Construction workers, farmers, ballerinas, and firemen all have their day in the sun when it comes to children’s books. Heck, even dragons, bears, and pigeons get their say (though they don’t always get to drive the bus, if you know what I’m talking about). But when it comes to other professions and hobbies, it’s not always easy to translate parental interests into something fun and educational for children.
Somehow, my friend Lara Nixon has managed to bridge that gap—in an ABC book devoted to the art of cocktails, no less! A is for Absinthe: A Spirited Book of ABCs is more Mary Poppins than Sally Draper, giving a spoonful of sugar and a cheeky wink at the world of craft cocktails, and I’m proud to say I’ve illustrated the book.
Lara, who’s the co-founder of bitters company Bad Dog Bar Craft as well as a cocktail consultant and spirits educator, spends many of her working hours chatting with fellow service professionals in the culinary and bartending world. The people she works alongside every day are often parents of young children—parents who are happy to read with their kids for hours, but who would love to teach them more about their world instead of discussing cars and trucks and things that go every night. Lara realized there was an opportunity for a story that would help her peers teach their kids about their passions in an accessible and appropriate way.
A is for Absinthe takes a loving but tongue-in-cheek look at the spirits industry, providing a colorful education on many of the tools and ingredients used in the trade with a child-friendly twist. Lara’s witty rhymes were tailor made for whimsical cartoons and illustrations, and it was a joy to draw a fantastic world of absinthe-sipping fairies, pirates who love tiki drinks, medieval monks making floral and fruit elixirs, and more.
For parents who don’t work in the barcraft biz but who also enjoy a mai tai or bitters-splashed gimlet, the book is equally educational. Muddlers and strainers, orgeat and quinine, honey and agave—it’s all there for the learning. (Oh yeah—and there might be a few cameo appearances by Lara’s beloved pup Penny and my debonair cats Lenny and Harry. Take that, Goldbug!)
Buy A is for Absinthe: A Spirited Book of ABCs on Amazon.