25 Brilliant and Literary-Inspired Mixed Drinks

25 Brilliant & Literary-Inspired Mixed Drinks

Plenty of authors throughout history have drawn inspiration (or consolation, as it may be) from a bottle, and as such, there is no shortage of cocktails, concoctions, and libations that can be related to great books and their authors. Whether you’re hosting a literary-themed party or just want to drink like your favorite author while you read one of his or her works, you certainly won’t thirst for options (pun very much intended) when you read through this list of literary-inspired mixed-drinks. You’ll find an assortment of titular puns, tributes to authors, and even a few favorites drawn from the lives of famous authors themselves to help you find the perfect bibliophile beverage.

  1. The Sir Walter Scott

    Historical novelist, playwright, and poet Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish patriot through and through, so we’re not quite sure what this Hennessy-based (a French cognac) drink has to do with him. But it sure does sound good, mixing cognac, rum, triple sec, grenadine, and lime juice.

  2. The Longfellow

    The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is commemorated in this fresh and fruity drink, which blends tequila, cucumber, cilantro, and pineapple juice, a delicious mixture that is no divine tragedy.

  3. The Gryffindor

    Potter fans (at least those over 21) can indulge their booze tooth in this elaborate, color-themed cocktail. This very fruity drink is composed of cranberry juice and orange juice with just a dash of raspberry liqueur, topped with a cherry and a twist of orange peel.

  4. The Catcher in the Rye

    Break out the rye whiskey to put together this Salinger-themed drink that blends a solid whiskey with sherry, Grand Marnier, Torani Amer, and bitters. For a twist on the recipe, use vanilla-infused Angostura instead of the bitters.

  5. Bearded Mojito

    It’s no secret that Ernest Hemingway enjoyed a good drink (or two or 10), even succumbing to alcoholism in his later years. Papa’s poison of choice was the mojito (though whiskey would also do), a recipe for which you can easily copy at home.

  6. Faulkner’s Mint Julep

    Calling this a cocktail is a bit of a stretch, but apparently William Faulkner liked his drinks pretty darn stiff (he once said, “I usually write at night. I always keep my whiskey within reach”). His recipe for a mint julep is just whiskey, ice, a teaspoon of sugar, and mint. Simple, but likely very effective in building up quite a buzz.

  7. Gin Fitzey

    The favorite drink of author and noted booze connoisseur F. Scott Fitzgerald is the Gin Rickey (which Fitzgerald apparently liked because he believed gin couldn’t be smelled on his breath … yeah right), which we prefer to call by the much more endearing name of the Gin Fitzey. To make it, you’ll need gin, lime juice, club soda, and lime wedges. If that’s not your style, you can also try to whip up a Great Gatsby.

  8. McCullers’ Long Island

    Inspired by Carson McCullers’ favorite drink, a concoction of tea and sherry that she drank throughout the day (often claiming it was only tea), this notoriously strong drink, when made right also gives the impression that it’s just a simple, non-offensive tea. That is, until you wind up under the table. It blends no less than five different types of alcohol to pack a potent punch.

  9. Chandler’s Gimlet

    One of the best-known stories about Raymond Chandler relates to his writing of the movie The Blue Dahlia, in which he purposely relapsed into alcoholism in order to break through his terrible writer’s block and finish the script. You can drink to his insane dedication to writing (or his intense desire for a drink) by whipping up one of his favorites, the Gimlet.

  10. Pisco Sour

    Can’t get enough of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Take inspiration from the book, and Holly Golightly’s epic parties, to mix up this drink, made of pisco, lemon juice, sugar, egg white, and bitters.

  11. Smoking Bishop

    At the end of A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge declares, “We will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob!” So what the heck is smoking bishop? It’s a type of hot, spiced wine, perfect for winter reading. Follow Charles Dickens’ recipe to get it just right.

  12. The Tristram Shandy

    This punny name combines the classic shandy, made of beer and lemonade (or a citrusy soda), with the classic novel by Laurence Sterne. It might just inspire you to pen a tale, though hopefully a less long-winded one, about your own life story.

