Your Essential St. Patrick's Day Drinking (and Reading) List

Posted by Jessica on March 16, 2015
Planning to "drown the shamrock" at your St. Paddy's celebration? This year, get a little creative! We've compiled a list of more delicious alternatives to that gross green beer, with one wee caveat—these special drinks and cocktails are all fictional!

You can find fan-concocted recipes for many of these literary libations. We've linked some below. Please share your own favorites! Which drink do you most wish were real? Share your best recipe guesses in the comments!

GREEN SWIZZLE
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"The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy," collected in Carry on, Jeeves
by P.G. Wodehouse

It's still green! Bertie Wooster himself declares of this Wodehousian version of a Caribbean rum swizzle,"...if ever I marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down in the register." Some sources report that Wodehouse did not invent this himself, but no doubt he had his own twist.


PAN GALACTIC GARGLE BLASTER
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

Dubbed "the alcoholic equivalent of a mugging" and "the best drink in existence," a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster should be consumed with caution: Drinking one is "like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick." Adams helpfully provided a recipe, but you might have trouble finding all of the ingredients (Fallian marsh gas, the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger...).


GINGER SCALD
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The Lies of Locke Lamora
by Scott Lynch

With hints of pear and radishes, this unusual drink is finished by plunging a red-hot poker into the liquid. Locke describes "when the cold burn of the ginger scald hit his lips (limning every tiny crack with stinging heat, and outlining every crevice between teeth and gums in exquisite pain...)" Yum! Goodreads Author and food blogger Chelsea Monroe-Cassel offers an excellent recipe, complete with hot-poker handling instructions!


END OF THE WORLD DELIGHT
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Cat's Cradle
by Kurt Vonnegut

A darker take on a green drink, as befitting Kurt Vonnegut. "He wanted me to give him a drink on account of the world was coming to an end. So I mixed him an 'End of the World Delight.' I gave him about a half-pint of crème de menthe in a hollowed-out pineapple, with whipped cream and a cherry on top."


BUTTERBEER
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Harry Potter Series
by J.K. Rowling

Allegedly slightly alcoholic, this wizarding favorite can be served hot or cold, and J.K. Rowling says, "I imagine it to taste a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch." For the launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, Chef Steven Jayson spent three years perfecting an official butterbeer recipe, which is unfortunately classified!


SCUMBLE
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Discworld Series
by Terry Pratchett

Raise a glass full of Discworld apple-based moonshine in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett. "A lot of stories are told about scumble, and how it is made out on the damp marshes, according to ancient recipes passed down rather unsteadily from father to son. It's not true about the rats, or the snakes' heads, or the lead shot. The one about the dead sheep is a complete fabrication. We can lay to rest all the variants of the one about the trouser button. But the one about not letting it come into contact with metal is absolutely true..." You can try some fan recipes here and here, or even buy an officially licensed version!


SPICE BEER
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Dune Chronicles
by Frank Herbert

If you're not up for dodging monster sandworms to harvest spice, the most coveted substance in Herbert's universe, you'll have to learn how to brew your own cinnamon-infused ale, a "fermented substance called 'spice beer,' potent and pungent with a strong cinnamon bite at the back of his throat. [Keedair] found the drink exhilarating and ordered a second" (from The Butlerian Jihad).


GRAF
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The Dark Tower Series
by Stephen King

Perhaps a close cousin of Pratchett's scumble, this apple beer is the drink of choice in Stephen King's Mid-World. Lots of homebrewing fans have tried their versions, ranging from hard apple cider to dark malt, including this one with full video instructions!


What literary-inspired drinks will you be imbibing on St. Paddy's? And if you need more real-world guidance, try these Listopias: Best Cocktails and Best Home Brewing Books.


Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

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message 1: by ♠ Eze ♠ (new)

♠ Eze ♠ Dune and The Dark Tower, epic books.


message 2: by Celise (new)

Celise Perhaps should try the Scumble in honour of Sir Pratchett.


message 3: by Syed Asif (last edited Mar 17, 2015 12:34AM) (new)

Syed Asif Ali Why is the drinking of alcohol celebrated so much in western cultures? It is supposed to be a vice, at least in the culture I was brought up.
This is not a provocative question, I am simply curious.
How is it that a supposed vice is celebrated so much, or is it not considered a vice at all?


message 4: by Celise (last edited Mar 17, 2015 01:13AM) (new)

Celise Syed Asif wrote: "Why is the drinking of alcohol celebrated so much in western cultures? It is supposed to be a vice, at least in the culture I was brought up.
This is not a provocative question, I am simply curious..."


(view spoiler)

I hid my response under the spoiler, Syed. Just to keep it shorter.


message 5: by Syed Asif (new)

Syed Asif Ali Thanks for the reply, Celise, and rest assured, none of that was inflammatory at all, to me.
Done in the right measure, even vice can be fun or rather, fun can turn into a vice when indulged in excess. Proper measure is required. That makes sense to me.
As to why consider it a vice as long as we aren't harming ourselves or others? I disagree with you there, statistics would suggest that alcohol is really bad for the individual and society in general. Vice is just a term used for bad habits and alcohol (drinking) fits the bill perfectly, I think.


message 6: by Paz (new)

Paz Syed Asif wrote: "Why is the drinking of alcohol celebrated so much in western cultures? It is supposed to be a vice, at least in the culture I was brought up.
This is not a provocative question, I am simply curious..."


I think it's all about History. Drinkingalcoholic beberages were healthier untilnot so long ago, because water transmited a lot of illnesses and fermentation kill viruses and bacteries. So drinking alcohol was seen as wiser and healthier. I, personally, don´t like alcohol, but it's all because of that.


message 7: by Celise (last edited Mar 17, 2015 01:33AM) (new)

Celise Syed Asif wrote: "Thanks for the reply, Celise, and rest assured, none of that was inflammatory at all, to me.
Done in the right measure, even vice can be fun or rather, fun can turn into a vice when indulged in ex..."


I'm going to pull out word "habit" there from your response. I did say that becoming dependent on alcohol would make it a vice. It isn't habit if it isn't done regularly, therefore I wouldn't see it as a vice, if that makes sense? Chocolate and candy is also bad for the individual, but only if he eats it out of habit. Plus there is also a difference between simply drinking and getting drunk to the point where you are blacking out and hurting people or yourself.

And I agree with you Paz that that's how it came about. They also just weren't as knowledgeable about alcohol's effects on the body. Pregnant women used to drink until they realized that wasn't smart. Now we at least know the effect it has and can hopefully drink wisely if we're going to do it for enjoyment.


message 8: by Syed Asif (new)

Syed Asif Ali Paz wrote: "Syed Asif wrote: "Why is the drinking of alcohol celebrated so much in western cultures? It is supposed to be a vice, at least in the culture I was brought up.
This is not a provocative question, I..."


That makes a lot of sense. Long and hard winters in Europe and relatively high calorie content of Alcohol may be a factor too. I am from India, winters are very mild here and fresh veggies all year round, no need to preserve or cure meats either, which are/were very important for western diet as well along with alcohol. That's not to say that people don't drink here, they do. But there are no festivals specifically dedicated to it.


message 9: by Syed Asif (new)

Syed Asif Ali Celise wrote: "Syed Asif wrote: "Thanks for the reply, Celise, and rest assured, none of that was inflammatory at all, to me.
Done in the right measure, even vice can be fun or rather, fun can turn into a vice w..."


No, that makes perfect sense to me. Too much is bad, a little is good (well, not good may be, but fun, nonetheless). But how to demarcate between the two. Aren't there many alcoholics who fully believe that they drink just 'socially'.
Also when we celebrate drinking, do we also not celebrate that excessive, sinister side of it along with the light side? There are no disclaimers attached to it, are there?


message 10: by Joanna (new)

Joanna "Why is drinking celebrated...?"
It's a throwback from the past with fewer life's simple comforts. The true reason is the climate: in olden, cold, pre-central heating days we needed a drop of alcohol to keep warm.
Of course some will over-use and abuse it but that can be said about anything: even most virtuous pursuits become vices if taken too far.
So relax, don't demonize it and enjoy life.


message 11: by Syed Asif (new)

Syed Asif Ali Joanna wrote: ""Why is drinking celebrated...?"
It's a throwback from the past with fewer life's simple comforts. The true reason is the climate: in olden, cold, pre-central heating days we needed a drop of alcoh..."


