Where do I even start? I’m not even sure…I guess I’ll start with my deep love for Barbara Kingsolver’s writing. She wrote one of my all-time favorite books, The Poisonwood Bible. I’ve read it multiple times and if you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably seen it pop up in recommendation stacks!
When I found out about Demon Copperhead, I could hardly contain my excitement. If you’ve never read Barbara’s writing (Barbara, because obviously I’m deeply and personally connected to her and we’re on a first name basis), it’s work that will swoop you up and place you within the mindset of the characters, as if you’re one in the same. She has such a unique ability to write with such a balance of raw clarity and beauty.
Demon Copperhead was the deep dive read I needed this year. I equate it with “the greats” of my reading history: 11/22/63, Betty, Pachinko, Shadows of Pecan Hollow, and, of course, The Poisonwood Bible. It’s a heavy-hitter and one you’ll sink down into.
The style of writing slowed me down more than I was expecting, as most of the dialogue between characters is being recalled to you by Demon. Most of the conversations are within the paragraphs, so there’s no skimming this one. All the better, honestly, it forced me to slow down and soak it all in.
It was perfect and painful and tender and honest. I just loved it all.
To celebrate my admiration of this book, I’ve paired it with one of my most-loved cold weather drinks, Austin’s Old Fashioned.
A few years ago, we discovered a speakeasy bar in downtown Fort Worth and started frequenting the establishment because of its calm atmosphere and absolutely phenomenal drinks. Our favorite was The Old Fashioned. The perfect balance between whiskey, bitters, and syrup. An Old Fashioned that’s too heavy on the bitters is… garbage.
Austin set on a mission to replicate this drink at home! After many attempts, he finally found the ratios he was looking for. It’s my favorite choice to cozy up with on a cold night!
Other Five Star Cocktail Recipes can be found here:
Other Five Star Recommendations can be found here:
Austin’s Old Fashioned
- 2 oz Kentucky Straight Bourbon (we often use Buffalo Trace or Old Forester)
- ½ oz simple syrup
- 3 drops of Angostura bitters
- Orange peel
- Luxardo cherry + 1/2 tsp syrup
- Pour the bourbon, simple syrup, and three drops of bitters into a glass and stir for at least 30 seconds. You want it to be smooooooooth.
- Rim the inside of the glass with the inside of the orange peel.
- Squeeze the orange peel inside of the glass, releasing the oils into the drink.
- Twist the orange peel and drop it in!
- Garnish with a Luxardo cherry + 1 tsp cherry syrup
The Old Fashioned is traditionally served at room temperature, which is why you want to use a quality bourbon. If you prefer yours chilled, add 1-2 ice cubes after preparing the drink.
I hope you love Demon Copperhead as much as I did! It was also Oprah’s Book Club pick for November!
Read it, make a drink, and send me a cheers! I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of the above!