Women's Libation! Is A Tall Drink Of A Book

When I was in university, our women’s resource center would have a charity event every year called Women Who Rock. It was, essentially, a band show at a bar that featured female music groups of all sorts, and the bar also sold drinks with amazing names like Menstruation Sensation. When I finished reading Women’s Libation! Cocktails to Celebrate a Woman’s Right to Booze by Merrily Grashin, my immediate reaction was to mail a copy to each of my former volunteer mates. Finally, more inclusive drink names we could use!

Women’s Libation is in essence, a cocktail recipe book with illustrations and a page explaining the punny drink name. Feminists of yore are honored for their work, and moments in feminist history are marked. Nothing revolutionary, but it wasn’t meant to be. If you’ve never mixed drinks before, Grashin has you covered with a basic overview of the tools you need, methods to know and some common ingredients.

There are a few missteps here; not all the women in the book are exactly deserving of a cheers or a drink. Aung San Suu Kyi is honored with a twist on the Singapore sling, and Coco Chanel with the sangrita Mez Coco Chanel No 5.

Granted, that could just be poor timing as the book was likely completed months before Aung San Suu Kyi refused to speak out against the genocide in Myanmar. Still, this isn’t the first time she’s been quiet about violence against Muslims; the calls for the repeal of her Nobel Peace Prize are only the most recent and forceful criticisms against her. Coco Chanel I’m a bit more puzzled by. Now, there has yet to be any clear hard evidence that Chanel was an active Nazi agent, but there is some reason to believe that she was and at best being a Nazi wasn’t a deal breaker for her. I think if there’s any dispute about whether you are a Nazi, there’s only one drink for you.

Seriously, Chanel should have been bumped and Dorothy Parker honored with a Manhattan. That’s a huge missed opportunity!

Nevertheless, Women’s Libation! is a quirky recipe book sure to tickle your funny bone. While many of the blurbs may just be fact regurgitation, the drawings are adorable and the puns wonderfully groan worthy. As for the recipes themselves? They are twists on classics, nothing too crazy to make the drink unrecognizable and some like the Our Toddies, Ourselves are in my opinion an improvement on the standard. I didn’t get to test very many of them, but as a former bartender, so many of them looked good.  If nothing else, dear reader, I do believe this is an excellent resource for those bar fundraisers.  Why not replace all the cocktail names for the night?  I guarantee more money will be raised through drinks that way.


Women’s Libation! Cocktails to Celebrate a Woman’s Right to Booze By Merrily Grashin was published on November 7th, 2017, and is available wherever fine books are sold.

Megan “Spooky” Crittenden is a secluded writer who occasionally ventures from her home to give aid to traveling adventurers.