“Farenheit 451”: We recommend a flaming cocktail with Bradbury’s cautionary tale about burning books

Excerpted with permission from Literary Libations: What to Drink with What You Read by Amira K. Makansi. Copyright 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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Amira K. Makansi is a wine industry professional who has worked in many if not all aspects of the wine industry. Since graduating from the University of Chicago, she has worked for eight wineries, two distribution companies, and three restaurants, spanning from Chicago’s prestigious dining scene to an Alsatian winery whose first vintage predates the French revolution. Amira has also written and published a science fiction trilogy with her mother and sister, the first book of which has been optioned for a Hollywood production.

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It would have been improper to recommend anything but a flaming cocktail with Bradbury’s cautionary tale about censorship and burning books, and a flaming B-52 fits our needs perfectly, with coffee liqueur to keep book-lovers everywhere happy and a name that evokes the bombers flying Guy Montag’s dystopian city at the story’s end. Be careful when you light your shot on fire—or, better yet, take your book to a bar and let the professionals do it for you. I’d prefer the book-burning scenes remain firmly in the fiction category, thank you.

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Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Pairing: Flaming B-52 Shot


1⁄2 ounce Kahlúa

1⁄2 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream

1⁄2 ounce Grand Marnier (substitute Cointreau if necessary)


1. Pour Kahlúa into a shot glass.

2. Pour Bailey’s Irish Cream on top to float.

3. Pour Grand Marnier (sub Cointreau if necessary) on top of the previous two ingredients to float.

4. (Optional, and possibly dangerous—use caution) To light the shot on fire, either:

a) Use room-temperature Grand Marnier, or;

b) Build your shot slightly shorter than normal by using less Grand Marnier than you would to fill the glass to the top. Carefully add 3–4 drops—no more—of high-proof (151 proof) rum on top of the previous ingredients.


c) Light the shot on fire. Wait until the fire has gone out to take the shot. (I don’t feel it should be necessary to clarify this last bit, but my lawyer informed me that I should.)


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