If anyone ever says to me 'I don't really seem to be able to get into books' or 'I just don't know what to read next' I nearly always recommend The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
It's a dystopian tale of a world where women are subjugated and oppressed. The scariest, and simultaneously best, thing about it is that so many of the events that take place in this novel are perpetrated against women around the world. This novel takes so much of the sexism and hostility towards women and shows us the terrifying future that would open up if it was allowed to happen all at once.
When I was asked what to drink with The Handmaid's Tale I knew I wanted it to be a red wine cocktail that would match the red dresses of the handmaids and that would give a bit of a remedy to some of the hardest parts of this book.
Whilst I was reading about red wine cocktails I found one called The Bishop, which considering The Handmaid's Tale is set in a totalitarian Christian theonomy, was the obvious choice.
It combines red wine, rum, sugar syrup and lime juice to create a very adult sangria. I played around with lots of recipes to find one that I liked but, as always with cocktails, this can be tailored to your tastes.
To make a Toasting Books Bishop: pour 75ml red wine, 25ml rum, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar syrup and the juice of quarter of a lime into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty and cold. Pour into a chilled wine glass. If you like a little fizz top up with soda water. For more sweetness with your fizz, add just a little lemonade (not too much; this isn't actually fizzy pop).
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