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Booze + Book Pairings: The Can-Do Cocktail and ROSIE, A DETROIT HERSTORY

Friday, April 17, 2020

Each week, WSU Press will be pairing our books with the insanely beautiful drink creations of Gates Otsuji, founder of Controlled Substances, a bar and beverage consultancy based in Brooklyn.

First up, the Can-Do (non-alcoholic) Cocktail and Rosie, A Detroit Herstory.

Rosie, A Detroit Herstory is an inspirational book, about women rising to the occasion, about the power of collective effort, and self-reliance in times of crisis. It’s a story of hard work, true grit, optimism, and confidence that didn’t need validation to accomplish things. I felt that a cocktail to match this tale should be uplifting, and full of fresh ingredients, so while this drink requires a little elbow grease, you’ll love how refreshing it tastes.

1. Place two green cardamom pods in a shaker and crack them with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon. 
2. Add a strawberry and a slice of cucumber to the shaker and crush them. Go ahead, treat yourself and use a big strawberry.
3. Take a handful of mint leaves (yes, just the leaves), clap them between your hands and drop them into the shaker.
4. Add 1 ½ oz simple syrup (combine equal parts white sugar and warm water, stir to dissolve the sugar. Et Voila!), 1 oz orange juice, and 1 oz lime juice. 
5. Add ice, securely cap the shaker, and shake hard to chill. No, really, shake HARD. 
6. Fill a tall glass with ice and add a splash of seltzer, then strain the drink into the glass. For a smoother texture, use a mesh strainer. 
7. Top up the glass with a bit more seltzer and garnish with cucumber and some fresh mint sprigs.
8. Enjoy with a good book!

Gates Otsuji is the founder of Controlled Substances, a bar and beverage consultancy based in Brooklyn, with more than two decades of experience creating cocktail programs for brands like The Standard, Starr Restaurants, and The Edition. As a third-generation Detroiter, Gates is thrilled to partner with WSU Press for this series.

Rosie, a Detroit Herstory is a remarkable story for young readers about women workers during World War II. At this time in history, women began working jobs that had previously been performed only by men, such as running family businesses, operating machinery, and working on assembly lines. Across America, women produced everything from ships and tanks, to ammunition and uniforms, in spectacular quantities. Their skill, bravery, tenacity, and spirit became a rallying point of American patriotism and aided in defining Detroit as the Arsenal of Democracy. Even though women workers were invaluable to the war effort, they met with many challenges that their male counterparts never faced. Yet, for all of their struggles, their successes were monumental. Today, we refer to them as "Rosies"—a group of women defined not by the identity of a single riveter but by the collective might of hundreds of thousands of women whose labors helped save the world.