Mixology and Murder
Mixology and Murder: Cocktails Inspired by Infamous Serial Killers, Cold Cases, Cults, and Other Disturbing True Crime Stories is a rather unique bartending cookbook. You can gather how from the subtitle.
Kierra Sondereker has assembled a set of variants on classic cocktails themed around famous true crimes. Each of the sixty drink recipes is accompanied by a short (2-4 paragraphs) writeup of the corresponding murders.
I’d heard of many of these villains or cases — H.H. Holmes, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jack the Ripper, the Black Dahlia, the Zodiac Killer, Leopold and Loeb are some of the best-known — but others were new to me. Some added information I wasn’t aware of; for instance, I finally learned the details behind Ed Gein (a Wisconsin farmer who inspired both Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and isn’t that a legacy).
The book itself is eye-catching, with a distinctive visual design. The pages are gloss black, with the cocktail recipes in white and the background stories in red type. That plays into two pet peeves of mine. I found the red-on-black hard to read, as it was low contrast, and glossy black pages mean you can’t read the book without leaving fingerprints and smudges all over it.
Still, with each cocktail getting an attractive photo, it’s a handsome hardcover, suitable for gift giving. For those interested in true crime and cocktails, it’s a tasty blend. (The publisher provided a review copy.)