Friday, April 15, 2016

The Improved Holland Gin Cocktail and the Corpse with the Garnet Face

One our favorite Drinks with Reads authors, Cathy Ace, is back today matching her latest book, The Corpse with the Garnet Face to the perfect drink.

Amsterdam – the home of gin, beer, cheese, art, and the city Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson visit in The Corpse with the Garnet Face

I’ve set every Cait Morgan Mystery in a place I know well; I’ve either lived there or have spent several months or years visiting the place over the decades. In this book, it’s the same situation: when I add up all the time I’ve spent in Amsterdam and other parts of the Netherlands it amounts to about two years…so I know the place quite well and have quite a few friends who are Dutch (not all of them still live in Holland). 
I’m a bit of a foodie, like Cait Morgan, and have to admit I am a cheese devotee…so the cheeses of Holland have given me much pleasure. I like to eat cheese without bread or crackers – just in little nibbles, maybe with a few dried figs or dates. It goes very well with this cocktail.

Pick up a copy of The Corpse with the Garnet Face, and settle down with a selection of cheeses and this drink – then imagine you’re wandering along the canals toward a museum packed with incredible works of art, as Cait and Bud eventually manage to do.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Bud is as surprised to discover he has a long-lost uncle as he is to discover Uncle Jonas has met an untimely death. Bud’s mother assures him Jonas was a bad child—but, from beyond the grave—Uncle Jonas begs his nephew to visit the city he adopted as his home to delve into the life he built for himself there, founded on his passion for art. With an old iron key as their only clue, Cait and Bud travel to Amsterdam to solve the cryptic message left by Jonas, and honor the dying wishes of a long-lost relative.
ABOUT THE DRINK: The Dutch drinks brand Bols is the oldest distillery brand in the world (Est. 1575), and one of the oldest Dutch companies still active today. It’s suitable, therefore, that I chose a cocktail using one of their brands, Genever Gin, as the base for a cocktail to pair with a book set in Amsterdam. (This recipe comes from the Bols website.) Gin started its life in Holland as the spirit jenever, so there’s a historic link that Cait, a lover of gin, would enjoy.

2 oz Bols Genever
1/4 oz Bols Maraschino
2 dash Angostura bitters
1 barspoon Sugar syrup
2 Absinthe (spray)
Lemon zest

Stir all the ingredients except the absinthe and lemon zest in a glass with ice until thoroughly chilled, then strain into a martini glass (or an old-fashioned champagne coupe, if you have one). Spray with the absinthe, wipe the lemon zest around the rim. SIP (it’s really quite strong!) 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, and worked in marketing communications for decades across Europe. Having migrated to Canada in 2000, she now lives in beautiful British Columbia, where her ever-supportive husband (and two chocolate Labradors) ensure she’s able to write full-time. Bestselling author Ace writes two series of mystery books: the Cait Morgan Mysteries, and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries. Her fourth Cait Morgan Mystery, The Corpse with the Platinum Hair, won the 2015 Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery.

Twitter: @AceCathy


  1. Thanks for inviting me along today to talk about my new Cait Morgan Mystery - and gin! I hope folks like the photo - I did my best to give it the feeling of one of those wonderful still life works by the Dutch Masters where they make food, flowers and drinks look so delightful! :-)

  2. What a great idea, matching books with drinks and snacks. I'm looking forward to reading The Corpse With the Garnet Face. I might wait until later in the day for a drink :)

  3. I am not a gin person but this sounds interesting!

  4. How fun! I love this and LOVE gin. I went to a mini cocktail class a few weeks ago and learned how to make an Old Fashioned and Vodka Cobbler. I like this idea of pairing drinks with books. Can't wait to read this one!

  5. I'm a huge gin fan! I must admit, though, that Ive never paired my gin with a I love the idea! Thanks for the book and drink recommendations!

  6. How fun to make drinks that go with the book you're reading.