Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Darrin Doyle's Guide to Books & Booze

Time to grab a book and get tipsy!

Back by popular demand, Books & Booze, originally a mini-series of sorts here on TNBBC challenges participating authors to make up their own drinks, name and all, or create a drink list for their characters and/or readers using drinks that already exist. 

Today, Darrin Doyle is back on the blog talking up his collection The Dark Will End the Dark. Only this time, he's getting his booze on. Check it out: 


None of these drinks are my own invention, because I figure I’ll leave invention to the experts.  Some folks are good at making drinks, others at drinking them.  I am the latter.  I was also shocked to realize, once I looked at each story with alcohol in mind, that nearly every piece includes some mention of booze.  Not sure what that means in the big-picture, other than maybe I need to challenge myself to write a sober character.  Anyway, here are drinks to accompany some stories in my collection The Dark Will End the Dark.

#1:  The Bone

2 oz. Whiskey
1/3 oz. Lime Juice
1/3 oz. Simple Syrup
3 dashes Tabasco Sauce

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled shot glass.

This drink proves that little packages can knock your socks off, so naturally this goes with the flash piece, “Penis.”  The name “The Bone” adds a juvenile pun as well.  Honestly, this drink is hot as hell and kind of weird and unpleasant, and most will think it’s plain wrong – which is exactly what the story is.

#2:  Captain’s Blood

1 ½ oz. Dark Rum
¼ oz. Lime Juice
¼ oz. Simple Syrup
2 dashes Agnostura Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

A great drink to go with “Tugboat to Traverse City.”  The story on one level is a philosophical allegory about death, and in it the captain of the tugboat is mysteriously absent.  This drink is delicious, as I hope is true of the story as well.

#3: The Correct Cocktail

1 ½ oz. Gin
½ oz. Ginger Liqueur
½ oz. Triple Sec
½ oz. Lemon Juice
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

I love how literal the name of this drink is, which fits well thematically with the story “Happy Turkey Day.”  This story deals with the randomness – and power – of naming, and how names can impact our lot in life. 

#4: Black Velvet on the rocks

1 ½ ounces of Black Velvet whiskey
Two cubes of ice

My favorite cheap whiskey, smooth as its name, it tends to help you forget your mistakes.  This drink is the perfect accompaniment to the story, “Ha-Ha, Shirt,” in which the protagonist makes many, many mistakes on a daily basis. 

#5: Milwaukee’s Best Light

Most of the characters in The Dark Will End the Dark are blue-collar, working-class types.  “The Beast” Light is a fine pairing with many of the stories, especially “The Hiccup King,” which is about a simple guy with simple tastes.  Crack it open and enjoy.


Darrin Doyle is the author of the novels The Girl Who Ate Kalamazoo (St. Martin’s Press) and Revenge of the Teacher’s Pet: A Love Story (LSU Press) and the short story collection, The Dark Will End the Dark (Tortoise Books).  His short fiction has appeared in many literary magazines, most recently BULL, Redivider, Pure Coincidence, Blackbird, and Newfound Journal.  He lives in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and teaches at Central Michigan University.  

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