Thanks to a recent crop of niche cocktail books, you can now raise a glass in honor of characters in your favorite movies, novels and television shows. Think of the recipes as fan fiction in liquid form: Many of the cocktails featured in their pages are classic drinks just dressed up in cosplay drag, draped in the whimsy of the fictional worlds from which they emerged. Because sure, a G&T is nice, but it might be even better transformed into a Star Wars-themed Qui-Gon Jinn and Tonic, a High Society fit for a true Gossip Girl or a brisk Bonnie Gold, named for a fierce prizefighter in the Peaky Blinders crime series.
Read on to discover a few favorites across a range of genres.
Historical Drams for Historical Dramas
Period costumes, vintage glassware and quotes from the series fill out The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book (Weldon Owen, 2019), which includes a foreword by Julian Fellowes, the show’s creator and writer, as well as an introduction written by food historian Annie Gray. Try the Wild Rose, a Tequila sparkler named for the rebellious Lady Rose.
Meanwhile, the Peaky Blinders Cocktail Book:40 Cocktails Selected by the Shelby Company Ltd (White Lion Publishing, 2020), by Sandrine Houdre-Gregoire leans into whiskey and gin libations, an ideal match for the gangster-centric series set in post-WWI England.
How to Toast Teen TV
Saucy drinks served up with sassy side-eye characterize XOXO, A Cocktail Book: An Unofficial Gossip Girl Fan Book (Ulysses Press, 2020), by Bridget Thoreson. Notes for each drink dive deep into the show’s plotlines and the scheming prep-school characters who cavort amid the glittering backdrop of Manhattan, Martinis in hand. Look for drinks like Dirty Scandal (a Dukes’ Martini) and the Brooklyn Backstabber (a classic Brooklyn). You know you love it.
All the Best Sci-Fi Sips
The gold standard in this category is the well-researched Drink Like a Geek: Cocktails, Brews, and Spirits for the Nerd in All of Us (Mango Media, 2020), by Jeff Cioletti. It celebrates drinking lore across a wide range of comic book and video game universes, plus recipes like the matcha green-tinged Yoda Gin Fizz.
To head deeper down the rabbit hole of themed drinks in eye-popping bright hues, consider the independently published Drink Me, You Must!: The Essential Star Wars Cocktail Book (2020), by Sharon Powell, or The Harry Potter Cocktail Cookbook (Lurrena Publishing, 2020), by Geoange Loaen.