April's book & beverage pairings
Because the perfect book deserves the perfect drink
SING, UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward
a ‘Peach Old Fashioned’, with Woodford Reserve
Ward’s novel is straightforward, yet dense, just like an elevated Old Fashioned. A sliced peach and a shot of good bourbon reflects Ward’s expression of the Southern Gothic. The exploration of race, class, and mass incarceration gives a much needed twist on classic themes, like this twist on a staple cocktail. It’s prose, like an Old Fashioned, is accessible for any reader, but take the time to savor. ...If you’ve gotta order a second round, check out Salvage the Bones when you finish this gem.
ALL THINGS LEFT WILD by James Wade
a double Michter’s Rye …neat
A good rye is complex, layered, and honest, just like Wade’s first novel. Michter’s isn’t made for mixing or shooting, and neither is this book, so take your time and pay attention to the flavor, like you pay attention this novel’s the use of language. Here, Wade asks the big questions: What is justice? What is fatherhood? Who is God? ….You can’t water down those themes, so forgo the rocks and nurse the 273 page novel with 84-proof Kentucky Rye.
ERASURE by Percival Everett
a top-shelf Gin & Tonic
A bougie soiree with academics goes down easy when you’ve got a G & T in your hand, just like this novel’s take on the world of art, intelligentsia and identity. Use a top-shelf gin that lets you taste its authentic self beneath the tonic, like Everett’s “novel within a novel” structure. A Gin and Tonic doesn’t take itself too seriously, but add Nolet’s Silver or Uncle Val’s and you’ve got something that puts its truths front and center. At once satirical, self-aware, and honest, a G & T makes you realize that everyone in the room has their pretensions, and like this novel, they’ve still got something to teach you.
WORKS OF LOVE by Soren Kierkegaard
a bottle of Côtes du Rhone
It’s easy to talk about this French red’s tasting notes without spouting nonsense, same as with this 19th century philosopher’s take on “Love”. You don’t need to know the definition of ontology or the taste of tannins to savor a glass of Cotes du Rhone while reading Kierkegaard’s treatise. He argues that love is defined as a “divine duty”. If you sit at a Paris café with a carafe of Côtes, you’ll realize that it’s your divine duty to enjoy the art of living. At 400 pages, you might want to bring a pack of Dunhills and splurge the five Euros for a whole bottle.