Friday, May 24, 2019

Below the Fold - with a Daiquiri

Author RG Belsky is our guest today on Drinks with Reads and he's matched his novel, Below the Fold, with the perfect drink. Below the Fold is the second in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines, and TV/digital news. He has also been a top editor at the New York Post, Star magazine and NBC News. Belsky won the Claymore Award at Killer Nashville in 2016. He has finished as a Finalist for both the Silver Falchion and David Awards. And his first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, was named Outstanding Crime/News Based Novel by Just Reviews in 2018 and was a Finalist for Best Mystery of 2018 in the Foreword INDIES Awards. Let's see what RG has planned for us now...

The daiquiri is my choice for a drink to pair up with BELOW THE FOLD, the new book in my Clare Carlson mystery series.
Clare Carlson is a TV news director in New York City, and she’s very good at what she does in her job. So good that when Clare began investigating the seemingly unimportant murder of a homeless woman on the street, she uncovers long-buried secrets linking the death to rich and powerful figures. It’s the latest in a series of journalistic scoops for Clare, who even won a Pulitzer prize as a newspaper reporter. 
What Clare is not so good at is her personal life. She’s had three failed marriages. Too many other unsuccessful romantic relationships to even count. And - even though she’s in her mid-40s now - Clare is still haunted by a decision she made about a child a long time ago while she was in college. Despite all her success in the newsroom, her life outside it is pretty much of a train wreck. 
Which is where the daiquiri comes in.
Clare’s best friend is Janet Wood, a successful attorney who is also a successful wife and mother. She has somehow managed to balance her life and her career. Clare wishes she could be more like Janet. And Janet only drinks one kind of drink: a daiquiri. 
“Janet was drinking a daiquiri,” Clare says at one point. “Like she always did when we went out. Janet drank two daiquiris - never more, never less. She was a very precise person. I couldn’t imagine her ever being drunk or out of control in any way. Her life seemed so perfect in every way. I sometimes wondered what her sex life was like. Some people are just too wholesome to think about stuff like that. On the other hand, once the bedroom door was closed, Janet and her husband might break out the whips and chains and kinky videos. You never know....”
So, if Clare wants to emulate Janet, she has to start somewhere: hence the daiquiri.
There are many different variations of the daiquiri (banana daiquiri, strawberry daiquiri, frozen daiquiri, etc) - but let’s go here with a strawberry daiquiri recipe for Clare. 

2 ounces light rum
1 ounce of fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce of sugar syrup
3 ounces frozen strawberries
Cup of crushed ice
Strawberry, for garnish


Add all the ingredients into a blender
Blend well
Garnish with the strawberry 
The daiquiri has an interesting history. The name comes from a beach called Daiquiri in Cuba. The drink is supposed to have been invented by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox who was in Cuba there at the time of the Spanish American War. And daiquiris became extremely popular during World War II when rationing made whiskey and vodka hard to come by - but there was plenty of rum available from the Caribbean. 
Many famous people have been fans of the daiquiri over the years - including Ernest Hemingway and President John F. Kennedy.
So I guess that puts Clare in pretty good company as a daiquiri drinker.

R.G. Belsky can be reached on Twitter @DickBel and on Facebook at RGBelsky. 

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