Vancouver writer and editor Jennifer Croll pairs 50 fun cocktails with profiles of the iconic women who inspired them—from Mary Shelley to Octavia Butler—in Buzzworthy: Cocktails Inspired by Female Literary Greats.
“Punk poet” Patti Smith devotes her bohemian creativity to both writing and performance, creating a body of work that inspires those who like their music lyrical and their writing unconventional.
Smith grew up in Chicago in a religious, working-class home. As a child, she was often confined to bed with illnesses like scarlet fever, so she entertained herself by reading, listening to music, and dreaming about one day creating art. After she finished school, she began attending teacher’s college while working in a factory, and along the way, became pregnant—but, realizing she couldn’t raise a child, she gave up the baby for adoption. Soon after, she moved to New York with little more than a handful of essentials and a collection of Arthur Rimbaud’s poems.
On Smith’s first day in New York she met Robert Mapplethorpe, a photographer who became her lover and creative inspiration, with whom she lived in the dilapidated, artistic Chelsea Hotel. She wrote poems and began performing them, eventually adding a guitarist to her act and then an entire band, becoming associated with the fledgling punk scene. Eventually, Smith recorded an album titled Horses, which fused spoken-word poetry with punk. A later musical collaboration with Bruce Springsteen, the song “Because the Night,” made her a huge star.
While Smith published some collections of poetry beginning in the 1970s (such as Seventh Heaven and Babel), it wasn’t until more recently that her writing became as well known as her music. In 2010, her moving memoir about her relationship with Mapplethorpe, Just Kids, won the National Book Award. She followed that with two other memoirs: M Train (about love, loss, and creativity) and Year of the Monkey (about her life during her seventieth year).
Smith adores the French poet Rimbaud, and in his honor has sometimes quaffed Pernod, a French anise-flavoured liqueur. Her cocktail uses Pernod, and may inspire you to write poetry.
The Patti Smith
1 shot Pernod
1⁄2 shot basic simple syrup
1⁄2 shot fresh lemon juice
5 shots club soda (soda water)
Garnish: lemon twist
Add Pernod, basic simple syrup, and lemon juice to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a Collins glass filled with ice, and top with club soda. Garnish and serve with a straw.
This is a low-proof cocktail.
Excerpted from Buzzworthy: Cocktails Inspired by Female Literary Greats, published on April 11, 2023, by Prestel Publishing. Text by Jennifer Croll, illustrations by Rachelle Baker. All material copyright Prestel and the authors.
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