Summer 2022 has me exploring debuts in both genres and authors. I picked up The Bartender’s Cure, exploring the world of cocktails and people actually getting together in person!
If you are curious to learn what life is like on the other side of the bar – brass, wooden or tiki – Wesley Straton’s debut takes you there – with recipes and the history behind various liquors, stirred into the chapters.
We meet Samantha or Sam, who is a bit down on her luck when she accepts a ‘trial’ bartending at Joe’s Apothecary in Brooklyn. Leaving a relationship, starting a gap year, and dealing with her stress in a very unhealthy way, Sam settles into her new community with a mix of old and new friends. Like the slow sip of a cocktail, we learn her grevious backstory, mixed with her new life at the bar. She’s a great student, (acceptance to Harvard pending) who learns the trade by studying at the local library and from her mentors, the three Dans. Along with tips and secrets of the bartending trade (snaiquiris anyone?) Sam’s trip into adulthood is muddled with indecision about her future. Like the customer’s at Joe’s – she needs to be open to advice aka bartender’s cure – and take a leap into adulting.
Similar reads are SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler and Hot Mess by Emily Belden.