Perfect Pairings: Books and Gin Cocktails by Scarlett Cole

Book and Gin Cocktail Pairings

[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to welcome author Scarlett Cole to the site today! She’s talking all things gin and romance. Take it away, Scarlett!]

Cagney and Lacey. Ben and Jerry. Mac and the almighty cheese. Great pairings filter through our everyday lives. Everyone has their favorite. Mine happens to be gin and tonic. Thankfully, gin is having a renaissance. The tired mother’s ruin has become infused with everything from sakura leave to the tears of readers… well, not quite yet, but there’s time for me to figure out how to do it.

Gin o’clock has become my gateway into the weekend. Nothing is nicer than shutting down my work on Friday, heading to my gin bar, and making myself a drink. And in these days when the world is on fire, we’re becoming more and more adept at making these little rituals count. Which gave me an idea at the start of lockdown. They say you should write what you know, so I set Love in Numbers in a gin distillery. Of course, this required doubling-down on gin exploration, I mean, it’s research right! My gin bar exploded in size.

So, when gin o’clock hits on a Friday, you’ll find me hunkered down with a new ice-cold gin cocktail and a steamy romance. I’ve tried and tested all the combinations, so you don’t have to… I know, I’m generous like that. And I think I’ve nailed the perfect pairings!

What better for Roan Parish’s Better Than People than a Gin Old Fashioned. Perhaps it’s the traditional sturdiness of this hundred-and-forty-year-old cocktail that works so well with Simon and Jack’s relationship. Barrel-aged gin and Angostura bitters sound like an odd combination, but then so does antisocial Simon and grumpy Jack on paper. Both the characters, the book, and the drink are complicated and timeless. Just how gin and romance should be.

Gin Gimlets don’t mess around. It’s perhaps the least flashy of the cocktails. Straight-talking gin is there to do the heavy lifting, and simple sugar and lime fight it out to balance the difference between sour and sweet. Which makes it perfect for Alexa Martin’s Snapped. Quinton is not messing about. He has a chance to take a stand for the betterment of the football league and does so. While the circumstances of Elle and Quinton’s relationship is complex, the love they have for each other is strong and easy, just like the gimlet.

Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward’s Happily Letter After needed something sweet for little Birdie Maxwell, and unexpected for her father, Sebastian. I’m going with a Bees Knees. Sure, it’s a prohibition-era cocktail, but the phrase “the bee’s knees” has long been used to describe something exceptional…just like this book. Gin, honey, and a splash of lemon and orange juice. Be warned, you’ll want more than one of these as you read Sadie and Sebastian’s rollercoaster of a story.

There can only be one drink for Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project. I’m going with a grapefruit martini made with gin instead of vodka. You can’t get fresher than juiced-to-order grapefruit and the sweetness of simple sugar and a sugared rim. Rochon’s complex storytelling in The Boyfriend Project is the same. Fresh in storytelling, and sweet (and steamy) in romance. As a former engineering major, I always stan a strong STEM heroine like Samiah. And Daniel is just swoony. 

If like me, hockey players are your catnip, then mixing a Gin Gin with Natasha Madison’s Only One Chance will create a read to remember. My friend, Nico, brought this recipe back from Thailand. Gin mixed with ginger ale and a sizeable piece of ginger. Refreshing yet warming, perfect for a story set on ice. Watching Miller and Layla fall in love will warm your heart, just as this drink will.

And that leaves Love In Numbers, the first book in the Love Distilled series. The book is an ode to my love affair with gin. I’m pairing it with classic French 75. Gin and simple sugar in a flute topped up with effervescent champagne. It sparkles and lets all the flavors of the gin through…hopefully, like Emerson and Connor’s story does. It’s Emerson’s cocktail of choice. She orders it to cool herself down when Connor graphically explains what he wants to do to her when he takes her home that night. Perhaps you should make one in advance for that scene and drink along!

Those are my picks for perfect pairings. Do you love gin? Do you have a favourite book and drink pairing? Let us know.

About the Author:

Scarlett Cole is a contemporary romance author that calls both Toronto, Canada and Manchester, England home. A born city dweller, she periodically quashes the urge to live in the country by hiking up a mountain to remind herself that living away from people would terrify the pants off her.

She believes everybody deserves their love story to be told and loves her heroes on the rough and rugged side…and usually tall (because she married one of those 6ft 6” men you read about in romance!). She’s an A-type personality and Scorpio star sign, so good luck getting her to do anything she doesn’t want to. 

When she isn’t writing, she’s happy to talk hot men and expensive shoes while drinking a cold gin and tonic. Don’t bring up olives. As far as Scarlett is concerned, they are the devil’s food. As long as you don’t bring up olives, she’s happy to hear from any time.

Connect with Scarlett:






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Love in Numbers by Scarlett Cole, out now!

Connor isn’t in the market for messy.

His life is going completely according to plan. He’s set to become CEO of his family’s company, his Ironman time is better than ever, and his regular poker nights with the guys are his one night a month he can stop worrying about counting macros and indulge himself. What he doesn’t need is a relationship with Emerson Dyer—daughter of his father’s lifelong enemy and most-hated rival.

Emerson’s life is nothing but messy.

Since her father died, leaving her CEO of their gin distillery, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Emerson is barely holding it together—what she doesn’t need is a complication like Connor Finch. Sure, his abs do look like they’ve been photoshopped, but she has no time to spend counting them. It’s her company’s numbers she should be worrying about. Still, there’s something about the way he makes her feel.

Together, they’re perfect.

Connor knows he and Emerson don’t make sense on paper. Too many differences between them—and one big secret that could destroy Emerson’s family business tells him to cut and run. But for once in his life, Connor doesn’t care about messy or imperfect—because the fact is, Emerson is the one perfect thing he needs in his life. Now if he can only convince her . . .

Read this standalone enemies to lovers romance now. And watch for the second book in the Love Distilled series in February 2021.


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