The idea of a book club can sound kind of boring, but why should that be? All the witty, intelligent, fun, awesome people I know read, and we often trade recommendations and reviews. Getting together to discuss what we’re reading seems like a natural extension, and beats another night of Netflix. While the hot new reads are great conversation starters, nothing loosens the tongue to tell what you really think of that literary classic like a good strong cocktail. Hence, these 5 booze and book club ideas!
The traditional notion of the book club has everyone reading the same book and then getting together to discuss it, but I see no reason to feel restricted by this model. Choose a favorite neighborhood BYOB or one that you’ve never tried, and have everyone bring the best book they’ve read in the past few months. You can lay out guidelines like it should be a new release or it can’t be anything off the best-sellers list if you want. Or you can honestly just let people bring whatever they happen to be reading. This is the most low-key option with little to no planning required, just how some people like it.
Mojito and Marquez
See what I did there? You can do it too. Colombia is known for their rum, and also for author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, so why not combine the two? Love In the Time Of Cholera with a Mojito, please. This is a seriously limitless theme. A French 75 with A Night At the Majestic leads you to the works of Joyce, Proust, Picasso, Diaghilev and Stravinsky and a whole world of cocktail options. Another way to go would be to read travel memoirs and meet up at bars from the corresponding countries every month. A Thousand Days In Tuscany with a Tuscan Rosemary Lemon Drop, Lost On Planet China with a Red Lotus Cocktail, an Irish pub tour to discuss The Country Girls… these ideas will just keep coming to you with everything you read and drink.
If the book discussion seems like it will take enough brain power, this adorable little tome will provide the themed ideas and plenty of talking points for you. Tequila Mockingbird features 65 drink recipes with classic novels that run the gamut of taste — literally and figuratively. Whether you’re in the mood for Rye and Prejudice or A Midsummer Night’s Beam, let everyone in the group choose one pairing to get you through those summer nights.
Dorothy and Drinks
“I love a martini–
But two at the most.
Three, I’m under the table;
Four, I’m under the host.”
Under the Table; A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide will give you plenty of cocktail ideas to go along with either an exploration of Dorothy Parker’s more sobering work or a general sampling of Jazz Age novels like The Great Gatsby, The Paris Wife or Bright Young Things. Parker is known as one of history’s hardest-drinking writers, giving good old boys Hemmingway and Fitzgerald a run for their money. So maybe this book would be good for a girls weekend — no men and no driving allowed.
If you don’t want to get so particular about what or where you’re drinking, why not focus on famous benders in literature? There is plenty of fodder. The Bridget Jones trilogy has its share (has everyone in your group read the latest installment?) or there’s classics like Leaving Las Vegas, the epitome of the hangover novel Lucky Jim, and Hangover Square.