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National Poetry Month is a registered trademark of the Academy of American Poets.


  Poems about   Drinking:   Browse poems about the ups and downs of alcohol

Poetry Cocktail Hour Print

"What better way to give back to the dreamers and poets that have inspired and fed us than to compose a cocktail in their honor. We can all be alchemists."
      – Peter Hoffman, Chef and Owner, Back Forty.

The cocktail recipes below are derived from an event series, Poetry & Cocktails, which was held at Back Forty in New York City's East Village during National Poetry Month. Acclaimed downtown poet Bob Holman hosted the annual celebration, featuring poetry-inspired cocktails by renowned New York mixologists.


The Laughing Heart
created by Kelly Slagle of Terroir Tribeca
inspired by the poem "The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski

2 Sombra Mezcal
1.5 Carpano Antica Vermouth
1/4 Grade B Maple Syrup
1/4 Pink Grapefruit Juice

Served neat.

Wicked Kiss
created by Phil Ward of Mayahuel
inspired by the poem "I feel horrible. She doesn't" by Richard Brautigan:

I feel horrible. She doesn't
love me and I wander around
the house like a sewing machine
that's just finished sewing
a turd to a garbage can lid
1 Rittenhouse Rye
1 Lairds Bonded
.25 Yellow Chartruese
.25 Benediction
Dash Angustora

Stir over fresh ice; served up; no garnish.

The Naked Lover
created by Yana Volfson of Freemans
inspired by the poem "Heat" by Denis Johnson, selected by William Tigertt

2 oz Plymouth gin
oz lemon juice
oz lavender-infused honey

Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake, and strain into rocks glass with cubed ice. Garnish with lemon twist.

The Bobby Burns
offered by PDT
inspired by the poet Robert Burns

2 oz. Benromach 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky
.75 oz. Dolin Sweet Vermouth
1 Barspoon of Benedictine

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with lemon twist.

created by Alex Mirkin for Savoy
inspired by "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by W. B. Yeats:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade
2 oz Mead
1 oz Irish whiskey
1/2 oz New York Honey
1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shaken, strained over ice in a Collins (or rocks) glass, and topped with Doc's hard cider.

Sheffield Seek-No-Further
created by Michael Cecconi for Savoy
inspired by "The Stone Table" by Galway Kinnell

2 oz Jamesons Irish Whiskey
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Laird's Apple Brandy
2 dashes Fee's Aromatic Bitters

Combine all ingredients with ice. Stir 75 times. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with roasted apple wedge.

The Pablo Neruda
created by Michael Cecconi for Back Forty
inspired by the poet Pablo Neruda

1 oz Fino Sherry
1 oz Chilean Pisco Brandy
1 oz fresh lemon juice
2/3 oz Maple Syrup
1/3 oz water

Combine all ingredients with ice. Shake and strain into ice-filled rocks glass.

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