No, sure, I get it. Vice in moderation becomes ... and all that, see my previous replies.
"even most virtuous pursuits become vices if taken too far." This is true only loosely. What about the virtue of not drinking, however much you not drink, it does'nt become a vice.
As for demonizing it, I don't think it needs my help at all, its pretty much got itself covered on that front. Just google alcohol death statistics and see for yourself.
Anyways, I think I got my answers. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all and ...
Cheers!!


message 12: by Aja: (new)

Aja: The Narcoleptic Ninja For anyone looking to try butterbeer, Flying Cauldron is a great alternative to the park brew!

http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Cauldron...

Enjoy! <3


message 13: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 17, 2015 06:51AM) (new)

I think I'll try a dangerous experiment mixing a pan galactic gargle blaster to a scumble, but when people talented like Terry Pratchett pass away a reader needs something really strong.


message 14: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg Don't forget that on March 17th, you have to read Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, and drink exactly what the characters drink, every time they do it. ;)


message 15: by Diamond (new)

Diamond I really wanna read Mort by Terry Pratchett. I have it, so I guess this coming few weeks is the perfect time


message 16: by Joseph (new)

Joseph If you are looking for some good literature related liquor I'd like to suggest a fun resource: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle.


message 17: by Amina (last edited Mar 18, 2015 03:16AM) (new)

Amina Hayat could any of u tell me what you gys r talking about?


message 18: by Aoife (new)

Aoife Oh man, just thinking of all the things Locke Lamora and Jean would do on St.Paddy's Day will amuse me for hours!


message 19: by Miche (new)

Miche Celise wrote: "Perhaps should try the Scumble in honour of Sir Pratchett."


Ditto!


message 20: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale Can't believe you've forgotten Barliman Butterbur's beer and ale from the Prancing Pony Inn in Bree!


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* What a fun list! Thanks for compiling something like this.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Syed Asif wrote: "Why is the drinking of alcohol celebrated so much in western cultures? It is supposed to be a vice, at least in the culture I was brought up.
This is not a provocative question, I am simply curious..."


No, it's only a vice if a person overdoes it to the point of eventual addiction. The spirit goes into the spirit of parties and celebrations - with St Patricks day, think they created a fun blog post here.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Paz wrote: "Syed Asif wrote: "Why is the drinking of alcohol celebrated so much in western cultures? It is supposed to be a vice, at least in the culture I was brought up.
This is not a provocative question, I..."


I never thought of this, either - good point.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Aja wrote: "For anyone looking to try butterbeer, Flying Cauldron is a great alternative to the park brew!

http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Cauldron...

Enjoy! <3"


I don't like the taste of beer but I'm curious on that one. didn't Starbucks or Wendys or something do a Harry Potter drink theme a few years back?

If you are looking for some good literature related liquor I'd like to suggest a fun resource: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle.

I've had this on the wishlist for awhile


message 25: by Aja: (last edited Mar 25, 2015 10:12AM) (new)

Aja: The Narcoleptic Ninja Erin (Series Addict) wrote: "I don't like the taste of beer but I'm curious on that one. didn't Starbucks or Wendys or something do a Harry Potter drink theme a few years back?"

I know Starbucks has a "secret menu" butterbeer that consisted of a Creme Frappuccino base, 3 pumps of caramel syrup, 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup, and a caramel drizzle on top. It's a really thick drink. Not sure about Wendy's or anything like that.

Flying Cauldron is more like a butterscotch cream soda. It's also non-alcoholic.


message 26: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale Aja wrote: "Erin (Series Addict) wrote: "I don't like the taste of beer but I'm curious on that one. didn't Starbucks or Wendys or something do a Harry Potter drink theme a few years back?"

I know Starbucks h..."


Butterscotch cream soda? Yum! All butterscotch is is a caramel made with brown sugar instead of white. *wink*


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