Looking for the perfect baby shower gift? This cocktail recipe book uses popular Mother Goose rhymes as the basis for a creative take on mixology. Both new fathers and mothers will appreciate this as a way to recognize their new roles as parents, along with their need to have some “grown-up” time which could include some adult beverages!
Author Tim Federle is known to most children’s librarians for his tween novels Better Nate Than Never (S&S, 2011) and Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (S&S, 2014), featuring the young teenager Nate who is breaking into Broadway musicals. Many readers have found Nate’s subtle acknowledgement that he is gay wonderfully lacking in drama or angst; it is just part of who he is. Plus, Federle is such a charming speaker that many librarians have enjoyed his presentations at various library conferences, so we want to know what’s new with him.
One may not be aware that Federle wears another hat – he also writes cocktail recipe guides. His first, Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist (Running Press, 2013), used famous (adult) novels as a theme for creative mixed drinks. There are even a few things you can make for kids instead of the standard Shirley Temple; try a Phantom Toll Juice or Cherry Poppins nonalcoholic drink! The book also contains some great recipes for snacks and bar food.
Hickory Daiquiri Dock doesn’t feature any food tips but there are 20 cocktail recipes. Each is titled with a pun on a Mother Goose rhyme, including Rum-a-Dub-Dub, Humpty Drunky, and Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary. Each recipe also features a fun rhyme to continue the theme: “Ring around the rosè, Not allowed to doze, “Hey!” Date night! Date night! We all fall down.” Many of the rhymes describe exhausted parents so this is very relatable.
The book design also continues the theme – it is done like a board book with plastic-coated cardboard pages. Nearly every recipe and rhyme faces a full-page color illustration, most featuring the imbibing parent. The artwork is similar in style to noted animator Mary Blair, and the illustrations feature parents of various ethnicities.
How are the recipes? Well, this reviewer did not make and try each one, but worked as a bartender while in grad school. The ingredients and instructions seem logical and clear; for the most part, these are variations on popular drinks including a Black Russian, Martini, and Old Fashioned. Often the new element is the garnish. So this works very well as a standard cocktail recipe guide.
The book concludes with one page of suggested drinking games, such as “Take a shot every time you lose the coupon for diapers.” Mainly, these quips are to lighten moments of stress for new parents, not to necessarily encourage drinking! So pack this into the gift basket along with a bottle or two of the expectant parent’s favorite spirits to enjoy after the baby comes.
By Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ.