Covers & Cocktails: Smartypants

November 8, 2019

Hi. My name is Amanda and I’m a cran stan. I am ride or die for cranberry season. My roommate and I made this mixture called “hot cranz” in the winter, where we just cook down cranberries and serve it over ice cream or pound cake. This Covers & Cocktails was a perfect excuse to fully express my love for this weird little red berry.

Paired with my cran obsession is Beard Necessities by Penny Reid, her latest installment in the Winston Brothers series and our sponsor this month!

Beard Necessities
A | BN | K | AB

When I think about Penny Reid’s oeuvre, the color pink comes to mind. I have a good memory for cover designs and I often remember those before I can think of a title. Reid’s stitched Winston Brothers cover designs with all the smart pink accents have really stuck with me.

Beard Necessities also features a second chance romance that’s a long time coming and I wanted to give a second chance to a drink that I’m pretty eh on: the mojito. I think it’s the mint. It usually overwhelms me and while I prefer mint as my toothpaste flavor and in my York Peppermint Patties, that’s about the extent of it.

So pink, all the cranberries, and a spin on a mojito. I was very excited to start experimenting.

The name for this drink came to me immediately, as a nod to Reid’s really freakin’ cool collaborative publishing adventure, SmartyPants Romance. Other authors can write romances set in the worlds Reid has created, kind of like fan fiction but with the original creator on board. Both the Donner Bakery and Green Valley Library series appeal to me because hey, libraries and baked goods! This cranberry mojito is hereby dubbed the Smartypants.

Let’s raise a glass of Smartypants to Beard Necessities!

Shopping list:
White rum
Cranberry ginger ale
A lime
Mint leaves

2 oz. white rum
2 oz. cranberry ginger ale
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons of cranberry mixture
2 mint leaves

Cranberry mixture recipe:

  1. Over small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup cranberries, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/3 cup of sugar.
  2. Cook over medium heat until cranberries have burst and softened.
  3. Transfer from heat and let cool.
  4. Use what you need for the drink and save the rest for more later!


  1. In a shaker, throw in your mint leaves, cranberry mixture, and lime juice.
  2. Muddle! This just means you want to bruise and mush the leaves to release the flavors.
  3. Fill shaker with ice.
  4. Add rum and ginger ale.
  5. Shake!
  6. Serve on the rocks.
  7. Garnish with lime if you’re feeling fancy, or add some cranberry mixture to the bottom of your glass.

Modifications and notes:

  • The cranberry mixture can be adjusted depending on whether you want it sweeter or more tart. Just alter the sugar amount!
  • Can’t find the cranberry ginger ale or don’t like it? Use a mixture of cranberry juice and seltzer water.
  • If you want a bubbly, cranberry lime mocktail, you can totally leave out the rum.

A cranberry mojito next to a pair of eyeglasses


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