Friday, November 21, 2014

Drinks with Reads: KILMOON, the Kilmoon Sour, and Sipping at Bouchercon with Lisa Alber


Just back from Bouchercon, Lisa Alber joins us for Drinks with Reads where she pairs her book, Kilmoon, with the perfect drink. You'll just have to keep reading to find out all about it. 

Family secrets, betrayal, and vengeance from beyond the grave … Merrit Chase has just discovered her long-lost father.
When I first started developing KILMOON, I began with Merrit’s long-lost father. In my Irish travels, I’d landed in Lisdoonvarna village, home of the Matchmaker Bar, which is home to a matchmaker named Willie Daly during the annual matchmaking festival. It was all very fascinating, but I couldn’t help but wonder, as we mystery writers are wont to do:
What if there was a matchmaker with a dark past at odds with his happily-ever-after fa├žade?
From there, Merrit’s story slowly developed. Her quest seemed simple enough: to meet her biological father, celebrated Liam the Matchmaker, in hopes that she can reconcile issues from her past. Instead, she lands in the middle of a decade’s old story of manipulation and hatred that erupts into the present when a local man is murdered. When Merrit discovers that the matchmaker’s treacherous past is at the heart of the chaos, she must decide how far she will go to save him from himself—and to get what she wants, a family.
This story is the first in a series that includes Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern and a cast of villagers, many of whom spend way too much time in the pubs—kind of like I did while I was in Ireland for novel research!
You might think I’d link Kilmoon with the perennially Irish drinks, Guinness or Bailey’s. Nope. Last December, I became obsessed with the idea of a signature cocktail. I’d like to blame thank Susan Elia MacNeal for inspiring my obsession. In this Jungle Red Writers blog post she shared signature cocktails for the Reds.
Alas, unlike Susan, I’m not a mixologist. I cajoled a friend who is rather an expert into inventing a drink for me. It’s called the Kilmoon Sour and features Irish whiskey. It comes in two variations, depending on whether your bar of choice carries fresh lemon juice. In addition, using bitters prevents this cocktail from being too sweet.
Last weekend I met our illustrious Mystery Playground hostess, Deborah Lacy, at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. Although we didn’t get a chance to sip Kilmoon Sours together, I can verify that bartenders have no problem making this drink. Yum! 
Slainte!

Kilmoon Sour with Fresh Lemon Juice
2 oz. Irish whiskey
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. grenadine (for the red in honor of murder, hehe)
2 dashes bitters
Optional garnish: blood orange (seasonal)
Put the whiskey, lemon juice, grenadine, and Angostura bitters in a cocktail shaker, over ice, and shake vigorously for at least a minute. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with blood orange as available.
Kilmoon Sour with Sweet-and-Sour Mix (if your bar doesn’t have fresh lemon juice)
2 oz. Irish whiskey
1/2 oz. sweet-and-sour mix
1/2 oz. grenadine
4 dashes bitters
Optional garnish: blood orange (seasonal)
Put the whiskey, mix, grenadine, and Angostura bitters in a cocktail shaker, over ice, and shake vigorously for at least a minute. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with blood orange as available.

Lisa Alber received an Elizabeth George Foundation writing grant based on an early version of Kilmoon, in addition to a Walden Fellowship. Visit Lisa at www.lisaalber.com. She blogs at Lisa Alber’s Words at Play. Also visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful drink! The book sounds fabulous too.

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    1. So great to meet you at Bouchercon, Deborah! Thanks for hosting me today. (I'm still recuperating, haha!)

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