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A Tantalising Something-To-Sip-On Guide for Book-and-Beverage Lovers!

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Much like a glass of fine wine or a hot cuppa tea, curling up with a good book can bring the perfect ending to anything, whether it’s a breakup or the absolute Mondayest of Mondays. When it comes to choosing the ideal beverage to unwind with, you probably know what you’re likely to go for – but how do you choose what to read?

We’ve taken on the task of match-making the perfect something-to-sip-on with a literary accompaniment that will ensure you’re able to enjoy the best of both to their fullest potential!

  1. A Classic Cuppa Tea

While tea may seem boring, it’s actually anything but! As warm beverages go, tea is richly infused with history, with people reported to have been brewing and consuming it from as far back as the 2nd Century BC!

To enhance your experience of sipping on a hot cuppa, we recommend Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim. Not only is ‘tea’ in the title, but the story itself is filled with cups of tea enjoyed alongside French pastries, as we follow the story of Vanessa, a woman who travels to Paris to hone her ability to read peoples’ fortunes through tea leaves. A story steeped in flavour, the narrative is dotted throughout with delectable descriptive details – such as fragrant cups of honey chrysanthemum tea – which are certain to leave you longing for more!

  • A Strong Coffee

It’s our belief that there is no such thing as too many cups of coffee (or too many books on a TBR pile)! And it’s no mistake that bookstores all over the world often have a coffee shop inside or at least, nearby, serving as testament to the coupling of books and coffee as a match made in literary heaven!

When next you sip on a strong coffee, we recommend doing so with Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast in hand! As an eccentric author, dear old Hem was a regular patron of the cafés of Paris, with a decent amount of his time dedicated to beverages more alcoholically inclined. However, he did have a strong appreciation for coffee as a beloved remedy to everything from bar fights to marital strife. His book, A Moveable Feast, packs a caffeine-esque punch offering up belles-lettres about Hemingway’s early years as a struggling expat, journalist, and writer. Between the coffee, and the book’s short, sharp sentences, you’ll find yourself invigorated and ready for anything!

  • A Fine Wine… Or Three

Sometimes the only thing that can take the edge off, or elevate a moment of sensory indulgence, is a glass of fine wine. No matter the weather or the occasion, it seems there’s always a wine – be it red, white, or blush – that hits the spot and helps you relax.

We encourage you to elevate your next 'verre de vin' with the perfect pairing of Frederick Backman’s, A Man Called Ove, which tells the story of a curmudgeonly man named Ove, who boasts staunch principles, stern rules, and a remarkably short fuse. Despite his best efforts to withdraw from the world after the death of his wife, our main character inevitably finds himself drawn out from his self-imposed isolation when a friendly family moves in next door, messily entangling him into their lives. When paired with a good glass of wine, this is a story that’s set to entertain, as much as it endears!

  • A Good Ol' Faithful Whiskey

There’s always been a strong connection between literature and whiskey, whether it’s because it was an author’s beverage of choice, or because a main character routinely pours himself a stiff one. The great William Faulkner himself was fond of saying, “The tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food and a little whiskey.”

In honour of Faulkner, we recommend his book, Light in August. Aside from the author’s personal appreciation of the stuff, the main character in the book, who's named Joe Christmas, makes a living bootlegging whiskey from a cabin in the backcountry (an act in which Faulkner was similarly well versed). The narrative itself is replete with descriptions of whiskey and the characters who consume it. A fine example of this is the main character's first time drinking the stuff: “The whiskey began to burn in him and he began to shake his head slowly from side to side, while thinking became one with the slow, hot coiling and recoiling of his entrails.” And as first encounters with whiskey go, we’re sure many can relate!

  • An Exotic Cocktail

“What are you doing here?” he said to the drunkard whom he found sitting silently in front of a collection of bottles, some empty and some full.

“I am drinking,” answered the drunkard lugubriously.

“Why are you drinking?” the little prince asked.

“In order to forget,” replied the drunkard.

While we don’t suggest you make a habit of pairing cocktails with your reading (because we’re not 100% sure you’d ever get any reading done), we do think it’s fun to pay homage to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s much-loved masterpiece, The Little Prince, by drinking something a little bit different.

Cue the Little Prince, a robust cocktail made with rum, cognac, pineapple basil syrup, and lime. Although it’s bold in flavour, it’s also refreshing, making it the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon spent on a warm patio with Saint-Exupéry’s book in hand.

  • While We’re on Cocktails, What About a Psycho Killer?

We’ll admit, this one is as much inspired by the film adaptation as by the book itself. But when it comes to American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – and the film by Mary Harron – Christian Bale’s portrayal of main character, serial killer Patrick Bateman, remains seared into our imaginations forever!

Tracing the daily life (and night-time debauchery) of a wealthy young stockbroker, the novel immerses its readers into a hedonistic world of rampant commercialism and empty excess, with Bateman becoming increasingly incapable of controlling his urges to act on his psychopathic thoughts. While at first glance, the ingredients of our suggested cocktail accompaniment may make you want to run away – much like bumping into Bateman on any given day – it’s the perfect seemingly-chaotic mix of ingredients that combine to form a quality concoction. What's its name, you ask? Well, none other would do, than the Psycho Killer. Good luck to you!

  • A Comforting Hot Choccy

There are few things more comforting than a rich, foamy hot chocolate – preferably with a mini marshmallow or two on top. And by virtue of this, you need a piece of literature you can get lost in; a book whose pages you can immerse yourself, as you forget about the world around you and sink comfortably into the words printed upon the page.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is a suitably sumptuous literary feast that tells the turn-of-the-century tale of the all-female De La Garza family. Romantic and poignant, it’s rich with moments of magic, wit, earthiness and – delightfully – recipes! A bestselling phenomenon, it’s a must for readers in search of something that’s just right.

Few things help set the mood better than the pairing of the perfect beverage and a book. Whatever you’re feeling, it can be the remedy to highs and lows of real life – even if it’s just for a little while. If you’ve got a favourite book and beverage pairing that comes to mind, let us know? We’d love some more inspiration when it comes to what we sip on when next we sit and read!

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with what we’re sipping on, er, we mean reading, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

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