Buzzworthy: Cocktails Inspired by Female Literary Greats – As many readers may know, I do have a great passion for cocktails, naturally, I was thrilled to receive a copy of the Buzzworthy Cocktail Book inspired by Female Literary Greats. This unique book has a mix of 50 recipes inspired by the world’s most iconic women writers.
The fifty recipes in this volume are as unconventional, imaginative, and refreshing as the authors that inspired them. Each double-page spread includes an illustration of one important woman writer along with fascinating background about her œuvre, personality and points of literary distinction. And, of course, each profile is
paired with a delicious recipe for a fitting cocktail.
Pulling from every category—literary and genre fiction, poetry, graphic novels, essays, and non-fiction— this book offers some surprising twists as well as old favourites.
While each subject could provide hours of cocktail chatter, the recipes themselves are also a unique conversation starter: the Virginia Woolf—a peach-and-mint creation with a modernist flair; the Octavia Butler—an uncompromising blend featuring bourbon and port; and the Jia Tolentino—a purple sparkler that puts a cerebral twist on pop culture.
The book finishes with a TBR List, an edited collection of recommended reads that are easily available to purchase, in case the cocktails were not enough to quench your literary thirst.
Perfect for literary-themed parties as well as intimate gatherings, this book itself is an intoxicating, lip-loosening brew made of equal parts sophistication and fun.
Women Talking have picked out a couple of favourite tipples to inspire you to get out your shaker, curl up in a comfy reading chair and toast to your favourite authors!
Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and fine strain into a coupe glass. Garnish.
Combine equal parts honey and hot (not boiling) water. Stir until combined.
Rupi Kaur transformed poetry from a quiet, outside-the-mainstream discipline into a pop culture phenomenon that can pack theatres with thousands of fans.
Growing up in Canada as a shy child and speaking English as a second language, the India-born Kaur had a hard time making friends. However, she eventually found companionship in reading books and made the local library her hangout. Discovering poetry gave her a voice and she began performing spoken word as a teenager. Kaur also started to post unpunctuated lowercase verse, inspired by Sikh scripture and poets like Kahlil Gibran and Sharon Olds, at first on Tumblr, and later on Instagram. Addressing emotionally raw topics such as trauma and abuse, self-care, acceptance and healing, her delicately illustrated verses attracted thousands of followers.
When Kaur was in university studying rhetoric and professional writing, she self-published a collection titled Milk and Honey, selling 10,000 copies. But after Instagram censored a photo, she posted of herself wearing grey sweatpants stained with period blood, she became a viral sensation known for fighting against the policing of women’s bodies. The attention landed her a book deal with a major publisher and Milk and Honey remained on the New York Times bestsellers list for nearly a year, selling millions of copies worldwide.
Kaur’s second book, The Sun and Her Flowers, is a deeper, more emotional volume divided into sections reflecting the life cycle of a flower, while her third book, Home Body, touches on the past, present and future of the self. And 2022’s Healing Through Words helps readers channel Kaur by exploring their identity through guided writing exercises.
As an “Instapoet” who crafts simple verse that taps into readers’ emotions and who leverages social media to find her audience, Kaur is undeniably modern, and unlike most poets, she’s ascended to mainstream celebrity. Reflecting her generational importance to Millennial readers, she was deemed “Writer of the Decade” by The New Republic.
The cocktail dedicated to Kaur is a sunny yellow and finds its sweetness from a touch of honey.
Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain through a fine strainer into a Nick and Nora glass. Gently press mint with your fingers to release oils and garnish.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, simmer 2 small peaches (sliced into small pieces) and basic simple syrup for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool and strain.
Literary modernism is, to many, synonymous with Virginia Woolf. The innovative prose stylist introduced the world to stream-of-consciousness fiction — and, simultaneously, argued for a space for women in the literary sphere.
Woolf’s freedom to pursue literature came from financial independence, something unusual for women of her era and a topic she explored in her writing. She grew up in a privileged, well-educated family and attended King’s College in London, where she befriended several high-profile feminists. By the time she was 23, she was writing for the Times Literary Supplement and associating with the Bloomsbury Group, a circle of avant-garde artists and intellectuals who rebelled against Victorian society and rejected bourgeois ideals (including those of heteronormativity). In 1909, when she was 27, her aunt passed away and left her a significant inheritance—a windfall that gave her the freedom to write, unfettered. Twenty years later, as a celebrated author, she published an essay titled “A Room of One’s Own”, which explores how the confined social and financial roles of women dampened their ability to create and write fiction.
Woolf’s other famous works—mostly fiction—remain just as relevant. Mrs Dalloway explores a single day in the life of a woman, probing the boundaries of one’s inner world and the postwar social structure. To the Lighthouse centres on a family’s summer home on the Isle of Skye in Scotland: it is a philosophical novel that uses omniscient narration to examine the complexity of experience and human relationships. And Orlando, inspired by Woolf’s romance with the novelist Vita Sackville-West, features a protagonist who lives for centuries and switches from male to female midway through life. It’s a book that feels particularly modern today, in an era when ideas of gender are being probed and upended.
The main character in Orlando spends nearly 300 years writing a poem titled “The Oak Tree”, exploring both identity and literary history. The cocktail dedicated to Woolf finds its roots in an oaked rum and a clean, modern finish.