  13. Margarita Atwood

    We’re not sure if author Margaret Atwood enjoys the occasional margarita, but it doesn’t matter when her name fits so perfectly into this drink name. While the recipe we’ve linked takes a humorous view of a Margarita Atwood, you can find a more serious recipe here.

  14. Turn of the Screwdriver

    In Henry James’ novella, Turn of the Screw, a young governess is tortured by seemingly supernatural figures, though the exact meaning and nature of her visions is never explained by the book. Whatever the case, this take on the classic screwdriver will help you to stave off any nightmares you might have after reading this (possible) ghost story.

  15. Bloody Stephen

    Many of Stephen King’s novels are filled with bloody scenes, including, most notably, The Shining and Carrie, so it’s only natural that a King-inspired drink would be blood red. Follow this very simple recipe from The New Yorker to enjoy a spooky evening at home.

  16. Stinging Rabbit

    John Updike’s character Rabbit had a passion for Stingers, and you just might develop one too after making one at home. The recipe is incredibly simple, calling only for vodka and creme de menthe.

  17. Wilde About Absinthe

    Oscar Wilde wasn’t shy about his enjoyment of this oft-maligned drink, once saying, “The first stage is like ordinary drinking, the second when you begin to see monstrous and cruel things, but if you can persevere you will enter in upon the third stage where you see things that you want to see, wonderful curious things.” Absinthe has only recently become legal in the US, so now even Americans can enjoy a delicious cocktail like these from Epicurious.

  18. Bukowski Boilermaker

    Crude, rough-edged, and more often than not on a bender, Charles Bukowski more than likely wasn’t an easy person to know, but he is an easy person to imitate when it comes to boozing it up. His favorite drink was a Boilermaker, which is quite simply a lager beer and a short of whiskey, either mixed in the glass or after putting both down the hatch.

  19. Sextontini

    Anne Sexton had an unabashed love of a good martini, and the famous drink even made it into her personal letters more than a few times as you can see from the link here. So, get a high-quality gin (no vodka, that’s cocktail sacrilege), some extra dry vermouth, and some olives to make yourself a Sexton-worthy martini.

  20. Whiskey and Whiskey

    Dylan Thomas met his untimely demise at the bottom of a glass of whiskey, or more accurately, at the bottom of 18 glasses of whiskey. While it is perhaps uncouth to make light of this uncontrolled alcoholism, think of this drink, whiskey on the rocks with a shot of whiskey on the side, as paying tribute to the author instead.

  21. Dorothy Parker Sour

    Despite being an alcoholic, Dorothy Parker managed to have a pretty darn successful writing career, and one of her favorite drinks (sometimes even serving as her breakfast) was the whiskey sour. If you’d like to sample the iconic drink, combine whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar, serving with a lemon wedge and a cherry.

  22. Tennessee Fizz

    Tennessee Williams is one of America’s best known and most celebrated playwrights, and he also enjoyed a good drink now and again. His drink of choice was a Ramos Fizz, a blend of dry gin, heavy cream, egg white, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar, and orange flower water.

  23. Gibson O’Neill

    Nobel Laureate Eugene O’Neill was no slouch when it came to writing nor when it came to drinking. He was known to head to the Garden Hotel in New York to get one of these classic cocktails, a blend of gin, dry vermouth, and cocktail onions, which O’Neill often spruced up with a splash of club soda.

  24. Old Fashioned Anderson

    Sherwood Anderson’s writing influenced such big names as Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald, and his propensity for drink may have been passed down as well. Anderson favored the Old Fashioned, a blend of whiskey, club soda, bitters, and sugar.

  25. Hangman’s Blood

    This cocktail has several literary ties, first being described in Richard Hughes’ novel A High Wind in Jamaica as a blend of rum, gin, brandy, and port that “has the property of increasing rather than allaying thirst, and so once it has made a breach, soon demolishes the whole fort.” It would eventually become a favorite of novelist Anthony Burgess, who added in a few more types of alcohol for good measure (whiskey, stout, and champagne) to create a brew that would certainly give anyone enough liquid courage to be a hangman.