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Five Star Cocktail: The Garden City

Katherine Center’s books are known for bringing all of the warm fuzzies and her 2023 release, Hello Stranger, is a contender for her sweetest love story yet! It’s my latest read to earn a Five Star Cocktail celebration!

In a recent Instagram Reel, Center shared her perspective on love stories. She spoke about the concept of hope within a love story. That knowing there will be a happily ever after isn’t a spoiler or predictable, but rather allows the reader to experience a rare emotional bliss of something to look forward to, hope. You can check out that reel right here.

Center is a master at creating stories that evoke hope.

This book exudes kindness, sweetness, and levity, which all come as a breath of fresh air in such a stressful time. 

I knew I wanted to celebrate it with a cocktail to match! So, off I went to Pinterest, in search of a drink that felt light, floral, balanced, and welcoming. I found this article from Empress Gin and knew it was what I was looking for! I made a couple of slight adjustments (add a little more gin, simple syrup instead of lychee syrup), but still honored the original recipe. And, that presentation! Let me tell you, this one truly tastes as good as it looks! 

Before I share the recipe and instructions for the Garden City, check out my review of Hello Stranger.

You can order this book and all of my other favorites from the Books list in my Amazon Storefront

The Garden City by Empress Gin


2 oz Empress Gin

1 oz grapefruit juice

½ oz lemon juice

½ oz simple syrup


  1. Shake grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup on ice. 
  2. Pour mixture and ice into a coupe glass.
  3. Top with Empress gin.
  4. Garnish with a pansy and grapefruit and enjoy! 

Send me a “cheers” if you make the Garden City! You can find all of my thoughts on current reads on my Instagram page!

Want more Five Star Cocktails?

Strawberry Basil Margarita for The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

Strawberry Bourbon Smash for Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Spice Pineapple Margarita for I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

French 75 for Atomic Habits by James Clear

Spicy Passion Fruit Margarita for The Reunion

Large Batch Strawberry Margaritas for Maame by Jessica George

Will you try the Garden City? What book would you like to see paired next? Looking forward to Hello Stranger by Katherine Center? 

Leave a comment below and let’s chat! 

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