The stories found in Greek mythology are the inspiration for countless movies, TV shows, video games, and books today. And Liv Albert—creator of the podcast Let's Talk About Myths, Baby! and the book Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes—has carved out a niche within the subject, as she focuses on presenting these centuries-old tales through a modern lens. Now, she's bringing all of that knowledge to a new cocktail book titled Nectar of the Gods.
In this book, Albert brings to life 75 cocktails inspired by the heroes, villains, and gods of Greek mythology. But because Albert focused more on libations than scholarly explainers this time around, she was able to have a bit of fun with minor characters who don't have a sprawling backstory but appeal personally to her. This includes a renewed focus on lesser-known women characters who “were rarely the focal point of mythology,” Albert tells Mental Floss in an email interview. Two such characters she was able to include were Thalassa, the primordial goddess of the sea (also known as Mother Ocean), and Nike, the goddess of victory and inspiration for the Belli-Nike cocktail seen below.
While Albert provided the backstories, facts, and details seen throughout, she teamed up with food and beverage consultant Thea Engst for the cocktail recipes themselves. "At the beginning, I brainstormed cocktail names, coming up with a list based entirely on what cocktail research I had done: satisfying puns, plays on existing cocktails, and diving deep into lesser-known names and terms from Greek mythology," Albert says. "From there, Thea invented the cocktails and her recipes were passed back to me to write the mythological content that would surround them."
To complete the package, the team collaborated with illustrator Sara Richard, who had previously worked with Albert on Greek Mythology and provides the cocktail-themed artwork throughout this book.
Though you won't find any historical evidence of the ancient Greeks imbibing these mythologically inspired drinks, the recipes are meant to embody the spirit of the characters and tales they're based on. And you'll learn about more than just temperamental Olympians and seductive sirens—you'll also get real-world tips for making your own cocktail syrups, how to stock a bar cart, and how to swap certain spirits that aren't to your liking.
Many of the featured drinks are exotic originals, such as Circe's Potent Poison, made from brandy and hibiscus flower, while others are tweaks to the classics. The Midas Mule, for example, features the traditional ginger beer with unique additions like Fernet-Branca and ground turmeric to create a dash of gold.
Nectar of the Gods is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released on April 12. In the meantime, check out these three cocktails from the book below.