Covers & Cocktails: The Kristen Proby Mini-Cocktail Collection

This month, we have a very special sponsored Covers and Cocktails! I had so much fun working on these drinks and since there are seven books (seven!) to discuss, I’m just going to get into without much preamble.

My inspiration has come from the The Kristen Proby Crossover Collection! Proby has teamed up with 1001 Dark Nights and six other romance authors to create a collection of romances that cross over with her Big Sky series. All seven books in the collection are out, so you can marathon to your heart’s content.

Let’s get into the books and the drinks!

Note: I made these drinks in 2oz. Mason jar shot glasses, which Sarah thought I needed. She was absolutely right. To make a larger cocktail, you’ll have to math and adjust the proportions as needed.

Each drink uses 1oz. of bourbon. It’s the base of each cocktail and I really liked exploring how to use one alcohol seven different ways. All of them are “dry shaken,” which means I shook them in a shaker without ice.

Soaring with Fallon
A | BN | K | AB

Soaring with Fallon by Kristen Proby

This romance is the cornerstone novel of the series. As it is the OG of this collection, I wanted to adjust a classic cocktail.

The hero rescues and rehabilitates birds of prey—how adorable is that—so I wanted to include some lightness or fluffiness in a way.

Grapefruit Whiskey Sour
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. grapefruit juice
2 tbsp. simple syrup or sweetener of your choice
1 egg white

Instructions: 

Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, no ice as noted above, and start shaking! Pour over ice as desired.

Notes: I love an egg white foam on my cocktails. It’s so silky and really lightens up a drink. Because you want to egg white to foam up, you’ll have to shake the drink for nearly a minute.

If egg white is not your thing, that’s totally fine. The foam is optional, but if you do want to include it, you’ll definitely want to strain the drink as you pour it into the glass, just in case any egg white hasn’t been foamed.

A light pink drink in a mason jar with foam on top.


Wicked Force
A | BN | K | AB

 Wicked Force by Sawyer Bennett

This is a bodyguard romance. The heroine is a celebrity who needs protection and some time out of the limelight. The hero leads a security organization.

The cover captures this juxtaposition well and, so I wanted to marry something sweet with bitter and spicy flavors.

Bourbon Cream
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. RumChata

Instructions: 

Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, no ice as noted above, and, yup, start shaking!

Notes: I love RumChata. It’s a spiced dairy rum liqueur. You have the cinnamon from the RumChata and slight burn from the bourbon, but the sweetness and smoothness of the dairy complements it well.

You’ll note that in the picture below (aren’t the Mason jars adorable?) I added a bit of dark chocolate syrup to this as well. I had it in my fridge and was feeling fancy, but it’s not necessary.

A dairy-based cocktail with a drizzle of chocolate syrup in a mason jar


Crazy Imperfect Love
A | BN | K | AB

Crazy, Imperfect Love by K.L. Grayson

Both characters in this romance work in the medical field, and an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

The heroine is a nurse who takes on nursing positions around the country. I have a friend who does this same thing and she loves it. I think it’s an exciting way to both work and travel.

Apple Ginger
1 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. apple juice
1/2 oz. ginger ale

Instructions: 

You’ll never guess what to do. Ready? Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, no ice as noted above, and start shaking! Pour over ice as desired.

Notes: I recommend using a thicker apple juice, such as those from Simply or R.W. Knudsen, rather than, say, Mott’s.

The ginger ale adds some oomph with the bubbles and ginger, but not too much to be overpowering. However, if you wanted to taste the ginger more, switch the ginger ale for ginger beer.

A pale yellow fizzy cocktail in a mason jar


Worth Fighting For
A | BN | K | AB

 Worth Fighting For by Laura Kaye

This might have the most intense payoff of the collection as it focuses on two veterans dealing with trauma and past mistakes. They bond over their love of diving and both partake in a “wounded warrior” type of training program. Lots of forced proximity elements in this one, if that’s your catnip!

Maple Tea Bourbon
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. iced tea
2 tbsp. maple syrup

Instructions: 

Wait for it….

Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, no ice as noted above, and start shaking! Pour over ice as desired.

Notes: I prefer my drinks on the sweeter side, so I used sweetened iced tea and a lighter maple syrup. If you’re the opposite of me, go with unsweetened iced tea (bottled or homemade) and a syrup that is darker in color.

A light amber colored cocktail in a mason jar


Nothing Without You
A | BN | K | AB

Nothing Without You by Monica Murphy

The heroine designs wedding cakes, which honestly sounds like a dream job. It also has a second chance romance with a football player hero. I wanted to balance the sweetness of cake with the heroine thinking she was “nutty” for even entertaining getting involved with the hero again.

Caramel Nut
1 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. amaretto
1/2 oz. half and half
1 tsp. butter extract
1 tsp. rum extract

Instructions: 

Drumroll please!

Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, no ice as noted above, and start shaking! Pour over ice as desired.

Notes: This one might have been my favorite, especially after I drizzled some caramel syrup into it. Totally optional, but definitely recommended. The extracts help tszuj up the half and half, but I’m always curious about using a flavored creamer in cocktails. If you try it, report back, please!

A dairy cream bourbon cocktail in a mason jar with a caramel sauce drizzle


All Stars Fall
A | BN | K | AB

All Stars Fall by Rachel Van Dyken

With a forbidden romance and hero left to take care of his three young children alone, there are some hefty emotions in this one. I wanted some darker flavors in this drink, instead of going the sweet route. Using Luxardo cherry syrup adds a thickness to the cocktail and some tart flavors.

Cherry Bourbon
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Luxardo cherry syrup

Instructions: 

Yup. Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, no ice as noted above, and start shaking! Pour over ice as desired.

Notes: I used the syrup straight from my jar of Luxardo cherries. However, I know Luxardo makes cherry liqueur, which I think might be a bit better. My local shop doesn’t carry it, unfortunately. Honestly, there’s no substitute for these cherries and you need them in your life.

A dark red amber colored cocktail in a mason jar


Hold On
A | BN | K | AB

Hold On by Samantha Young

Ski resort! Snow! I had to make something warm and cozy for this one, a drink that would be perfectly for decompressing after hitting the slopes. Hot cocktails are something that I absolutely love and I wish bars served more of them, for when I want to be cozy and social.

Spiced Orange Bourbon
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. spiced orange juice

Instructions: 

Over medium heat, I simmered a cup of orange juice (juice from two oranges) and one cinnamon stick.

No need for a shaker on this one, since it’s warm! Pour the strained, warm juice into a mug and pour in in the bourbon. Or if you want, you can simmer all the components together!

Notes: You can used bottled juice or fresh. Up to you. But make sure to strain for the pulp. Then again, I suppose that’s a personal preference because I fucking hate pulp.

A light orange warm cocktail with a cinnamon stick


And there you have it! Seven bourbon mini-cocktails! 

A display of seven mason jar cocktails

 

Cheers!

A drink in a mini mason jar held in Amanda's hand for scale

What do you think? Which one is your favorite? And what fun things do you do with books, and/or with bourbon?

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