📖: Ingrid Rojas Contreras’s Fruit of the Drunken Tree (2018)
🍸: the salty fruit
Why this book?
Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a novel about two girls growing up in Colombia in the late 80’s-early 90’s. The story alternates between the perspectives of seven-year-old Chula and her family’s new live-in maid Petrona. Both become friends, but as political instability and violence increases in Colombia during Pablo Escobar’s reign, their loyalties to each other become tested.
Much of this story is centered on the act of remembering and forgetting, and making sense of what is real and unreal – all through the lens of childhood. While the subject matter is very heavy, the author’s prose is lyrical and vivid, making many of the details feel very immersive and palpable. I only wished that there were more chapters from Petrona’s POV since most of the book is told in Chula’s voice. Overall, this was a compelling and poignant story about how two girls from two different socioeconomic classes came of age by grappling with the loss of innocence, choice, and home.
Why this drink?
I used Theo Lieberman and Lauren Schell’s Salty Bird Cocktail recipe for this pairing because Chula becomes obsessed with salt once her family flees Colombia as refugees. She would eat salt, wash her hands with salt, and smell it everywhere she goes, to the point where salt was all she could write about in her final letter to Petrona. This novel doesn’t close with a neat, happily-ever-after, but it did evoke emotions that lingered long after I finished the book – just like how the essence of salt stays with Chula.
the salty fruit
0.75 oz Campari
1.5 oz black rum
1.5 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
pinch of salt
- combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice
- serve with ice
- garnish with a pinch of salt and a piece of dehydrated pineapple
Another round, please! 🥂
You might also like:
Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007)
Finished the book? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!