There are very few urban fantasy authors I truly believe in, and Naomi Clark is certainly one of them. Her Ethan Banning series is dark, gut-wrenching and gritty, but it's also beautifully written and very challenging for the reader - in the best way possible.
I am extremely happy to welcome Naomi to The Nocturnal Library.
Ethan’s Christmas Recipes
If there’s one thing we can all appreciate at Christmas, it’s probably the booze. Even if you’re a tee-totaller, chances are you’re going to get some in your diet from somewhere or other (my gran’s infamous Christmas trifle has so much sherry in it that you can’t legally drive after eating a portion). And if there’s one thing that Ethan Banning can appreciate all year round, it’s definitely the booze. Personally, I’m a big cocktail fan and an even bigger fan of imagining my characters doing mundane things like kicking back with a drink or two. So without further ado, I’m bringing you Ethan’s Christmas cocktails, all specially selected to pack the maximum punch and still leave room for trifle.
I don’t know if Ethan would order this in a bar (too girly sounding), but he’d probably let someone order it for him, given that it’s full of coffee liqueur and he basically considered coffee a food group.
400ml chilled Tia Maria
250ml double cream
Cocoa powder for dusting
Pour the Tia Maria into small cocktail or liqueur glasses. Carefully pour the cream into the glasses over the back of a teaspoon so it floats on the surface of the Tia Maria and makes a separate layer. Dust the cream with cocoa by shaking it through a tea strainer, and serve.
Mulled wine cocktail
The classic winter drink. I think Ethan would probably up the red wine content and not bother with an orange zest garnish, though. Actually, he would probably just take the wine and a big straw and not bother with any of the other ingredients…
100g/4oz light muscovado sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
750ml/ 1¼pint bottle light red wine, such as Beaujolais
Twist of orange zest and a star anise to serve
Put 100g light muscovado sugar in a pan with 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves and 150ml water. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Simmer for 2 mins, then pour into a large jug and leave to cool. Add 1 lemon and 2 clementines, both thinly sliced, to the jug along with 150ml Cointreau and a 750ml bottle light red wine, such as a Beaujolais. Stir well, then cover and chill for at least 2 hrs or overnight if you can.
Serve chilled or over ice, with a twist of orange zest and a star anise. If you’d like to serve a traditional warm mulled wine, there’s no need to chill – simply warm through without boiling and serve in heatproof glasses.
I’m not suggested Ethan wouldn’t be filled with the spirit of the season, I’m just saying it’s probably not the same spirit everyone else is filled with…
2 ounces Midori liqueur
½ ounces lemon juice
1 teaspoon syrup, made with equal parts sugar and water
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Poor ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Decorate with your cherry.
Orange and Cranberry Spritz
And one more, just in case you really are trying to avoid the alcohol this Christmas (I think this one possibly sounds too healthy for Ethan, but I would love it!).
500ml smooth orange juice
500ml cranberry juice
400ml sparkling elderflower cordial
Mix the orange and cranberry juice together in a big jug. Slowly add in the elderflower cordial and watch it fizz up! Serve over ice.
Any suggestions of your own to add to the menu? I’d love to hear them!
Naomi likes writing, perfume, fancy tea, and unfathomable monsters from the dark spaces between the stars, not necessarily in that order. She has been writing stories ever since she learned how to write, but is still trying to master the art of biography writing. When she's not dealing with werewolves, demons, or sea monsters, she's hanging out with her cat and probably watching a documentary about Bigfoot. If the cat isn't available, she's with her fiancé watching cookery shows and silently plotting her next book.
Find Naomi online:
Blog - http://naomiclarkwrites.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/naomi_jay
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/naomijclark
Private Investigator Ethan Banning is a desperate man.
He’s desperate to rid himself of the demon possessing him. He’s desperate to stop the nightmares and the evil urges that fill him. He’s so desperate, he’s agreed to quit smoking and drinking in exchange for help.
Professor Benedict Walters thinks he can exorcise Ethan with clean living and ancient history, but he won’t do it for free. Ethan’s got to track down Heather, a missing colleague of Walters in the quaint and creepy seaside town of Beacon’s Point. It should be simple...but Heather may not want to be found.
Even if Ethan can crack the case, he’s still got to deal with a trainee necromancer, his own fading self-control, and an ancient entity that terrifies Ethan’s own demonic denizen.
Crack the case? Hell, P.I. Ethan Banning may not even survive it.
To enter the giveaway, you only need to leave a comment for Naomi. Tell us what you think about Ethan's recipes or leave one of your favorites. One commenter will win an e-copy of Undertow. This giveaway is, of course, international.