Booze and Books

I received this link from a number of sources–Book Club Girl‘s Bastille Day pairing of books and French wine–but I kept deleting it. The commercial tie-in turned me off, for starters, and the list just didn’t seem that great, either. The Count of Monte Cristo? Mon dieux!

Then the ever-watchful George Eberhart sent the list to me, with a twist of his own:

Merlot with Les Miserables

Chianti with Petrarch

Mead with Beowulf

Cold Duck with Bukowski

Constantia with Alan Paton

Now that’s more like it! And if we may move beyond fermenting and brewing to the craft of distilling, we could add even more pairings. My brain is running down, but, off the top of my head:

martinis with The Thin Man
bourbon with Faulkner
canned beer with Crumley
vodka with Steinhauer

Now that’s a book group I’d love to join!



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

14 Comments on "Booze and Books"

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  1.' George Eberhart says:

    Please indulge me in a few more:

    Absinthe with Baudelaire and Rimbaud (de rigeur!)

    Jax Beer with A Confederacy of Dunces

    A light Rioja with Don Quixote

    Mint juleps with Gone with the Wind

    Dandelion wine with Ray Bradbury

    Yellow Tail with Arthur W. Upfield

    Coke Zero with Sartre’s Being and Nothingness

  2. Keir says:

    Consider yourself indulged. Any more imbibers out there? I’m going to add “hot toddies with Dickens” due to some ill-remembered scene where his characters drink hot toddies made with mugs of gin warmed by a hot poker.

  3.' Paul says:

    English Brown Ale or Bitter with any book from the Inspector Morse series by Colin Dexter!

  4.' Ian says:

    Milk with A Clockwork Orange?

  5. Keir says:

    Good one. Creepy, but good.

  6.' Susan says:

    Melrose Plant (Martha Grimes’ Inspector Jury series) inspired me to try ‘Old Peculier’, a beer which really is best at room temperature.
    Amanda Cross’ Prof. Kate Fansler inspired me to try (and like) Laphroaig.

  7. Keir says:

    Ah, yes, Theakston’s Old Peculier…I remember it well from my time in a bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where I was introduced to it by a Yorkshireman named Simon. Great stuff!

  8.' Nina says:

    how about …

    bathtub gin with fitzgerald
    bacardi with hemingway
    scotch with burns
    summer ale with tolkien
    vodka with solzhenitsyn and pasternak

  9.' Laura says:

    Oh, I’m saving this post as fodder for the literary cocktail party I’ve always wanted to host. Mint juleps work for Fitzgerald, too, for the scene where they’re all hanging out in Manhattan in Gatsby. And Jack Rose cocktails from The Sun Also Rises. And perhaps a cup of sack in honor of Falstaff.

  10.' Donna says:

    Whisky with Micky Spillane!

  11. Bill says:

    How did I miss this post? Here are more:

    Drumnadrochit with Lawrence Block’s The Burglar in the Library, or any of the Bernie Rhodenbarr novels (it’s Bernie’s favorite single malt and plays a role in the plot).

    Iron Horse champagne with Robert B. Parker (it’s Hawk’s favorite domestic sparkly).

    Gimlets with The Long Goodbye (Terry Lennox’s favorite drink)

    Plymouth gin with John D. MacDonald (Travis McGee will only drink Plymouth).

    And so many more. I’ll get back to you.

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