📖The Best We Could Do: 🍸rewind, reverse

📖: Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do (2017)
🍸: rewind, reverse

Why this book?

Thi Bui’s graphic memoir opens with her giving birth to her first child. As she copes with becoming a new parent, she tries to understand the choices her parents made during and after the Vietnam War. Through her parents’ stories and experiences, she seeks to understand what kind of inheritance she can leave behind for her son. As she unravels her family’s story, she learns how memory, trauma and the refugee reflex are inheritances that are passed down through generations.

Why this drink?

Thi Bui’s graphic memoir resonates with me because my family’s memories of the Vietnam War are part of my inheritance growing up as a first-gen immigrant. Aside from memories, one of the things my grandma passed down to me is an acquired taste for sour, salt, and spice. This drink is a riff on the classic Paloma, but also inspired by the grapefruit wedges that my grandma likes to eat with salt and red Thai chili peppers. This grapefruit drink was also chosen because of the pink and red hues that permeate the pages of this beautifully illustrated graphic memoir.

rewind, reverse

2 oz tequila
4 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
0.75 oz lime juice
0.5 tsp maraschino liqueur 
1-2 drops saline solution*
1-2 oz grapefruit seltzer (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
2 slices thai chili peppers

for garnish:
2 slices of thai chili peppers, sea salt flakes, lime wheel, grapefruit wheel

  1. rim a chilled glass with salt
  2. muddle the chili peppers
  3. combine all ingredients (except for the seltzer) & shake with ice
  4. pour into glass with ice & top off with seltzer
  5. garnish peppers, lime and grapefruit wheels

*To make saline solution, dissolve 1 part salt in 4 parts water.

Quarantine substitutions:
Omit the maraschino liqueur if you don’t have any.
Ground cayenne pepper can be subbed in for the Thai chili peppers.
For the rim, sub the sea salt flakes with regular salt.

Another round, please! 🥂

You might also like:
Kao Kalia Yang’s The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (2008)

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