Monday, March 26, 2018

A Cocktail for My Novel: Absolut-ly, SILVER GIRL!

It's not every author who has a husband who will create a special cocktail to celebrate her new novel, set in the 80s in Chicago! Call me Absolut-ly Lucky!


By Steve Ello

The 1980’s ushered in the advent of Vodka as an emerging cocktail spirit in the American market.  One of the most successful and iconic ad campaigns of the decade were the ads made for Absolut Vodka featuring the bottle in a variety of whimsical displays.  At the same time, California wine producers began to take on the Champagne region of France with their more affordable and approachable sparkling wines. The Korbel brand from Sonoma, California was a leader in making the “champagne experience” more accessible.

Absolut-ly, Silver Girl recognizes this time period—the setting for Leslie’s novel SILVER GIRL—and the roles both Vodka and Sparkling Wine played in our drinking lives in the 80s.  It’s also an attempt at a playful update of the classic and refreshing Tom Collins cocktail first memorialized in 1876 by Jerry Thomas who many recognize as “the father of American mixology.”

In the Absolut-ly, Silver Girl Cocktail we have swapped Vodka for Gin, replaced granulated sugar with a more complex simple syrup and introduced a dash each of cherry bitters and orange bitters to replace the typical Collins’ garnishes. Topping off this cocktail is sparkling wine which takes the place of carbonated water.
Below are two versions of the Absolut-ly, Silver Girl Cocktail.
Drink created by Steve Ello.

Absolut-ly, Silver Girl Cocktail (Served up)

1 oz Absolut Vodka
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz 1:1 Simple Syrup*
1 Dash Orange Bitters
1 Dash Cherry Bitters

Add the ingredients above to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a chilled coupe.

Top with:
1 oz of Korbel Brut Sparkling Wine and a Lemon Twist

Absolut-ly, Silver Girl Cocktail (On the rocks)
1 oz Absolut Vodka
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz 1:1 Simple Syrup*
1 Dash Orange Bitters
1 Dash Cherry Bitters

Add the ingredients above to a rocks or Collins glass and stir.  Add ice.

Top with:
1 oz of Korbel Brut Sparkling Wine and a Lemon Twist

*How to make 1:1 simple syrup:
Boil one cup water. Add one cup granulated sugar. Stir until dissolved. Cool before use. (Can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Where to Send Your Work?

The age-old questions…where to submit your work? Who’s open for manuscripts? What are the deadlines if you’re trying to balance and/or avoid some simultaneous submissions while not missing the tiny window of an open reading period? While nothing will replace the careful study of the lit journal/small press scene (i.e. reading work to understand the vibe and aesthetic of a publication), a list of open places can be helpful, especially when it offers links, is free, and does not overwhelm.

I’m happy to say I found such a list on Entropy Magazine: Where to Submit: March, April, May. That’s right, it’s targeted to RIGHT NOW and will be updated for June, July, August. And then for the fall. And then for the winter. !! Is this heaven? No, it’s the internet.

Read all about it:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Researching the 80s Can Be Totally Awesome!

From my essay up at the AWP Writer’s Notebook:

“I researched and wrote a novel set in 1900 Chicago, but what a cinch compared to writing about 1982 Chicago—though I was alive in 1982, with a brain actively recording memories. Some American eras beckon novelists seductively with auras of perpetual cool: Roaring Twenties. Grunge in the ’90s. The Sixties, everyone’s darling. Punk! Other historical times are lesser known, allowing the writer to do exactly what she wants: the 1200s. 1823. The Ice Age. But the time setting of my new novel, Silver Girl, is the late ’70s and the early ’80s, which I found was a challenging historical period to write about. (Yes, forty years ago is “historical fiction.”)…”

Read on to see my tips for how to handle modern historical research:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Review in The Millions

(And what a review!)

"Silver Girl is an act of mesmerism, of misdirection; it appears slight and forgettable, but turns out to have more substance and permanence than half the novels on a given bookshelf. Thematically, it’s ambitious: irreconcilable conflicts regarding money abide within it, as well as enduring mysteries about female friendship and a spooky motif of displacement and replacement. Nothing is as it seems between its pages, or between its characters."


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.