📖: Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women (2017)
🍸: glass heart
Why this book?
To kick off Women’s History Month this March, I’m recommending one of my all-time favorite books, Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women, a collection of witty, poignant, and quirky short stories that feature a diverse group of women who are often deemed difficult by mainstream culture. The stories are as surprising and varied as the women they are about.
What makes this book such a rich reading experience is Gay’s use of language and storytelling. Her super sharp and funny observations can make you laugh out loud in one story, while her simple, unassuming details can evoke a deep sense of loss and vulnerability in another. As always, Gay’s writing is so sharp in its concision and precision, that upon finishing her short stories, I wish we had more words to read, and more women to meet.
Why this drink?
This drink takes its name from one of the stories in the book, “Requiem for a Glass Heart,” about a glass woman born from thunder striking on a sandy beach. Smoky, spicy, and salty, this cocktail is bold and uncompromising, like all the daring and “difficult” women in Gay’s short story collection. With a black salted rim and a rich pink hue from the blood orange, this drink is a perfect match for the book’s cover.
2 oz mezcal
3 oz fresh blood orange juice
1 oz pureed dragonfruit
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz Thai chili pepper infused demerara simple syrup*
Thai chili peppers
blood orange wheel
black lava salt
ground cayenne pepper
- rim glass with black lava salt & cayenne pepper**
- shake all ingredients with ice & pour into a coupe glass
- garnish with blood orange wheel & 2 thin slices of Thai chili pepper
*how to make chili-infused syrup: Pour demerara sugar and water into a pan (using a 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio) and heat the mixture on the stove until it starts to bubble. Once tiny bubbles start to appear, immediately take the boiling syrup off the stove and pour it into the into a glass jar with 2 chopped Thai chili peppers. Cover the jar with airtight lid until cool.
**how to rim a glass: Dip the rim of the glass in lime juice. On a plate, mix the salt & ground cayenne. Roll the rim of the glass in the salt/pepper mixture until the rim is fully coated.
if you do not like your drinks as spicy: Add fewer chili peppers to the infused syrup, or make it with no peppers at all. Go easy on the cayenne on the rim (it’s hotter than you think!) and omit the chili garnish if needed.
Another round, please! 🥂
You might also like:
Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist (2014)