Summer 2020 The Bookshelf

Drink Like a Geek by Jeff Cioletti

Yin and Yang. Peanut butter and jelly. Spock and Kirk. Some things just go together. And in Drink Like a Geek: Cocktails, Brews, and Spirits for the Nerd in All of Us, Jeff Cioletti suggests you should add cocktails and Comic-Con to that list.

In his fifth book, Cioletti explores two of his greatest passions, drinks and geek culture. A self-professed nerd (as well as an acclaimed author, editor, podcaster and documentarian), Cioletti wants to let you in on a secret: a creative cocktail recipe can help bring even the most incompatible fan bases together.

Take, for example, the greatest rivalry in fandom. Since the late ‘70s, there has been a huge rift in sci-fi between the acolytes of Gene Rodenberry and the disciples of George Lucas. To paraphrase Kipling, “Oh, Trek is Trek, and Wars is Wars, and never the twain shall meet.” But at Atlanta’s Dragon Con in ’98, Cioletti recounts how he, a lifelong Star Wars fan, was welcomed with open arms by a group of “Trekkers” bearing cups of bright blue Romulan ale. “It was… like a member of the Busch family drinking a Coors Light,” he recalls, and while the sweet and sour concoction (complete with a gummy worm) didn’t convert him to the Star Trek camp completely, it did open his eyes to the possibilities. We can all get along, and if it happens to be with a Game of Thrones-inspired Tiki drink in hand, well, hey, all the better.

In Drink Like A Geek, you’ll find plenty of geek-themed cock- tail recipes conceived and adapted by Cioletti and guest mixologists, like Ben Paré of Miami’s iconic Fontainebleau. Ranging from the tongue-in-cheek (check out the “Hulk Smash,” a green spin on a traditional vodka cocktail) to the classically cool Vesper (the drink James Bond invents on the fly as a tribute to Casino Royale’s Bond Girl, Vesper Lynd), you’ll find a recipe for any occasion. My favorite? The Cube Q*uencher, an orange tequila-centric creation from famed Portland arcade bar, Ground Kontrol.

And if you’re thirsty for more than cocktails, Cioletti has you covered with the kind of fandom analysis you’d expect from a “genre geek” of his caliber. He’ll guide you through the Bond filmography with a detailed breakdown of what the world’s greatest secret agent drank and when – hint, Bond’s more likely to reach for a bottle of Dom Perignon than a classic martini – and take you on a behind the scenes tour of the Atlanta of The Walking Dead, complete with cameos from local favorite, Sweetwater Brewing. Speaking of The Walking Dead, check out the shoutout to hometown Philly hero, Dock Street Brewing, and their American Pale Stout, Walker, on page 131. Yes, it was made with goat brains. No, we’re not kidding.

Whether he’s waxing poetic about the seamless TV classic Breaking Bad and that bottle of Zafiro Añejo (you know the one), or breaking down the drinking habits of the world’s favorite Time Lord, Cioletti’s relatable anecdotes, fun facts and carefully crafted theories about drinks and your favorite fandoms (butter beer has to be alcoholic, right?) will have lifelong geeks and those just dipping a toe in the scene raising a glass.

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Draught Lines

Draught Lines is a seasonal magazine dedicated to the craft beer experience.