Tag Archives: Tim Federle

‘Bottoms Up!’ A Mark Twain ‘Stirred Or Shaken?’ Party At Real Art Ways

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If you know anyone who went to The Mark Twain House & Museum’s “Bottoms Up!” program at Real Art Ways Thursday, oh you are so in for a treat next time you visit them.

Because those attending the program featuring author Tim Federle and his newest book “Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With A Literary Twist” were inspired, not so much by the impressive array of classic literature included in his book, but rather the quirky spin-off libations that make a bartender out of anyone, even English majors and classic literature teachers.

“ThisTEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD cover is just so funny,” said Mary Roberge , as she thumbed through Federle’s book that features mixed drinks like “The Last of the Mojitos,” “The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose,” and “Vermouth The Bell Toll,” good-tasting liquid parodies of some of the world’s most beloved novels

“I want to share this with a couple of my professors,” said the Hartford resident, who is an English major in Boston. “And this summer, I think I need to try several of these drinks with friends at home.”

Federle ( of ‘Better Nate Than Ever’ fame) , who signed books and explained how his saucy “Tequila” idea came to fruition, was jusbottoms3t part of the cocktail-themed program. The documentary “Hey Bartender,” featuring Stephen “Carpi” Carpentieri, an owner of Westport’s Dunville’s and made by Westport and Weston filmmakers Doug Tirola, Susan Bedusa and Danielle Rosen was shown. And there was music and a late night “Happy Hour” featuring fun Federle drinks like the non-alcoholic “Pear The Wild Things Are” and the Southern Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Julep.”

But be assured, for many it was as much a learning experience as it was a cocktail one.

“I can’t wait to try some of these recipes at First Fridays,” said Sharon Straka, a New Britain resident who volunteers as a bartender at the New Britain Museum of American Art’s “First Friday” monthly cocktail events.

Forbottoms2 Bolton High School educators, Joyce Teed and Claire Fazzina, it was a chance to celebrate summer break and relax a bit.

Java expected Teed, an American Literature teacher at the school, to have something deep to say about the classics that are part of the book, and innocently asked if her choice of the “Huckleberry Sin” was because she was a Mark Twain/Sam Clemens scholar.

“Nope,” she said as she sipped the vodka/ soda and muddled fresh blueberry concoction. “I just like vodka.”

For more pictures, go here.

Hot Enough For You Hartford? Time For Some Summer Fun

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Yes, it’s hot but remember those snowstorms and the cherished thoughts of summer and weekend fun?

It’s time.

Fun this week begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. when Community Connections hosts its annual “Summer Social-Party in the Park” at Bushnell Park. The evening party includes tours of the park arch, carousel rides, music, food and drinks. Information: leadershipgh.org

Then head over to Real Art Ways for the “Bottoms Up” cocktail event featuring author Tim Federle.

TTEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD coverhe event, sponsored by RAW and The Mark Twain House & Museum, features the fun guy whose new book “Tequila Mockingbird, Cocktails With A Literary Twist,” celebrates literary classics and classic cocktails. The evening includes a showing of the documentary “Hey Bartender” followed by some of the book’s best cocktails and a book signing with Federle.

Tickets are $15 for RAW and MTH&M members, and $20 for the general public.

On Thursday, you can also head over to the Aqua Turf in Plantsville for the Calvanese Foundation’s Fifth Annual “Beer & Wine Tasting Festival” from 5:30 to 9;30

More than 60 vendors of beer and wine will be featured at the event which benefits foundation charities. Tickets are $30 at the door.

On Friday, treat yourself and go over to Simsbury’s Talcott Mountain for “Sinatra Under the sin2 (2)Stars,” a tribute to the greatest hits of Frank Sinatra, featuring the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and vocalist/trumpeter Rob Zappulla and his Big Band beginning at 7:30 p.m. The show is part of the HSO summer music festival series. Pack a picnic, grab a couple of chairs and a blanket and feel free to make a night of it. The gate opens at 6 p.m. The HSO Education Tent there, open from 6 to 7:15 p.m. offers family friendly activities such as music-themed games and crafts, the “Instrument Zoo,” and youth performances. In the case of severe weather, this concert will be performed on Saturday, July 13 at the same time. Single tickets range in price from $20-$45; and lawn tickets for kids 12 and under are $5. Information: 860-244-2999 or www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Whferriswheel[1]o doesn’t like a carnival and fireworks and a parade in the middle of summer? Tunxis Hose Co. #1 in the Unionville section of Farmington will deliver all three this weekend. The carnival opens Thursday and continues through Saturday, with fireworks planned for Friday night and the parade on Saturday. For more information go to tunxishose.com

