There are few things finer in this life than books and booze.
My personal heaven is when I get a moment to myself, make a drink (beer, more often than not) and read a good story.
Enter, Molly Tanzer and Nickmamatas’ Mixed Up, a collection of flash fiction and cocktail recipes.
Oh, this book is so much fun. Flash-fiction stories to be enjoyed with a drink.
Mixed Up has both recipes for most common cocktails including the Moscow Mule, Negroni, Smoking Bishop and something called a Corpse Reviver #2. And the stories?
They are of the highest quality.
The authors in this little book include (but are not limited to) Carmen Maria Machado, Jeff Vandermeer, Benjamin Percy, Elizabeth Hand and Maurice Broaddus. For me, a Carmen Maria Machado story is worth the price of any book it’s in, and Mixed Up is no exception.
Her story, There and Back Again, is a dark and sultry little vampire(ish) story, written as only she can.
The house felt strange when she was gone; like it’d been shucked from the thing that gave it purpose. The air hummed with her many ghosts: skin cells, perfume, the cobwebs she’d ignored from when we first moved in.
The men and women she brought home were beautiful. The women always dark-haired and curvy – her type. The men looked like they’d been dragged through a dewy meadow.
They were easy to eat when they were like that. Soft. Fermented, almost. And when I was done, she would collect me and take me upstairs, and we would sleep two heavy, parallel sleeps: her besotted with alcohol, me with blood and bone.Carmen Maria Machado, There and Back Again
Mixed Up is the gift to give to friends who like short stories and drinking, perhaps in a set with a few well-selected bottles of alcohol and martini glasses for the ultimate over-the-top present. I’m quite serious when I say that this book is a near perfect gift for book-lovers.
The tone of the book is jovial and fun, with none of the stories taking themselves too seriously. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on both the discerning reader and drinker.
Another great story is Benjamin Percy’s Bloody at Maize’s Joint.
People say that’s why she wears her hair short. People say that’s why she killed him.
A crossbow hangs behind her, centered on the wall and framed on all sides by shelves of whiskey and rum and vodka and gin. Rumor has it she shot a bolt through his eye and he dropped like a stone.
And if that’s true, then maybe this next part is, too.Benjamin Percy, Bloody at Maize’s Bar.
The stories in Mixed up are all good. This is not always the case with these types of collections (to say the least) and the cocktail recipes in the book really push the book’s utility up another level. The stories make the book good. The cocktail recipes make it a
If ever you needed a gift for someone but you didn’t know what to get them, you could do worse than a copy of Mixed Up and a bottle of booze.