Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.— Ernest Hemingway

Books and drinks are as classic a pairing as PB&J, wine and cheese, bagels and lox, and milk and cookies. This duo is even better when the literary summaries are short, witty, and served up with a classic cocktail. In TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, Tim Federal finds the perfect balance between good old-fashioned American kitsch and a delightful, chuckle-inducing read—think puns, allusions, and memories of college days when nearly all drinks were served in red solo cups. The recipes are mostly simple, straightforward, and recognizable. Like any good recipe, however, input equals output: when a recipe calls for citrus, use only freshly squeezed. While U.S. government insists that all vodka must be distilled or treated until it is “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color,” not all vodkas taste the same—expect a harsh taste with cheap vodka. Ingredients matter. Choose the highest quality vodka possible, sit back, and enjoy reminiscing about your own dazzling adventures.


cuisine American
difficulty Simple
makes 1 cocktail
season Summer


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 can club soda


  1. Combine the vodka and juices in a  glass.
  2.  Fill to the top with the club soda.
  3.  Drink slowly to avoid the bends—and come up for air every now and then, diver boy.