Rummy Roys: Drinking in The Boys of My Youth, by Jo Ann Beard


The Boys of My Youth is a collection of autobiographical essays in the bildungsroman tradition; I’d say it’s in the top three reads of my MFA adventure thus far.  In other words, I read it it in 1.5 days while mainlining coffee and holed up in my PJs.  Classy, no?

There are men, dogs, and a variety of vehicles that pass through the essays, but the most steadfast of relationships are the female friendships that endure over time—one of which begins in utero.

The essay “Cousins,” shows a friendship that begins with the pregnant mothers, then spans the life of their baby girls as they grow older and closer together.  Eventually, they start getting into trouble, as in any coming-of-age tale worth its weight.

The following recipe combines a Roy Rogers—the classic cherry coke treat—and a rum and coke.  I felt it was the perfect middle point of innocence and sin, inspired by the scene when they tear down the dirt road in Wendell’s Firebird to go drink-and-dancing at a cowboy bar in the boondocks.

Rummy Roy

1 shot grenadine

1 shot rum (I used Sailor Jerry’s–you can go unspiced if you rather)

1 Mexican Coca Cola (If you haven’t found cola enlightenment, start here.)

Maraschino cherry for garnish


Pour both shots in a highball glass over ice.  Fill the rest with cola and stir.  Garnish with cherry.

“The rum is a warm, dark curtain in my chest.”


Please read responsibly.


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