Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tricia Dower's Guide to Books & Booze

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, Tricia Dower, with the help of her hubby's taste buds, whips up a drink for a character in her book Stony River, who's known as Crazy Haggerty. 

How about a Crazy Haggerty tonight?

Stony River opens with two girls spying on the dilapidated house of someone they call Crazy Haggerty, a man they’ve seen stumbling drunk down the sidewalk, wearing a magician’s suit and red shoes. There’s more to James Haggerty, the reader learns over the course of the novel: former professor, practitioner of Irish witchcraft and grieving widower. He does like his whiskey, though, and keeps a flask of it in his bathrobe pocket.

Good sport that he is and knowing whiskey isn’t my thing, my husband taste-tested a few concoctions before we settled on this recipe for a “Crazy Haggerty.”

·         1 ounce of Irish whiskey -- we used Jameson
·         1 ounce of well-chilled dry mead -- we used Magick Mead from Hornby Island, but another good dry mead will do
·         1/2 ounce of Irish Mist honey liqueur
·         Serve over a single ice cube

According to Wikipedia (the internet’s Oracle of Delphi), Irish Mist is “made from aged Irish whiskey, heather and clover honey, aromatic herbs and other spirits, blended to an ancient recipe claimed to be 1,000 years old.” It’s produced in Dublin but available in 40 countries. We live in Canada and found it easily at a liquor store near us.

Apparently mead is trending with the upwardly mobile, Game of Thrones crowd.  Personally, it makes me picture unwashed, bearded men brawling in a dank medieval hall.  It’s perfect for a “Crazy Haggerty,” however, as it has a long history with the Celts who once thought it had magic properties.

If James Haggerty had concocted the potion we named after him, he might have drunk it from the pewter chalice that sat on his altar. We used a Waterford (as in Waterford, Ireland) crystal glass.

Lest you think Stony River is all about magic spells and Irish witchcraft, I hasten to tell you it isn’t. It’s a mystery that shines a light on the type of secrets that hid behind closed doors in small-town America in a time we often romanticize. A mystery inspired by a true-crime story that shows how perilous it was for some girls to come of age in the 1950s.


In 2002, Tricia Dower retired from a career as a financial services executive and reinvented herself as a fiction writer. Her novel Stony River has just been released in the US. She’s also the author of the Shakespeare-inspired collection, Silent Girl, and the novel Becoming Lin. Born in Rahway, New Jersey, she now lives in Canada. Learn more at her website. Visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely done; it sounds delicious and I trust your hubby's taste buds. Would love to give it a try and all I need is the mead, Jameson whiskey, and Irish Mist honey liqueur. Perhaps a procurement trip to Dublin is in order.