LUCY BURDETTE: When I realized that two of my fabulously-talented writer pals from Jungle Red Writers have books coming out in the next ten days, I decided you'd like to hear from both of them. And what could be better for celebrating new books than specialty cocktails? Hank writes nail-biting suspense featuring reporter Jane Ryland, and Detective Jake Brogan. And Susan writes a meticulously-researched historical mystery series featuring spy Maggie Hope. So please welcome Hank Ryan and Susan MacNeal to our kitchen!
First up, Hank Phillippi Ryan with THE AGATHA COCKTAIL:
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: This drink was concocted from the inside out! I had heard about something called pink grapefruit liqueur-- we found one called Giffard Creme de Pamplemousse Rose.
And that sounded delicious! But what, I wondered, should we create from that? Pink grapefruit liqueur sounded like it should go with vodka, and fresh lime… Right? So my husband and I experimented – – someone has to do the hard work – – and came up with the pink grapefruit martini.
And then of course it needed a name. So what is fabulous, unique, and highly desirable? We called it the Agatha.
Four parts vodka
One part pink grapefruit liqueur - Giffard Creme de Pamplemousse Rose
One part fresh lime juice
Shake shake shake with lots of ice in a cocktail shaker.
Pour into a chilled martini glass… Use a clear one, because this drink is gorgeously pink.
Squeeze a segment of fresh lime to each drink, and drop the lime into it.
This is so delicious, Jonathan and I even battle over who gets to have the shaker full of ice. (We share.)
You may want to experiment – – lucky you – – to see how you prefer the sweetness of the liqueur with the tartness of the lime.
Sadly, I have no picture of this but imagine a very pale pale pink cosmopolitan.
As for what Jane Ryland drinks, my protagonist is a red wine girl. And this is her favorite wine. Surprisingly, it is one of mine too.
And here's a little about the book, WHAT YOU SEE, on bookshelves this Tuesday!
Why would a father abduct his own child? A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland's family, but there's a calamity instead. Nine-year-old Gracie—supposed to be the flower girl—has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns there's a limit to the bonds of family—and learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far.
Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan's got a doozy of a case. At Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives. WHAT YOU SEE puts Jane and Jake face to face with deception, intrigue, and—if they make the wrong decisions—disaster.
Note from Lucy: now for Susan's recipe! The fun thing about this is that she has scenes in the White House in the new book in which President Roosevelt is actually making his cocktails!
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wasn't a huge fan of her husband's cocktails, which he mixed each night at "Children's Hour" — but every once in a while he could tempt her with an Old Fashioned, especially with lots of fruit.
Here I've created an especially fruity recipe, light on alcohol, that Mrs. Roosevelt may have found pleasing. Cheers!
2 sugar cubes
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 slice lime
1 slice lemon
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry
1/2 teaspoon grenadine
2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
In a cocktail glass, place the sugar cubes and sprinkle with bitters. Add citrus slices, cherry, and grenadine. Muddle the citrus. Add bourbon. Fill glass with ice cubes and top with club soda. Stir to combine.
About MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE, on sale October 27: It’s December ’41, just days after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. England’s intrepid, code-breaking spy Maggie Hope is accompanying Winston Churchill across the pond to The White House where Churchill and President Roosevelt are in the midst of history-making discussions involving how best to join forces to defeat the Axis powers and win the war. When one of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered and Eleanor Roosevelt herself is implicated in the crime, Maggie finds herself embroiled in a scandalous conspiracy that could jeopardize America’s participation in the war—and ultimately, the world’s fate.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL is the Barry Award–winning and Edgar, Dilys, and Macavity Award–nominated author of the Maggie Hope mysteries, including Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope, and The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and child.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate. She's won 33 EMMYs, 13 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her groundbreaking journalism. A bestselling author of eight mystery novels, Ryan has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: five Agathas, the Anthony, Daphne, Macavity, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award.
Hank will be giving away THE OTHER WOMAN or THE WRONG GIRL or TRUTH BE TOLD--reader's choice! And Susan will be giving away a copy of MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE. Leave a comment with your email to be entered in the contest.