Welcome to the culinary section of the Virtual Book Club! This month we are following the lives of five beautiful and interesting women in a small beachfront community from the book “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. For the home decor inspo of this book, I analyzed each character, their style of home and then created a seating area for them. Click here if you missed it. For the culinary section, I am creating a cocktail hour for the characters and making a signature cocktail for each of the characters that would be best sipped while watching a sunset!

It is going to be fun so let’s jump right in!

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Madeline – Dorothea’s Tea Punch

Madeline is traditional and a lover of everything to do with family. It was app repo that I would create a cocktail that has been handed down through the generations of Reese Witherspoon’s family (the actress who played Madeline in the TV series).

Reese’s grandmother, Dorothea created this punch and it begins with making none other than “Dorothea’s Sun Tea”. In a large container place 8 black tea tea bags (orange pekoe) in 1 gallon of water. Set the container in the sun and let it brew for 4 hours.

To make Dorothea’s Tea punch you mix equal parts Sun Tea, lemonade and orange juice and pour over a glass of ice. Then add the amount of vodka you would like 1 or 2 ounces should be sufficient. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Tall ribbed glass with an orange cocktail in it with a sprig of mint

Celeste – California Cosmopolitan

For Celeste I felt that a classy cosmopolitan would be perfect given that she was a lawyer and even though she went through so much she was always poised and elegant. For this one you will need:

  • 1 cup of vodka
  • 1/2 cup of triple sec
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of yellow sanding sugar
  • martini glass

Dampen the rim of your martini glass with a wet paper towel and then dip the rim into the sanding sugar.

Combine vodka, triple sec, orange juice and lemon juice in a pitcher. Chill in fridge.

When ready to serve, pour into martini glass. Slice a round piece of orange, then remove the juicy part. Make slice into the orange peel so that it becomes one long strip. Wrap it around a bamboo stick or just twist tightly and hold for 30 seconds. The twist should hold. Place in glass as a garnish.

Yellow Cosmopolitan drink in a martini glass

Renata – Big Sur Cooler

Renata, I felt was deserving of something bold and less feminine, so a Big Sur Cooler was perfect. From it’s icy deep green color and not so sweet flavour, this was perfect for the strong and resilient Renata!

What you will need:

  • highball glass with ice cubes
  • 1 cup amaretto
  • 1/2 cup blue Curacao
  • 1 cup white cranberry juice
  • mint sprig

Combine amaretto, blue curacao and white cranberry juice in a small pitcher. Stir well and chill in fridge. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes and pour mixture in. Add a sprig of mint for a garnish.

Deep green cocktail with a sprig of mint with marine glass
Deep green cocktail with a sprig of mint with marine glass

Jane – Gin Sidecar

I chose something unexpected for Jane and I did it to celebrate the young woman she should have grown into rather than the anxiety filled woman she did. I wanted to work with Empress Gin because it changes color and I hope that this drink will represent Jane as she moves on in life, heals and becomes the woman she always should have been.


  • 1.5 ounces of Empress Gin
  • 3/4 ounce of Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons simple syrup
  • Sugar for the rim

Combine gin, cointreau, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a sugar-rimmed glass.

Pinkish purple cocktail in a fancy glass with sugar rimmed edge

Bonnie – Malibu Sunrise

For Bonnie I wanted something that played off of nature and what better way than a cocktail that evokes the feelings of a sunrise together with the delicious flavours of coconut, orange and pineapple.

For this one you will need:

2 ounces of Malibu rum

2 ounces of orange juice

2 ounces of pineapple juice

1/2 ounce of grenadine

Orange slice

Fill a glass with ice. Then pour in the Malibu rum, then the orange juice and then the pineapple juice. Slowly add the grenadine. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Cocktail with light orange to deep red from top to bottom with slice of orange inserted on rim of cup

Cocktail hour has arrived!

I hope you have enjoyed these drink recipes and that you even tried one or all of them!

Five colorful cocktails

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Let me know if there is anything you would like me to cover in the future.

Next up…let’s check out what the other ladies are cooking up today!

Virtual book club bloggers

The ladies have been busy in their kitchens cook up something Anne would love and I do believe they have all been successful. Be sure to check them out by clicking on the title of their post below the photo.

Lynn, Living Large in a Small House

Cindy, Reinvented Delaware

Erin, Erin Evolving

Spicy shrimp medley
Homemade Greek Yogurt made in an Instant Pot being poured over blueberries and strawberries
Erin Evolving

Erin is on a break and will be back next month

What do you think?

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  • Wendy McMonigle
    May 27, 2023

    Wow! What a fun post. These cocktails all look delicious and the presentation. Is fabulous. I just might have to make a cocktail and read the book.

    • Crystal
      May 29, 2023

      Thanks so very much Wendy! You should definitely give at least one of them a try!

  • Lynn
    May 31, 2023

    Love the idea of all of these summertime fun cocktails! I’m going to have to give them a try.

    • Crystal
      May 31, 2023

      Thanks Lynn – I hope you do!