Drinks from the Books You Were Forced to Read in High School

Time to throwback to all the classics you were forced to read in high school. Those classic books that everybody (in the US at least) is made to read as teenagers, whether or not you like it, and whether or not you appreciate it at the time. And if you argue that you were the type to Cliff Notes every assignment, and somehow graduated without reading a single novel on the required reading list, well, I feel as if you may have actually done even more work than the rest of us in the long run, and honestly who cares? We're grown up now and It's time to drink.

Mint Julep

from The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925)

"Open the whisky, Tom,' she ordered, 'and I'll make you a mint julep. Then you won't seem so stupid to yourself... Look at the mint!”

This delicious drink is a staple in most Southern states, especially in Kentucky, where character Daisy Buchanan is from. You just put a few spearmint springs into the bottom of a chilled high ball glass, top with a teaspoon of sugar and lightly crush. Pack glass with crushed ice, and be generous with the bourbon.

Scotch and Soda

from Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger, 1923)

"I ordered a Scotch and soda, and told him not to mix it—I said it fast as hell, because if you hem and haw, they think you're under twenty-one and won't sell you any intoxicating liquor."

It only makes sense that our protagonist Holden Caulfield would be drinking a scotch--the liquor has such definitive legal regulation that it leaves no room for phonies. The drink is clearly an easy fix: high ball glass, ice, scotch, and soda water. However, don't go trying to get one of these if you're underage. There are better ways of rebelling. 

Vodka Neat

from The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath, 1963)

“I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.” 

The Bell Jar is an honest look at life for a young woman with depression and struggle with social identity, something I feel that young women today relate to all too well. Trying to find a signature drink for yourself is something most attributed to male characters in literature, and to order a "neat", or essentially just straight liquor, no chaser, is often still considered a 'manly" thing to do. However the character Esther Greenwood was written to challenge much of the patriarchal pressures put on women, so it makes total sense that this would be her drink of choice.

Victory Gin

from 1984 (George Orwell, 1949)

"Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran out of his eyes. The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it on had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club. The next moment, however, the burning in his belly died down and the world began to look more cheerful."

This one is for you thrifty types. We may not live in a total dystopian civilization (yet), but tat doesn't mean you can't drink like it! In Orwell's 1984, Victory Gin was the one and only alcoholic beverage supplied by the government., and one that the protagonist, Winston Smith, indulged in quite often, despite it's terrible taste. I think we've all been there before.