Summer Cocktail + Book Pairings

We've all had that experience where a book that you've been reading for several days is infecting your brain and mood and you just want a fun, tangible way to connect with it; so what better way to do that then with drink pairings? We've talked about pairing wine before, but if cocktails are more your style, we've got you covered.

I don't have a lot of tolerance for drinks that are anything less than perfectly refreshing when it's hot out; preferably with anything berry, citrusy, herby, or sparkling. That ice cold, fresh, bubbly taste is usually my jam in the warmer months, and these drinks all hit those notes.

Whether you want a cocktail for a book club, or just something festive to sip while you grill, read or eat dinner outside, this list is bound to have something appealing. Whatever your reason (although who even needs a reason???), these are fully tested, and we made absolutely sure they were not only easy to execute, but also felt genuinely true to the books. Also, none of these were pulled haphazardly off Pinterest or include obscure ingredients that cost $20 for one tiny bottle; these are all simple, quick, delicious, and perfectly paired.

The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald's personal drink of choice was a gin rickey and is one of the few drinks specifically mentioned (aside from the endless champagne) in the novel, so we decided to run with it! Obviously alcohol is nearly ever-present in this novel, and often serves to progress the plot and characters in interesting ways, so it feels quite fitting to sip on this while reading. It's also just straight up refreshing and lovely on a summer evening, so there's that too!

Gin Rickey

  • 2 oz London dry gin
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • Club soda

Squeeze the lime juice into a Collins glass full of ice. Add the gin, the lime half, and top with club soda.


Treasure Island

Okay, really, what else could we go with here other than rum?? I mean really. Treasure Island is a rum-fueled adventure with pirates headed to a tropical island on a quest for buried treasure; it's the original version of the trope. It's an uncomplicated story that deserves an uncomplicated, tropical, rum-laced beverage.

Minimalist rum punch

Combine in a glass with ice:

  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces rum

East of Eden

This novel, set in rural Salinas, CA is rife with farms and fresh produce, which are central to the characters and plot. To capture that old-timey rural farm effect, we chose to spike some fresh blueberry-mint lemonade with a bit of vodka. This was especially wonderful as my mint plant is exploding right now, and what better way to use it?

Blueberry Vodka Lemonade

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 1 cup lemonade

Place mint leaves, sugar and blueberries in a cocktail shaker. Muddle mixture with the end of a wooden spoon until blueberries are broken. Add vodka and ice; shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Divide mixture among two glasses. Top with each with lemonade; stir. 


The Princess Bride

Does this one even need an explanation???? Guys. Goblets. Filled with Rosé (preferably not laced with Iocane). Because it's summer! Cheers!

Which one would you like to mix up for yourself? And what are your favorite summer drinks? We'd love to hear!