terrible time for Lucy, as she was proposed to by THREE (!!!) charming men, all in the same day: Dr. John Seward, Quincy Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. These men become vital to the story (and, of course, Quincy goes on to steal the heart of our own Lindsay.)

Overall, I LOVED this classic, which is why I have graced all of you loyal readers with another edition of Read & Drink.

Read This, Drink That - Dracula

Dracula’s Punch
18 ounces Cherry Vodka
8 ounces Lime Juice
6 ounces Cranberry Juice
2 1/2 ounces Grenadine
1 Liter of Lemon-Lime Soda
Fresh, pitted Cherries

Muddle cherries. Combine all ingredients, except soda, in large bowl. Stir. Refrigerate. Top with Soda. Serve chilled and in a castle atop a high cliff.

| Novel | Punch | Bottle | Bowl | Bat Bottle Stopper | Glasses | Fangs Bottle Opener | Ice Fork |

Cheers!
-H

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H: Book Review – Station Eleven

Insert apologies here; I am a terrible blogger. Have no fear I am back!

I have been reading up a storm in my absence from this blog so prepare for many entries! I am going from lazy blogger to overzealous one in the stroke of several keys.

I just finished read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I immensely enjoyed it, especially when I picked it up expecting to drudge my way through it.

Set in the future, Kristen is a part of a traveling symphony; they travel the country formerly known as the United States. Fifteen years earlier a flu wiped out 99% of the population in just a few days. The survivors formed small communities without power, water or protection from the elements as well as from each other. A mysterious prophet begins making his way through the symphony’s territory, spreading his religious banter and threatening everyone around him. Who is the prophet?!

Kristen finds solace in her traveling years by performing Shakespeare, her last link with the “before, and by obsessing over a rare set of comics (the only copy known in existence) about Dr. Eleven and his space station forever linked to the undersea world. With her companion August, they raid abandoned buildings looking for links to the past. Old magazines, clothes for costumes, bars of soap are some of their prized finds but nothing holds a place in her heart like Dr. Eleven and his white fluff ball dog, Luli. They eventually cross paths with the prophet and his dog, Luli.

WHAAAT?! A dog Luli!? Ok, go read it and find out what happens next. There are tons of books out set in a post-apocolyptic world, but this one proves superior to being “just another wasteland novel”.

However, in a post-apocolytpic world, there is little to be eaten, and even less to be drunk. That’s why Moonshine, simple and stout, is what I’ve selected for a long awaited Read This, Drink That.

Station Eleven Read&Drink

| Novel | Moonshine | Storage Bottles | Stainless Steel Cups | Swiss Army Bar Tools | Seahorse Bottle Opener |

Cheers, my friends, and happy reading.
-H

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H: Book Review – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I just finished up reading one of the few memoirs that has been able to keep me thoroughly interested throughout the book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Stories from the Crematory. A quirky (obviously) coming-of-age story of 20-something Caitlin Doughty, it recalls her youth in Hawaii’i and becoming fascinated with death. Not fascinated with the afterlife, but the process of how humans, particularly present day Americans, have evolved to disassociate with death and everything involved with the process of disposing of a body.

She is working at Westwind Mortuary in San Fransisco at the novels start; she has a great sense of humor (think: mine and Lindsay’s type humor) in dealing with the dead bodies. I assume you have to have some humor in dealing with a body that has rot, bloated, or needs any type of makeup.

Through her time at the Mortuary, Caitlin discovers that her job is mainly to get rid of what “normal people” don’t want to see and what was common less than a hundred years ago, a dead body. She relents and accepts that growing up in the United States has created a fear of mortality in all of us. When a loved one dies, we do not care for the body; embalming and making a body look “natural” for viewings is a very recent phenomenon.

There are a few exceptions. Several of Westwind’s clients do want to have some sort of home ritual involving a dead body, but the police and morticians explain that is “illegal” even though it is clearly not. She has great disdain for the funeral industry itself and the monopoly it has created in body disposal, which she admits is ironic. She vows to change the death industry and make the population more accepting of death and the way we should depart with our loved ones: not in the care of a stranger, but in our own hands.

It was an interesting read (clearly!) and really presented some interesting facts I had never considered about the death industry. I laughed out loud several times and found myself never getting bored, perhaps because it is so easy to read her writing.

So, in the spirit of Halloween and the dead, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for! (Editors Note: Although a Bloody Mary would have been a great cocktail to include here, please recall I used that on one of our least favorite reads of all time.)

Smoke Read&Drink

Cherry Whiskey Smash
1 ounce Jack Daniels
1 ounce cherry juice
1/2 ounce amaretto
1/2 ounce ginger brandy
2 ounces cherry “cola”
Maraschino Cherries

Add cherries to the bottom of a glass and muddle. Add ice. In a shaker, add the rest of ingredients except the cola. Shake well. Pour in the glass and top with cherry cola.

| Book | Cocktail | Decanter | Skeleton Opener | Glasses | Stopper | Shot Glass | Corkscrew | Urn Shaker | Ice Bucket |

Until next time, happy season of the macabre!
-H

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