Character Craft Cocktails: Part 1

One of my hobbies outside writing is mixology. I’m not a pro bartender by any means, but I do enjoy crafting a good drink.

Recently, I was seeking inspiration and turned to some writing friends to ask if I could create drinks inspired by their characters. To my delight, they agreed and I had a blast developing custom cocktails (along with some non-alcoholic mocktails).

I’ll be splitting them into three blog posts, with three drinks per post.

Theodore is from my friend DC’s novel. He’s an absolute sweetheart, and I wanted to do a gentle, sweet drink for him. The luster dust is optional, but adds a lovely shimmer to the drink. I used the pink dust from Signature Drink Lab because it has a really prominent shimmer, but you can also use the luster dust designed for cake decorating. It can be found at any baking specialty store, or at many online shops.

DC’s comments on Theodore:

“Theodore is a bit of a cinnamon roll as far as men go. He has an eidetic memory (total recall), and because of that, there are many things in life that induce trauma reactions and cause him anxiety and distress, but he makes up for his shortcomings by finding beautiful ways of coping with the ‘bad things’ he remembers. Things like candy, and pretty women, and soft blankets make life easier to handle. Because he has no parents and was raised in a closed environment, he is naive to many things, but that doesn’t make him any less smart. Theo conquers life by appreciating the little things more than anyone else he knows. 

I feel this cocktail really encapsulates him because of its sweet, candied nature. The touch of shimmer dust speaks well to his naive personality, while also complementing his attraction to beautiful things. The dash of orange bitters speaks to his traumas, and the rose water speaks to his love of floral scents, which is born from his love of maternal figures–which he never had the opportunity to have himself growing up.”

Find DC on Twitter here.

Theodore Cocktail

  • 2 oz (60ml) Vodka
  • 1 oz (30ml) grenadine
    (get the real stuff with pomegranate as the main ingredient, not the stuff that’s just red sugar water)
  • ½ oz (15ml) simple syrup
  • 1 oz (30ml) lemon juice
  • 3-5 drops rose water to taste
  • Dash of orange bitters
  • ⅛-¼ tsp pink or silver shimmer dust (optional)
  • Splash of seltzer
  1. Combine vodka, grenadine, simple, lemon, rose water, and bitters in a shaker with ice
  2. Shake well
  3. Pour into coupe glass. 
  4. Stir in shimmer dust. 
  5. Top with seltzer
  6. Garnish with lemon slice

Venerio is one of the main characters in EP’s fantasy novel. I based this drink on the clean, herbal scent I pictured him smelling like.

EP’s comments on Venerio:

“Venerio is a reader favorite for being stern and harsh on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside. As sensory details are often key to the mental and emotional health of his love interest, the manuscript’s other POV MC, Venerio’s earthy scent (stemming from his near-constant drinking of a local tea) is frequently associated with the comforting sensations of home and safety. As such, this cocktail captures him perfectly in every way, with the bitter earthiness of the mate sweetened by a hint of honey.”

Find EP on Twitter here.

Venerio Cocktail

  • 2 oz (60ml) Gin
  • 2 oz (60ml) yerba mate tea (brewed strong)
  • ¾ oz (22ml) Lemon
  • 3 or so leaves basil
  • 1 oz (30ml) honey syrup
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon slice (garnish)
  1. Muddle the basil in honey syrup in a highball glass, then strain into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Add rum, gin, lime, lemon, and bitters to shaker with ice.
  3. Add ice to highball. Strain shaker contents into highball.
  4. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Lesia’s character Vasilisa is mercurial and strong-spirited in her moods, so I wanted to make something a little spicy for her. I wanted a nice foxy orange for it, so I added a little yellow food color. This can be omitted if you don’t mind the color being more of a red/pink.

Lesia’s comments on Vasilisa:

“A fox shapeshifter, and the eldest of three orphaned sisters, Vasilisa prefers to think of herself as wild and unyielding to any shred of her own humanity. She holds the world at bay with scowls and bitter stares, reserving her hidden softness for roaming through pine-filled forests that lure with freedom and sweet raspberries. As she likes to say, if you want it done well, do it yourself, and if you can’t do it, steal it. With a motto like that, is it any wonder that she’s always on the run?”

Find Lesia on Twitter here.

Vasilisa Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz (45ml) Raspberry syrup (prep beforehand)
    • ⅔ C sugar
    • ⅔ C water
    • 1 C raspberries
      • Bring water and sugar to boil (if frozen berries, add before boiling)
      • Remove from heat, add berries
      • Mash with potato masher
      • Let steep 1 hour
      • Strain
  • 1.5oz (45 ml) lime juice
  • 2 Jalapeno slices (remove seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • 2.5oz (75ml) vodka
  • Dash Orange bitters
  • 2-3 drops yellow food color (optional)
  • Lime wedge (garnish)

For rim (optional):

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼-½ tsp cayenne (to taste)
  1. Mix sugar/cayenne well and spread out onto a small plate
  2. Muddle jalapenos with raspberry syrup
  3. Strain into a cocktail shaker full of ice, to remove seeds and jalapeno bits
  4. Add lime juice and vodka
  5. Add 2-3 drops of yellow food color
  6. Shake well
  7. Rim a coupe glass with sugar by dipping the outer rim into a plate with a little water in it, and then dip into the cayenne sugar
  8. Pour shaker contents into the glass through strainer
  9. Garnish with lime wedge (optional)


Thank you to my friends for letting me borrow their characters for this experiment! Keep an eye out for Part 2 tomorrow!

One thought on “Character Craft Cocktails: Part 1

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