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Credit: Renee Comet for USA WEEKEND. Food Styling by Lisa Cherkasky.
Credit: Renee Comet for USA WEEKEND. Food Styling by Lisa Cherkasky.
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Ask a Broadway dancer-turned-writer to come up with an Oscars-worthy, Les Misérables-themed cocktail, and be prepared to be wowed. His Les Fizz has color (gold, of course) and some sparkle (Champagne). It’s a winner.

Tim Federle concocted Les Fizz just for USA WEEKEND, but his 65 other literature-ified drinks in Tequila Mockingbird are dripping with the same wit — think Vermouth the Bell Tolls and Orange Julius Caesar. “This is my book for recovering English majors,” says Federle. “I took the essence of each story and turned it into a cocktail.”

Les Fizz

• 1/2 ounce gin
• 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur (like St-Germain)
• Champagne, to fill
• Fresh strawberries

During a commercial break, pour the gin and liqueur into a flute, then fill to the top with champagne. Garnish using a strawberry stabbed with a French flag toothpick. For Les Mis insiders, serve with a loaf of bread. (Just don’t steal it. We’re looking at you, Jean Valjean.)

Yield: 1 drink

Per serving: 167 calories, 8 g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium

Les Fizz Junior

For non-drinkers and little soldiers, substitute cranberry juice for gin, a full ounce of white grape juice for elderflower liqueur, and sparkling water for champagne.

'Red and Black' Bread

You have the French movie and the French drink, now you need French food. “I’d serve pain au chocolate smeared with the reddest berry jam I could find,” says Federle, in tribute to the Les Mis song Red and Black. “Then everyone eats together when the song comes on.”

Yield: 1 drink

Per serving: 17 calories, 4 g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium

'Les Fizz' recipe from 'Tequila Mockingbird - Cocktails with a Literary Twist' by Tim Federle.

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