Tequila Mockingbird: The Lime of the Ancient Mariner

I read Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” in college, so it’s been over four years since I’ve been really familiar with it. Even when I was familiar with the words and lines, it was not really my cup of tea. And unfortunately, Tim Federle’s recipe inspired by this poem also fell flat for me.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner | Tequila Mockinbird | Tim Federle

If you know my writing, and/or if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I enjoy long sentences and short poems. Which means Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s longest work with its short lines is basically my worst nightmare.* Just write a short story in prose, man!

You may wonder, then, why I would try a cocktail inspired by this poem instead of ignoring it forever. As I’ve mentioned before, gin is my hard alcohol of choice, and in 2018 I’ve decided to get more creative with gin cocktails – or at least mix gin with more than just tonic water. Don’t get me wrong, gin and tonics will never go out of style, but it’s fun to try something new every once and a while. Tim Federle’s The Lime of the Ancient Mariner is not complicated, and with a few tweaks I would certainly make it again.

The recipe calls for – in addition to gin – two parts grapefruit juice and two parts lime juice. I bought a red grapefruit and squeezed the juice out myself, which was a mess but worth it. For the limes, I thought I had multiple in my refrigerator, but when I searched inside I only found one. That made about 1/2 ounce of juice, so I had to use pre-made lime juice for the rest. The recipe also calls for a highball glass with a salted rim (this cocktail reminded me that I don’t like salt on the rims of my glasses). It looked great, but at first sip I was quite disappointed. I would like to think the disappointing taste came from the pre-made lime juice, but even if I used all fresh lime juice I honestly think it would still be too much. I would recommend doing two or three parts grapefruit juice to one part lime juice so that the taste isn’t completely overpowered by the lime.

The Lime of the Ancient Mariner

Since the recipe can be improved [for me] with some alterations, it’s not a complete dud.
Therefore, I’m giving it two glasses. Cheers!




*Okay, this is just a little over-dramatic.


  • Audrey Kalman

    It’s a bit early in the morning here for a drink but I came via Susie’s blog and wanted to say hi. It’s nice to find a fellow gin-lover. My cocktail of choice is the martini–straight up, very dry, with an olive. Shaking is okay, though.

    Also, I’m an Oxford comma devotee, so we have that in common too.

  • Janice Wald

    To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book of all time. I am in English and history teacher. I appreciate your support of literacy here with your humor and parodies.
    Susie sent me! Maybe you can check out my blog if you need any blogging tips. I write about how bloggers can be more successful. I also have blog parties like Susie.

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