Book Review: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle

Tequila Mockingbird

On Fridays I didn’t have class this semester, my mom and I would meet for a late lunch and early happy hour at one of my favorite downtown restaurants, 715. Even when ordering off the lunch menu and then the happy hour drink specials, it was easy to rack up quite the bill. We thought it might be fun to experiment with some fun cocktails at home. We were browsing the library for cocktail recipe books, and discovered what we did have in the collection was already checked out and that there weren’t a ton of books anyway, so I asked the librarian responsible for adult collections to order this because it looked like the perfect cocktail book for me and lots of other literary inclined locals.

While the puns in the titles of the drinks are often delightful (I do love a good pun) most of the drinks are very basic or very sugar-y and weird. It also heavily favors vodka—there are more vodka drinks than the number of whiskey and gin drinks combined.

It also seems to favor the breezy summer drinks, so perhaps I would enjoy trying out a few more this summer. We made “A Midsummer Night’s Beam” while at a friends playing Cards Against Humanity, and though we all enjoyed it, thought it would have been more enjoyable on a balmy summer night rather than a chilly autumn evening around a fire, and we also agreed that the recipe was a bit off—2 oz of whiskey to 12 oz of club soda is just…wrong. Also, the book warns to “stop if your shadow beings to speak” but I think that takes all the fun out of it!

A Midsummer’s Night Beam

Fresh mint

1/2 oz lim juce

2 t sugar

2 oz bourbon (Jim Beam)

12 oz club soda

Muddle mint, lime and sugar in a highball glass. Add ice and bourbon and top with club soda.

Though the book that gives this drink it’s namesake I’ve never managed to finish because I find it so dull and dreary, I did enjoy the “Gin Eyre,” which had just the right amount of pucker.

Gin Eyre

Fresh mint

2 oz English gin

1 oz lemon juice

1 1/2 t sugar

2 dashes orange bitters

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

tequila mockingbirdWhile I really loved the concept for this book, I wasn’t much impressed by the contents. The writing wasn’t all that clever and some of it really rubbed me the wrong way. For instance, the highly gendered “drinks for dames” and “gulps for guys” section annoyed me.

Still, this might make a fun gift for a boozehound book nerd, but it probably would have been better as a Tumblr than an actual book.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

  1. Oh boo. I loved this book and bought a few copies for friends. I think it’s one of my top gift giving tips for the holidays actually. I’ve made a bunch of drinks from the book so far and they were all fits and I just adore Tim.

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