Let’s be honest: bookworms are pretty hardcore. We read day in, day out, and have traveled on trains with Anna Karenina, flown on broomsticks with Harry Potter, and created scavenger hunts with Amy Dunne. If you are like me, then you are always searching for a way to enhance your reading experience. Many years ago, I realized that drinking some Scottish tea with “Harry Potter” made it a little bit more magical. But Scottish tea is too strong a juxtaposition while reading “The Great Gatsby.” They just don’t go, and it simply feels odd drinking this while you are mentally in a jazzy American 1920’s setting. But there are drinks that go perfectly with “The Great Gatsby,” and the list doesn’t end there. Read on to discover the most perfect book and drink pairings (with nonalcoholic and alcoholic options) to enjoy your reads even more.
1) Jane Austen’s “Emma” (or any Jane Austen novel)
True, Earl Grey may be a bit of a clichéd drink to enjoy while reading a novel that takes place in Britain, written by a Brit. But, really, what drink would go better with an Austen book? Embrace the Britishness of it all. And why mead? Ms. Austen was a lover of this fermented honey drink, and you can be just as classy as she by sipping on some while reading one of her greatest works.
2) Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”
You probably should limit your vodka to only one shot if you actually want to comprehend this Tolstoy masterpiece, or take a shot as a celebratory end to every chapter (although you might get even more confused by the Russian names). If you simply want to curb your thirst, than partake of the other national drink of Russia—tea. I picked a tea that is named after the author of the book, but really any black or a Darjeeling tea pairs nicely with “Anna Karenina.”
3) Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl”
Dunkin’ Donuts coffee
Alcoholic option: Cheap Beer
Amy Dunne was the “cool girl” for a long time, and what does she say is one of the requirements of being the cool girl? Drinking cheap beer. And one of the detectives, Boney, is almost always attached to a cup of coffee, so maybe it’s key to solving the mystery?
4) J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”
Alcoholic option: The Buttercup
With some milk and honey added, the Scottish Breakfast tea puts you perfectly in place of Scotland, home of Hogwarts. If you want a slightly more wizardry feeling though, go for the Buttercup drink, which, with butterscotch schnapps and cream, is basically like the delicious butterbeer.
5) Roxane Gay’s “Bad Feminist”
Alcoholic Option: Rosé The Riveter
Why coffee? Honestly, mainly because Roxane Gay’s blog title includes the word “coffee,” so it’s a lucky guess that the book was written under the influence of coffee. But there is another reason. When I think coffee, I think of classy, unapologetic, diverse, hard working, high energy, sexy, and delicious smelling. With the possible exception of that last thought, all of these embody a feminist advocate. If you want something with more of a kick, then try the drink named after one of America’s most iconic feminists, which includes gin, and pomegranate liqueur.
6) Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”
Alcoholic Option: Frozen Blackberry Margarita
Drink what Cheryl drank while on the trail: water. Lots and lots of water. If you hate water, then step it up with some flavored water. Not only will you be hydrating yourself in the best way possible, but you just might be able to appreciate Cheryl’s relationship with water just a little bit more. For the fancy drink, make a Frozen Blackberry Margarita. Why this? Well, in theory, a backpacker could make it with snow, freshly picked blackberries, and some liquor. Or, if you aren’t out on the trail, follow the recipe linked.
7) Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”
Alcoholic Option: Bloody Mary
So, a big part of “The Hunger Games” involves death, dying, and killing. To complement the blood bath, a Bloody Mary is the way to go. If you want something non-alcoholic, then drink some herbal tea. I recommend Raspberry Leaf Tea, because I like to imagine that Katniss could make this same drink by collecting the leaves as she hunts in the woods.
8) J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher In The Rye”
Alcoholic Option: Scotch and Soda
Holden Caulfield tries to buy a Scotch and soda, but has to settle for a Coke instead. But you have the option of choosing what you want, or else simply drinking both of them. The Scotch and soda was a classic drink of the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, and will help you feeling swanky.
9) Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn”
Sweet Iced tea
Alcoholic Option: Mississippi Mud
This American classic is best read with a drink that nods to its environment. Nothing says the south like sweet iced tea, and even the dark color of the drink matches the brown of the Mississippi River. If you want something alcoholic, go with the yummy Mississippi Mud, which will make your read all the sweeter.
10) F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
Alcoholic Option: Mint Julep
Daisy implies that drinking a Mint Julep will make you feel a lot smarter than you actually are. This is reason enough to drink this refreshing drink, but the appeal to me is feeling classy and fashionable as Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby. If you don’t feel like getting a bit buzzed while reading, then a simple lemonade is the perfect pairing. It’s summery, fresh, and would go well in Gatsby’s gardens.
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