Cocktails inspired by inspirational women: The Zadie Smith

Celebrating incredible women? Cheers to that! Free The Tipple by Jennifer Croll is filled with cocktails inspired by iconic women. This Friday, we're sipping on The Zadie Smith. Here's how to make it for yourself... 

Illustrations by Kelly Shami

Illustrations by Kelly Shami


The Zadie Smith


1 sugar cube
2 shots bourbon
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
½ shot crème de cacao
½ shot absinthe
Garnish: lemon peel

Put a sugar cube in a mixing glass with enough water to soften it and crush with a spoon. Add bourbon, bitters, crème de cacao, and ice, and stir until chilled.

Take a teacup and pour in absinthe. Turn the glass until the absinthe has coated it on all sides, and then pour out the excess. Strain the bourbon mixture into the teacup and garnish

Some writers take years to make it (and most never do), but Zadie Smith has been a sensation ever since she published her first book, White Teeth, at age 24. Her broad, sweeping novels cleverly and deftly examine race, class, cultural identity, and celebrity, and their beautifully-crafted sentences and engrossing plots have made her a giant of contemporary literature.

As a half-Jamaican, half-English woman who grew up in northwest London, Zadie has long been both a symbol for and an interpreter of multicultural Britain. White Teeth explored that very theme through the tale of three culturally diverse families whose lives intersect in England’s capital. Her subsequent novels considered topics ranging from the nature of beauty to female friendship, with liberal doses of pop culture; Swing Time, for example, included a Kylie Minogue-inspired singer.

Zadie is also a style inspiration and role model for creative, ambitious women. With her chunky glasses, patterned tops, and turbans, she’s made the pages of Vogue, while her ability to consistently deliver gorgeous prose, year after year, has made her the envy of writers everywhere. Her cocktail is inspired by tradition, but isn’t too beholden to it. A chocolatey spin on a Sazerac, it’s served in a teacup — like a proper English cuppa.

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This is an extract from Free The Tipple, published by Prestel. Check out the book for more tasty cocktails inspired by kickass women, including MIA, Frida Kahlo, Serena Williams, Beyoncé, and so many more...