As you may already know, it’s Banned Books Week, a week when we celebrate the freedom to read and discuss the dangers of censorship.
As the official Banned Books Week website (which has a plethora of information on the subject) points out, many books that have changed the face of literature – even America itself – at one point or another have been banned. These books have influenced pop culture, fashion, movies, politics and yes, even food and drink. And yet people find fault with their truths and messages.
Which brings me to today’s Happy Hour. Harper Lee’s “one hit wonder” has been touted as required reading pretty much since its first publishing in 1960. I remember reading it in Mrs. Faust’s senior English class, and discussing the nuances of Boo Radley, Scout, Atticus and the gang. Heck, we even took a class trip to watch a screening of the amazing Gregory Peck adaptation at a local theater.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a tale about integrity, honesty and tolerance, yet it’s one of the most-frequently banned books in the U.S. I mean, sure, it deals with some pretty adult themes (rape and racism), but I think its written in such a way that it is a wonderful starting point for discussion on these topics.
I suppose for all the controversy that To Kill a Mockingbird has wrought, it’s also, to put it mildly, an inspiration. And hey, it’s not only an inspiration for discussions of integrity for young people as they embark upon the world of adulthood, it also happens to be a muse for one of my new favorite books, the aptly named Tequila Mockingbird.
Yes, some of the world’s best-loved and often-censored literature have served as the basis for a whole book of alcoholic beverages, in case people don’t have enough reasons to ban these timeless tomes. Be on the lookout for future Literary Happy Hours featuring these drinks!
While I can’t say the Tequila Mockingbird drink accurately reflects the tone of the book, it certainly is… Spicy. Especially when chased with spicy pickles. Ouch.
1 1/2 ounces tequila
2 drops hot sauce
1 dill pickle
Pour the tequila into a shot glass, add the hot sauce, and slam that bad boy back before chasing with a big chomp of pickle. No tears allowed here: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the South.
“This book will lead today’s youth in a drunken, well-read handbasket straight to hell!” I imagine a perturbed patron yelling.
I guess I’ll see you there. Cheers!