Thursday, April 2, 2015

Riley's Moon for Marian Palaia and The Given World

April isn't the cruelest month, not when you can look forward to Marian Palaia's The Given World.

Since you have to wait two more weeks for the novel - The Given World comes out on April 14th - you can bide your time with this cocktail.  Feel free to read about it in our newsletter or just stop by the store (give me a heads-up and I'll be sure to have the fixin's on hand).

I wrote last month about three wonderful authors that I met in Berkeley and their three wonderful soon-to-be-published books.  Although, actually, I guess I didn't mention that I had met the authors because I hadn't - not yet.  That was still to come.  But I had read the books and mixed the drinks.  Then came the introductions, at Revival Bar & Kitchen.

One of our terrific book reps was throwing the party, and since Cheri Hickman knows how to do that, and knows a thing or two about selling books, she always makes us - the booksellers - feel welcomed and comfortable.  Joining her from New York was Richard Rhorer, Simon and Schuster's Vice President and Associate Publisher - but he was so charming I kept forgetting how important he was and so I'm sure I spoke out of turn any number of times and embarrassed myself mightily.

Such is life.

They both introduced us to this trio of authors - and to paraphrase Frankie Valli, oh what a night.

(Did you know that song was originally called December 5th, 1933?  And that it was about the repeal of Prohibition?  No?  Well, you're welcome.)

While we drank wine, Laura Dave talked to us about her intoxicating wine-country novel, Eight Hundred Grapes; Jessica Knoll assured us that she has a very active imagination and that we shouldn't confuse authors with narrators, especially not her narrator in Luckiest Girl Alive; and Marian Palaia gave us The Given World.

I wrote then that Ms. Palaia had provided us with a road map through one woman's grief - so to help that woman out, fictional though she was, I wanted to make sure that Riley always had the moon shining above.  To do that, I first needed to provide her with the cover of night, so I started with a little black vodka.  I couldn't add mescaline to it - one of her intoxicants of choice - but I had access to mezcal.  Then I'd smooth any rough edges with a little mint, a little sugar.

And of course I wanted to give her the moon, I said that, right?  So I did: 

Riley's Moon: 

2 oz. Blavod Black Vodka
1 oz. mezcal
.25 oz. mint-infused simple syrup 
Cocktail onion for garnish 

Stir all with ice.  Strain into chilled glass.  Garnish with the moon.