Book-Inspired Cocktails: “Cotton Paloma”

What do you do when you come across top-secret documents that could change the course of history?

Settle your nerves with this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “Cotton Paloma” cocktail, inspired by Steve Berry's prequel Cotton Malone thriller, The Bishop's Pawn!

The Bishop's Pawn by Steve Berry is the 13th book in the Cotton Malone series.

History notes that the ugly feud between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King Jr., marked by years of illegal surveillance and the accumulation of secret files, ended on April 4, 1968, when King was assassinated by James Earl Ray. But that may not have been the case.

Now, fifty years later, former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone must reckon with the truth of what really happened that fateful day in Memphis.

It all turns on an incident from eighteen years ago, when Malone, as a young Navy lawyer, is trying hard not to live up to his burgeoning reputation as a maverick. When Stephanie Nelle, a high-level Justice Department lawyer, enlists him to help with an investigation, he jumps at the opportunity. But he soon discovers that two opposing forces―the Justice Department and the FBI―are at war over a rare coin and a cadre of secret files containing explosive revelations about the King assassination, information that could ruin innocent lives and threaten the legacy of the civil rights movement’s greatest martyr.

Malone’s decision to see it through to the end—from the raucous bars of Mexico to the clear waters of the Dry Tortugas and, ultimately, into the halls of power within Washington D.C. itself—not only changes his own life, but the course of history.

Read an excerpt from The Bishop's Pawn!


“Cotton Paloma”


– 2 oz. tequila
– 1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur (St. Germain)
– 1/2 oz. lime juice
– 2 oz. grapefruit juice
– 1/2 oz. club soda
– lime (garnish)

How to make the cocktail:

  1. Pour the tequila, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and grapefruit juice into a mixing tin with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top with club soda.
  5. Garnish with a lime.

So have a few “Cotton Paloma” cocktails and don't forget to order your copy of Steve Berry's The Bishop's Pawn today!


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of a dozen Cotton Malone novels and several standalones. He has 20 million books in print, translated into 40 languages. With his wife, Elizabeth, he is the founder of History Matters, which is dedicated to historical preservation. He serves on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and was a founding member of International Thriller Writers, formerly serving as its co-president.

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