Paddock by Mary Lou Buschi
Two girls head off into the wilderness in search of a mother they will never find in this dark, surreal, and dream-like play-in-poems.
In brewing up this cocktail, I chose vodka for its strength, malleability, and invisibility as a flavor. Prickly pear, one of the author's favorite flavors, offers some gorgeous color that complements the book's cover. The plant’s prickles appealed as well. Chartreuse adds a lovely floral accent, and an eerie green tone. Lemon I included for sharp pain and the bitterness of life. Lastly, Virtue bitters from Strongwater bring out the other florals and, to me, references women’s true virtues: strength and perseverance.
The text is rife with references to plants, the woods, the sea, and other natural imagery, which prompted me to present this booktail at the center of an enchanted forest, the glass emerging like a poisonous berry or flower. I built the woodland tableau atop green sugar, outfitted with sticks, leaves, and flowers from my yard, along with a few crystals.
Combine all ingredients, including a few dashes of the bitters, in a shaker with ice. Agitate vigorously until the ice breaks up and the shaker turns frosty. Strain into a martini glass, or other stemmed vessel of your choosing.