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Whether you’re reading current bestsellers like “Big Little Lies”, “Black Book”, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” or revisiting classics such as “The Catcher in the Rye”, “Don Quixote”, or “Angels and Demons”, a book club is a great venue to share what you’ve discovered in the pages. We are all for any excuse to get together with our friends and for a few hours escape into the words and worlds of the authors. In addition to book clubs being an opportunity to learn more about books and our friends, they are also offer a new adventure to host and serve fabulous food and delicious drinks. Come along with us on our first ever Reading Rager as we share some of our easy edible and delectable drink book club food ideas.
We know finding time to read a book and have a party to discuss it can be difficult to squeeze in. Sometimes you have to opt for just one – the party. These awesome book club food ideas will also work for a casual dinner party (with no literary agenda).
Chapter 1 – First, the Drinks
Any good party, be that a book club or an impromptu casual dinner party, starts with drinks. We like the idea of batching cocktails ahead of time to make your time as the host more enjoyable. Pick 2 or 3 that will appeal to the group as a whole, and mix up a few pitchers before the readers arrive. If you want to stick with the book club food ideas, write a menu of libations on a chalkboard, renaming the drinks to literary monikers. You don’t need to change the recipes for any of these organic literary libations. Just twist the name to give it the “book club” feel.
Instead of an Organic Skinny Margarita, serve “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita”* (Judy Blume). Try “Of Mice and Mules” (John Steinbeck), instead of a Mexicali Mule. Guests can enjoy “The Last of the Mojitos” (James Fennimore Cooper)* in place of a Tequila Mojito. For day drinking book club food ideas, we recommend not a Bloody Maria pitcher, but “Bloody Carrie” (Stephen King)* pitcher. As afternoon cocktails should be cool and refreshing, stir up “Madame Paloma” (Gustave Flaubert) instead of a basic Paloma. Or serve the simplest of all the cocktails, El Arnoldo, as an ode to not the simplest of books, “The El Arnoldo Code” (Dan Brown).
*Hat Tip to “Tequila Mockingbird – Cocktails with a Literary Twist” (Tim Federle) for a few of these inspired drinks.
Chapter 2 – Book Club Snack Ideas
Whether you’re talking about the crazy twist in Chapter 12 that no one saw coming or dishing on the new HBO series based on the book, you want your snacks to be manageable. By that we mean easy to hold and eat in one hand, while cradling your drink in the other. You always have the basic cheese and crackers to nibble while discussing the motivational bestseller “Who Moved My Cheese?” (Dr. Spencer Johnson). Of course chips and salsa (with homemade guacamole) make the easiest of snacks. And easy is good when talking about the layered nuances of life, death and G-d that mystified readers of “The Shack” (William P. Young)
If you are looking to up the ante to add a snack with a kick, Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habañero Salt, might be just the right thing. Make before your guests arrive and serve in bowls with scoops. It’s a sweet and spicy pop for any party. The ability to make it ahead frees you up to mingle and discuss that steamy plot line that you stayed up way too late reading.
Chapter 3 – Casual Dinner Party Menu Ideas
Besides ordering takeout, there are few things simpler than a taco bar. Because this is your party, you want to make sure that you enjoy it, too. A taco bar can be the easiest of the easy. Try out this book club food idea – tacos made with a crockpot of chicken, sautéed skillet of fajita-style veggies, and a line up of all the fixings, including the salsa and guac you served for an appetizer. Because the literary libations went over so well with the cocktails, call it “Truly Madly Guilty Chicken” (Liane Moriarty) served with “Gone Girl Sofritas” (Gillian Flynn)?
We are especially excited to see that food spice giant McCormick is even making organic gluten-free taco seasoning! Taco Tuesday Book Club just got infinitely better now that you can “organify” your tacos, too.
Chapter 4 – Quick, Easy Desserts for Any Party
Again, simple and easy is good. Good doesn’t have to be complicated. If it’s book club food ideas or just menu-planning for a Sunday Funday, think of the a dynamic dessert as the perfect nightcap. Dessert is the “14th Deadly Sin” (James Patterson) after all. Keep your sinning simple by wrapping up the evening with organic berry compote served with a light and sweet crème fraîche. We think this is the perfect way to finish the chapter of your bibliophile party. Don’t let these book club food ideas be “The Secrets You Keep” (Kate White). Print a few on index cards as bookmark party favors for your faves.
The book club party is over. It’s time to do the dishes and put your feet up. You hosted a great party, and you’re ready to plan your next one. Find the perfect cocktail recipe for your next book club or casual dinner party. And for more tips of the partying trade, sign up for our weekly newsletter for all the news that’s fit to print.