Recipe for the Book-Club Buck from Peterson’s Happy Hour

Find the perfect cocktail for your workday blues, travel woes, or home-improvement hangups.


When the daily grind begins to grate, lifting your spirits can be as simple as…lifting a glass of spirits! Whether you need to cool off after a computer meltdown, dilute a deer-icidal impulse when Bambi’s relatives are eating your garden, or subdue the sticker shock of your grocery bill, the refreshing solutions and helpful tips in this book will keep your mood afloat. Valerie Peterson’s novel Peterson’s Happy Hour prescribes the perfect liquid antidote for your household hindrances, workday worries, playtime problems, or vacation vexations such as:

• Realize that your old house improvements are a lot harder than they seem on TV?
Put down the saw and get hammered with a classic Rusty Nail.

• Acquire an itchy rash while attempting to clear the backyard weeds?
Soothe yourself with a calamine-pink Name Your Poison, made with rum, milk, and frozen strawberries.

• Done in when babysitting naughty nieces and nephews?
Choose “sparkling” over “spanking” with an elegant champagne-based Auntie Dote.

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• Need to ditch the long-distance travel plans for the cultural adventures of home?
Ride your recliner to destination relaxation with a spicy, Mexican beer-based Señor Staycation.

• Faced with a corporate social event that’s about as exciting as an IRS audit?
Motivate your fellow employees with a No Company Picnic–it tastes like watermelon but has no seeds.

A very special recipe for all you book group members out there!

Thankfully, your husband didn’t notice your new designer purse. And when he asked what “the girls” were reading this week, you pulled the “Edgar Allan Poe” card out of your sleeve. You were inspired, of course, by the Amontillado-based buck served at the last, ah, “discussion.” It’s good you’ve been getting a lot of practice bluffing—because what happens at Book Club, stays at Book Club.

Book-Club Buck

2 ounces Amontillado sherry
1 ounce Ginger-Lime- Infused Simple Syrup (recipe below)
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
2–3 ounces club soda
curl of lime peel, for garnish

Pour the sherry, simple syrup, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well (until condensation forms on the entire shaker). Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with the club soda. Place the lime peel in the glass.

For more spirited cocktails and helpful hints to brighten daily life, visit!

Featured Image by santypan/

VALERIE PETERSON's storytelling extends to books, television, video, film, web… and explaining how she’s paying her mortgage while doing it. Valerie was a finalist for the 2015 CBS TV Writers Mentoring Program. Her TV procedural / mystery drama pilot, Reconciling Jimmy, achieved Second Rounder status in the 2015 Austin Film Festival Screenwriters Festival and was a Quarterfinalist in the ScreenCraft TV Pilot Launch competition. The Maid of Honor, a narrative comedic short film Valerie wrote and directed, was an Official Selection of the Sedona International Film Festival and her Jane Austen / time travel screenplay, The Jane Austen Syndrome, has been recognized by numerous screenplay competitions, including those sponsored by The Austin Film Festival, Cinequest, The Big Apple Film Festival, and MORE magazine. Valerie Peterson is currently completing her first novel, which is very long and involves intertwining mysteries, book publishing, epistolary elements, and at least two dead bodies.

About Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

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