Time to grab a book and get tipsy!
Books & Booze 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, in honor of "Name Your Posion Day", Christopher David Rosales' is throwing a drink at his novel Silence the Bird, Silence the Keeper.
Old Fashioned Paloma
The cocktail I pair with my novel Silence the Bird, Silence the Keeper is an Old Fashioned married to a Paloma. A Paloma is typically 2 ounces of tequila, 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, a pinch of salt, and 6 ounces of Jarritos grapefruit soda. It’s a favorite drink in Mexico, and while camping in California my friends and I would always make them on the cheap using tequila and Squirt.
With the help of my friend, poet and bartender Derrick Mund, we concocted something new. Though the Paloma was the main idea, we muddled grapefruit rind in sugar to create a syrup along the lines of an Old Fashioned, and added some bitters too. The grapefruit rind you see as garnish, Derrick shaped into a rose for my last name, Rosales.
Old Fashioned Paloma Recipe
2.5 oz Raicilla or Mezcal.5 oz Grapefruit Simple SyrupOne Dash Plum BittersOne Dash Grapefruit BittersOne Dash Angostura BittersStir Ingredients and Strain Over IceGarnish with Grapefruit Twist
This is a drink heavily influenced, like the book, by my nostalgia for Paramount, California (in L.A. County) and all of our old family parties. The song, “Cucurrucucu Paloma”, was one of my grandmother’s favorites. When cleaning out her garage after she passed away, I found a cassette tape loaded up on sides A and B with all of the alternate versions of that song recorded through the years. This version, featured in the film Habla Con Ella, was my favorite:
Dicen que por las noches
No más se le iba en puro llorarDicen que no comíaNo más se le iba en puro tomarJuran que el mismo cieloSe estremecía al oír su llantoCómo sufrió por ellaY hasta en su muerte la fue llamandoAy, ay, ay, ay, ay cantabaAy, ay, ay, ay, ay gemíaAy, ay, ay, ay, ay cantabaDe pasión mortal moríaQue una paloma tristeMuy de mañana le va a cantarA la casita solaCon sus puertitas de par en parJuran que esa palomaNo es otra cosa más que su almaQue todavía esperaA que regrese la desdichadaCucurrucucú paloma, cucurrucucú no lloresLas piedras jamás, paloma¿Qué van a saber de amoresCucurrucucú, cucurrucucúCucurrucucú, cucurrucucúCucurrucucú, paloma, ya no le llores
It’s a song about love, passion, and mourning. It’s equally sad and sweet.
Now, full disclosure: I love puns much more than most writers will admit (Silence the Bird . . . / Paloma is Spanish for Dove), but the Old Fashioned Paloma pairs well with my novel for more reasons than that. The song, “Cucurrucucu Paloma” is about contradiction. As the singer begs the dove not to cry, he is issuing the very cry in his request. Similarly, my novel is about both lament at war and fulfillment of peace. It is about tragedy and hopefulness in a time of civil strife. And it’s about a community who love to celebrate with each other, who love to sit around and tell their own story, likely with a drink in hand.
Christopher David Rosales' first novel, Silence the Bird, Silence the Keeper (Mixer Publishing, 2015) won the McNamara Creative Arts Grant. Previously he won the Center of the American West's award for fiction three years in a row. He is a PhD candidate at University of Denver and has taught university level creative writing for 10 years.. Rosales' second novel, Gods on the Lam releases in June, 2017 from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and Word is Bone, his third novel, is forthcoming 2018 from Broken River Books.