Cocktailery: Drinking and Writing and Writing and Drinking

Hemingway (supposedly) urged us to “write drunk [and] edit sober.”

I don’t work while I’m drunk. Being drunk tends to make me talkative, flirtatious, and sleepy, in that order. But I do enjoy a little something to help me shake off the so-called real world before I get set up with the characters.

It’s hard to choose the right libation sometimes. For me, the key is to find a drink large enough that I can sip at it without frequent refills but not potent enough to make me drunk if I have more than one. Then there’s the matter of food. I may not always drink while I’m working, but I do typically have something on hand to eat, so whatever I drink has to go well with food.

What’s an erotica writer to do? Our senses need indulging. It keeps us and our writing sharp.

Some of my favorite cocktails – the Crystal Light Midori Sour, for instance – fit the bill with no trouble. I just use a little more lemonade. The pineapples thaw out as I’m working, and I love having that nice little treat waiting for me at the end of the drink. But this month, for NaNoWriMo, I tend to lean toward wine. It’s good for marking the transition between “work” and work, and there’s a bit of a ritual involved in opening the bottle and pouring into my favorite glass.

For NaNo, I like to have two bottles of wine on hand. I was introduced to Genoli Blanco, a white rioja from 2010, at a tasting, and I fell for it pretty hard. I don’t typically care for white wine because it’s so sweet. But this is kind of a departure from white wines, I think. It’s not as full-bodied as a red, but it’s very complex. It’s lightweight and goes down so, so nicely when it’s cold.

As far as reds are concerned, I rarely turn down a shiraz. It’s bold and powerful, sometimes lacking in nuance. Like me. This month, I’ve made a switch to the 7 Deadly Zins. It’s a blend that manages real complexity without tasting like an identity crisis. Is it sweet or spicy? Is it fruity or smoky? Is it playful or mellow? Yes. Yes, it is. It also plays well with almost everything I eat during NaNoWriMo – slow cooker chili (JL Wilson’s recipe is my favorite), slow cooker chicken soup, and of course, deep dish pizza. I’d like to think all this is true of me, too, but I do tend to be my own biggest fan.

I celebrated my submission with a good friend and a bottle of Bordelet Poire Authentique. Wow. If it were at all feasible for me to drink that every day, I would totally sign up for that. I could definitely taste the pear, but its delicate undertones kept that from being overpowering. It made everything sing – from the paprika sausage to the buffalo cheese to the prosciutto. I may even go for another bottle once NaNoWriMo is over … or maybe I’ll stash one in here for the next special occasion.

I know some of you are Writing While Intoxicated. I don’t judge. Just tell me what you’re having!

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