On Sunday, the annual GE 5K Road Race, benefiting the Petit Family petiotrace2Foundation will be held in Plainville. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with adult races and walks beginning at 9 a.m. There are also kid walks, activities and a formal program. Information: petitroadrace.com




‘Bottoms Up’ Means Cocktails and Classics in Hartford

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tm1 It’s been described as “the cocktail book for the literary obsessed.” That is Tim Federle’s “Tequila Mockingbird,” a book that is both fun and functional when it comes to stirring or shaking a good book and a good cocktail. Federle, a novelist, comedy writer, Broadway actor, choreographer and director, is bringing his humor and his adult libation expertise to a program on July 11 at Real Art Ways with the Mark Twain House & Museum. Titled “Bottoms Up!” the evening will celebrate the cocktail culture with a screening of the documentary “Hey, Bartender,” a post-film talk with Federle and a splashy cocktail party featuring drinks from his book. Before getting ready for the summer cocktail party of the season here in Hartford, the multi-talented Federle put down the Bronte and the bourbon so he could Spill the Beans with Java.

Q: What makes you an expert in cocktails?

A: As anyone in show business knows, you are either toasting with cocktails on opening night or drinking away when a show closes early. I have been in my fair share of both.

Q: I guess I don’t get it. “Tequila Mockingbird” is a book about literary classics and cocktails. Explain?

A: The book is a taking a poke, some good-natured fun at the heavier English books all of us lugged around. I’m not a professional bartender and I wrote the book for people who are not professional bartenders. The drinks in the book are a twist on the classics. And they are not complicated. I wanted anybody who had access to a corner store to be able to find the ingredients they needed. I really wanted them to be something that you want to make after working all day.

TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD coverQ: The cocktails are great but all I can think about is what the authors would have to say to you about “mocking” their classics by naming cocktails as a kind of parody. Charlotte Bronte’s “Gin Eyre,” Harper Lee’s “Tequila Mockingbird,” and what about, Ernest Hemingway’s “ Vermouth The Bell Tolls,” okay well, maybe not him, but anyway, just seems these esteemed authors might be a little miffed. How do you explain it to such celebrated authors?

A: I had this glorifying moment recently where I mentioned Rodger and Hammerstein’s South Pacific to someone under 20. The response what “what’s that.” These drinks in my book were created solely as a tribute to these classic literary works. I would hope these folks would be honored or at least tickled that something they created so long ago still stands the test of time.

Q: So it’s education using booze?

A: The way I have laid the book out is that along with each cocktail recipe there are also facts about the book. There is a short synopsis of the book, some interesting facts about the author. I would hope these writers might recognize there is a whole new generation of readers who might have forgotten some of the more interesting and tangible facts about these authors. We live in a mash up culture and have this provincial idea about bookish people, that they wear tight buns in their hair and glasses. I thought this would be something fun, an insight into what happens when the library closes and the fun begins. I am delighted to find that the #1 readers of my book are librarians.

Q: Is the book supposed to be a bit of a joke?

A: I’d say it is one halfway tongue in cheek. There is something fun about pairing a book with a drink. It’s like a fine wine with a steak. And as far as the pairings in the book, I didn’t want to make puns that meant nothing. I wanted the drinks tied thematically to the book.

Q: Now most of the authors are dead, but what about Judy Blume and her “Are You There God, It’s Me Margarita?”

A: Most of the authors in the book have left our world but there are a handful of living authors whose books are included. I would love to get a copy to Judy Blume so that in the most loving way she knows it’s a 100 percent tribute.

Q: Did you read all the books that are part of “Tequila Mockingbird?”

A: I either read each one or most of each one or did a lot of research. It was a way to bond with my dad who is a scholar. It was a nice way to explore these books again. It was a very literate summer for me.

Q: Since The Mark Twain House & Museum is co-sponsoring your visit here, what related book and cocktail celeb rates Mark Twain?

A: A “Huckleberry Sin,” a really delicious vodka soda with muddled berries.

Q: How old were you when you had your first drink?

A: I was a really good boy and did not drink until I was officially of drinking age. But in my teens someone served me ice cream with Kahlua on top and I remember saying ‘someone try this new ice cream sauce.’ Who knew it could be so good!


Tickets for the show which begins at 7 p.m. are $20 per person, $15 for members of RAW or MTH&M. You must be 21 years old or older to attend. For tickets go to realartways.org.