This week’s literary cocktail is a Sea Breeze for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, another feature from Tim Federle’s book Tequila Mockingbird.
Another summer cocktail in February, wow, do I know how to pick ‘em?! Luckily, with global warming making February in the upper 50’s and rainy, it isn’t hard to imagine it’s cool enough to enjoy a sea breeze. I really chose this cocktail because I already have cranberry juice from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that needed to be used up and I wanted to read the book (win win). While the book is very long and can take a while to get into, it’s easy to have more than one sea breeze.
A classic sea breeze is 1 ½ oz vodka, 4 oz cranberry juice, and 2 oz grapefruit juice. Federle adds a can of club soda, making the drink fizzy (maybe to represent the sea).
As much as I wanted to follow Federle’s recipe, I did not want to have a bottle of grapefruit juice in my fridge for only one recipe (and I don’t care for grapefruit juice by itself). So, my solution was to buy grapefruit seltzer. Not only did I save some money but now I have delicious grapefruit seltzer! A solid mocktail would be to nix the vodka and add another ounce of each juice.
How do I know the other cocktails do not call for grapefruit juice, you ask? Well, as the nerdy information specialist that I am, I made a spreadsheet! My columns include book title, page number, ounces, ingredient 1, ingredient 2, ingredient 3, and ingredient 4. Using that information, I was able to pair cocktails with similar ingredients in other spreadsheets. It is nowhere near perfect, I should have an ounce column for each ingredient, but it works for now! And yes, I am making a separate spreadsheet of books and cocktails outside of Federle’s book.
My (strange) version of a sea breeze is quite refreshing even on cool February nights. It may be a while for the review of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea because, while it is a good story and the writing is well done, there are a lot of dry parts. Verne takes his time describing people and places with little dialogue. While this makes for amazing details and imagination on Verne’s part, for a 21st century reader it can be a little boring.