img_8278Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

-first line in Rebecca by Dapne Du Maurier

It had been on my “books I ought to read”-list for ages so when I found it for nothing at an Oxfam in London in August I decided it was destiny. As so many people pointed out to me it really is a great time of year to read it.

It is a story of young (somewhat lost and confused) woman who meets a man and falls in love. But the marriage is of to a rough start as Maxim’s dead wife still cast a long shadow over the estate Manderley.

It is a haunting tale of loneliness and fear. Well-written and with an slow but forceful pace. Despite being published in 1938 it feels fresh; the writing has stood the test of time.  I already had a dress that matched it so I decided to create a cocktail.

The constant references to the rose garden was a starting point. As I’ve pointed out before I love using flowers in cocktails. I also used references to cognac,sherry and lemonade. It says nothing of which kind of sherry but decided to go with a dry one. Added a dash of Campari as a nod to Mrs. Danvers attitude.


First make rosewater syrup; heat 25o ml of rosewater to the boiling point in a saucepan. Take it of the heat and stir in 400 ml of caster sugar stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Let cool somewhat and then pour into a clean bottle. Will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

Manderlay-cocktail; serves one

4 cl cognac

2 cl dry sherry

1,5 cl rosewater syrup

1 dash of Campari( a bit more then a bar spoon)

for serving;

cocktail glass


  1. Stir the ingredients in a stirring glass full of ice until well chilled.
  2. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and top with a dash of lemonade.
  3. Serve and enjoy responsibly!

This cocktail is not the most advanced I’ve made; nor is it full of references to this and that in the book.  That’s not to say it’s a bland cocktail; quite the opposite. It’s got a lot of flavors. I like complex cocktails but they are not for everyone. This, like the book, is enjoyed slowly.




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