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, M.M. Wolthoff is set to give you alcohol poisoning! There's a lot of drinking going on in his novel The West Texas Pilgrimage. Check it out:
WARNING: This book is not for the faint of Liver. Perhaps I should have included this disclaimer in the epigraph of The West Texas Pilgrimage. I recently received a less-than-positive book review in which the reviewer commented that she didn't like the characters because all they seem to do is drink and objectify women. While I respect her level of disgust with my character's behavior, I question what planet she lived on when she was in her early twenties. Wherever it was, I can assure you it was nowhere near the one I inhabited.
It is true that there is a lot of drinking in The West Texas Pilgrimage. Part of it is the way that the main character, Hunter, attempts to deal with the constant self doubt and repetitive negative thoughts brought on by his chronic depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. While maybe not the best thing for us health wise, nor particularly effective, I think most of us can relate to the occasional self medicating for stress, disappointment, insecurity, or other common ailments.
There is no question that we Texans like our booze. There is a streak in many Texans that stems from the wild origins of the state. Beer drinking is more or less, mas or menos if you live south of San Antonio, a recognized state past time. If you've ever floated down the Guadalupe or attended a live music show at Floore's Country Store, God bless the staff that have to pick up all of the beer cans and bottles littering the dance floor, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Speaking of music, have you checked out the soundtrack, found on Spotify through the website, to The West Texas Pilgrimage? This collection of mostly Texan songwriter's music is featured in order throughout the book and, by the way, a fantastic playlist to have a few drinks to. I encourage you to turn on the soundtrack, pour your preferred drink from the list below, and dive into the book; I think you'll find it to be a wild ride.
The West Texas Pilgrimage drink list
(in order of consumption):
Cuba Libre: Bacardi white rum, Coca Cola, and lime.
A favorite of south Texans and always a good coastal drink, Hunter likes to drink "Cubas" during the day in a deer blind.
Coors Beer: no explanation needed.
Rumor has it that the name "Silver Bullet" originated in a bar on the south side of San Antonio. Taste the Rockies and make sure those mountains are blue! The original variety, commonly referred to as the "Yellow Belly", is a favorite out west.
Scotch Whiskey: single malt fifteen year old Glenlivet.
What would a good Texas drinking story be without whiskey? Cinco White prefers the single malt variety served on the rocks or with no more than a splash of water.
Bloody Mary: Vodka, Clamato Juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, lime, and pepper.
Substitute V8 for the Clamato and you have all of your essential vitamins for breakfast, and a hangover cure.
Lone Star Beer:
Originally brewed in San Antonio in 1884, this is the National Beer of Texas.
Modelo Especial Cerveza:
First bottled in 1925 and brewed in Mexico City, it is this author's opinion that it beats the pants off of Corona.
Val Verde Winery:
Based in Del Rio, this vineyard's claim to fame is that it is the oldest continuously running winery in Texas. Prohibition be damned, they stayed open! They offer several types of wine, but their port is what is truly special.
Ma Crosby's Margaritas:
This Acuna Mexico border town icon was immortalized in George Strait's "Blame it on Mexico".
The Starlight Theatre Margaritas:
They have no less than eight recipes for margaritas at the Starlight in Terlingua. Whether you order the Scorpion or the Prickly Pear'ita, you will not be disappointed.
2004 Silver Oak Cabernet:
This Napa Valley produced cab is on the menu at the 12 Gage Restaurant at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas. You can pair a bottle with the stuffed quail, a ribeye, or an unbelievable chicken fried steak with roasted jalapeno cream gravy for a five star dining experience in the middle of nowhere West Texas.
Top Shelf Tequila Shots: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia or Don Julio 1942
The characters end up in the White Buffalo Bar in the Gage Hotel and order a round of top shelf tequila shots. While not specific in the book, the two mentioned above happen to be my favorite.
Matthew Martin Wolthoff lives in McAllen, Texas with his wife, Lucy Ann, and three children Hunter Ann, McCoy Martin, and Kerr Dunkin. He grew up in a military family, living all over the world until finding home in south Texas where he went to high school in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and has a masters in business administration from the University of Texas-San Antonio. His parents instilled a passion for reading and writing in him early in life that grows stronger every day. An avid outdoorsman, he finds his inspiration, and peace of mind, in the shallow waters of the Lower Laguna Madre and the wilderness of the south Texas brush country. His first west Texas pilgrimage was in 2010. It was a life changing event.