Friday, October 28, 2016

The New York Champagne Cocktail and THE CORPSE WITH THE RUBY LIPS

Cathy Ace is here to match her latest book - The Corpse with the Ruby Lips - to the perfect drink. Cathy has the distinction of being our most frequent Drinks with Reads contributor. You can find links to all of her posts at the bottom of the blog. 

First, a bit about the book: in THE CORPSE WITH THE RUBY LIPS, Cait Morgan is teaching a semester of courses in criminal psychology at the Hungarian University of Budapest. Without her beloved husband, Bud, at her side (he’s in Canada helping his mom recuperate from hip surgery) she finds herself feeling isolated and lonely. Bud discovers he’s ill-suited to nursing duties, and is bored to tears. 

Thus, with the aim of giving her husband something to keep his mind occupied, Cait takes up the challenge presented to her by a Hungarian student, Zsófia Takacs, to look into a cold case from the 1970s.  Zsófia’s grandmother was murdered on Cait’s own campus back in Canada but no one was ever arrested, and Cait is intrigued. Bud’s onboard in a heartbeat, and enjoys discussing the case with old colleagues from his time with the RCMP, but he’s warned off by some well-connected folks who “work for the Canadian government”.

As Cait becomes tangled in the web of denial, deceit and distrust being spun by Zsófia’s bizarre family, she wonders if she’s becoming paranoid…or is she really being followed as she visits some of Budapest’s iconic landmarks? Maybe it’s too much rich food. Maybe it’s the unwanted attention of a colleague at the university who smiles just a little too much. Or is it just the atmosphere created by zither music and gypsy violins? Whatever is causing her unease, Cait tries to ignore the signs she’s in more danger than ever before, until...

And now the drink: to pair with this tale of a cold case possibly linked to the Cold War set in a fascinating city with a troubled past, try the signature cocktail from one of the places Cait dines in Budapest, and where  Zsófia invites her to look into her grandmother’s death – the world-renowned New York Café. Built at the height of the Austro-Hungarian Empire it’s an awe-inspiring building where the chefs now lead the way in modern interpretations of traditional Hungarian cuisine. 

The mango syrup in this cocktail offsets the sour Campari, giving the drink a unique, complex flavor. An intriguing cocktail from a complicated city – totally delicious, and absolutely suited to this book. 

The New York Champagne Cocktail 

Campari, mangó szirup, pezsgő 
Campari, mango syrup (not mango puree), champagne

Add 1oz of chilled Campari, ½ ounce of chilled mango syrup to a chilled champagne glass, top up with chilled champagne. Works well as an aperitif, or with fruit (especially strawberries). 

(That’s Cheers! in Hungarian, and is pronounced “eggy sheggy drey”.)

THE CORPSE WITH THE RUBY LIPS is the eighth Cait Morgan Mystery by Cathy Ace. You can connect with Cathy in the following ways:
Twitter: @AceCathy

Here are links to all of Cathy's Drinks with Reads posts:


  1. This book sounds great, I love the back and forth between Budapest and Canada. Also, the drink I mean anything with champagne has to be wonderful, right?

    1. Thanks, Sharon...and I agree about champagne-based drinks :-)

  2. Thanks for giving me the chance to be here today...CHEERS!

    1. Thank you for another fabulous post Cathy!

    2. These are such fun posts to do....I have to sit and think about booze for ages, then make the drink to be able to take the photo...then there's nothing left but to DRINK the drink ;-)