Classics and Cocktails

Summer is well on its way and many of us are feeling the urge to get away. This yearly season of wanderlust is surely only exacerbated by the limitations of quarantine and its subsequent “cabin fever.” But as stressful as this moment of pause can be, it also presents a unique opportunity to slow down and reflect. And what better way to do that than to curl up with a good book and a drink?

To help, we’ve partnered with Columbia Crest Winery and San Juan Island Distillery to provide a list of great cocktail recipes you can make at home paired with even greater works of literature. Welcome to Classics and Cocktails.

 

Our first cocktail comes to us from Colombia Crest Winery, based in Eastern Washington: A Pineapple Sauvignito with a mojito twist.

With a base of Colombia Crest’s H3 Sauvignon Blanc, this tropical cocktail opens with citrus aromas followed by a layer of minerality and pear flavors that give way to a crisp, clean finish. Paired with some pineapple rum, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and mint leaves, you have the ingredients for the perfect staycation cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz H3 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum (Stiggins’ Fancy)
  • .75 oz rich simple syrup (2:1 ratio, 2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
  • .5 oz fresh lime juice
  • 5-6 mint leaves
  • Soda water

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except soda to a shaker tin with ice.
  2. Shake for 10 seconds.
  3. Strain over ice in a tall glass.
  4. Top with soda.
  5. Garnish with mint or a few pineapple leaves

In honor of this drink’s tropical palette, we’ve paired it with Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawaii. That’s right, this classic American satirist best known for that story of a hapless boy touring the Mississippi actually spent four months touring the islands when he was 31, on assignment for the Sacramento Union.

A century and a half later, Twain’s letters are still regarded as some of the best travel writing about the islands, peeling back the sunny post-card-picture of paradise to reveal the turbulent and tragic history of the state and its colonial past.

Though there are portions of Twain’s reporting that don’t age well (like when he tries to skinny dip with native women), his writing still contains a sympathy for a native culture on the brink of erasure that, for a white man from 19th century Missouri, is pretty admirable.

Still, Twain’s take on Hawaiian culture is anything but definitive. So, we also suggest you balance out this canonical record with a narrative that’s a little less voyeuristic. For a more nuanced portrait of Hawaiian culture and history, try Kiana Davenport’s The Shark Dialogues.

Often compared to the emotionally resonate and lyrical work of Toni Morrison, Davenport’s epic generational drama begins with the fateful meeting of a 19th century Yankee sailor and the runaway daughter of a Tahitian chief and spans over a hundred years of love, loss, and war. The story mirrors Davenport’s own family genealogy, with her mother being a native Hawaiian who met Davenport’s Caucasian father when he was a sailor in the US Navy stationed at Pearl Harbor.

 

Another recipe from Columbia Crest that’s perfect for your virtual happy hours is the Raspberry White Wine Spritzer. Also made with their H3 Sauvignon Blanc, this pink cocktail is sure to make the perfect sweet summer treat, complete with a recipe for your own home-made, raspberry syrup. 

Ingredients

  • 5 oz H3 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 oz pisco
  • .5 oz fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz raspberry syrup*
  • Soda water

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except soda to a shaker tin with ice.
  2. Shake for 10 seconds and strain over ice into a tall glass.
  3. Top with soda.
  4. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

*Raspberry Syrup Recipe

  1. Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 cup raspberries in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Wait for liquid to cool, then strain off solids.
  4. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month.

For this flirtatious and fruity cocktail, we decided that Jane Austen’s Emma would be the perfect fit! Though the novel has enjoyed an uptick in attention since the release of Autumn de Wilde’s filmic adaptation this year, it has always remained one of Austen’s most beloved works for its razor-sharp wit and lovably imperfect characters.

The story follows the misadventures of the precocious Emma Woodhouse, a young bachelorette whose gross over-confidence in her match-making abilities leads to a series of romantic entanglements. Though many regard Emma as merely a playful comedy of errors, it was quite revolutionary for its innovative narrative techniques and the artful dexterity with which Austen implicates the reader in her protagonist’s own delusions of grandeur.

 

Our third and final cocktail comes to us courtesy of San Juan Island Distillery, the Respite Thyme cocktail. With it’s floral notes and base of crisp apple brandy, it’s sure to remind you of a beautiful spring day in the Pacific Northwest.

Ingredients

  • Three-parts apple brandy
  • One-part creme de cassis
  • One-part cider syrup infused with thyme
  • One-part fresh squeezed lime juice

For this vibrant violet cocktail, we’ve paired it with Alice Walker’s beloved masterpiece, The Color Purple. Winner of both the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Walker’s classic epistolary novel was received with unprecedented acclaim. The story follows two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child bride living in the rural south—who share a bond that transcends time and space. Ripe with imagination and compassion, The Color Purple is a classic work of American literature that showcases the indomitable nature of the human spirit.

We hope you enjoyed these recommendations of cocktails and classics! To purchase Columbia Crest’s H3 Sauvignon Blanc, visit this website. You can also find locally sourced cider, spirits, and even more great recipes to try at San Juan Island Distilleries’ website.  And all four titles can be find at various online distributers, but we recommend that you support small business and order from your local independent book store.

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