Why I Named a Cocktail After Idris Elba

The Idris Cocktail

This summer I took a big leap and attended a writing conference. Not just any conference but Romance Writers of America. Yes, I aspire to be published romance writer. I’ve kept this dream close to me, but going to Orlando with thousands of other romance writers meant publicly outing myself.

I’ve been lucky enough to find an amazing online group of romance writers. They’ve listened to me rant, encouraged me to keep writing, and make me laugh when I just want to trash my draft. Writing is such a solitary adventure and having these women in my life had made the journey infinitely more fun.

RWA 2017 Housemates

Several of us rented a gorgeous vacation home for our stay in Orlando. When you’re sharing a house–even if it’s rather big–with 10 other women, you never how things will go. Especially with people you’ve never met in person.

The house was my adult version of summer camp.  The moment each woman stepped into the house, it was as if we had known each other for years. We never stopped talking, whether we were sitting down for dinner or having cocktails in the hot tub. Without a screen or keyboard in our way, the conversation flowed and laughter echoed around us. We actually shut our mouths long enough to take a group photo!

Making Idris Cocktail

During the planning process for our week together, I was tasked with creating a cocktail for our house. We wanted something summery with a kick. It was a tough job, but I experimented three different spirits before settling on tequila. (The other main contender was spiced rum). My husband was a very willing taste tester.

I present to you the Idris Elba Cocktail. The Idris, for short.

Idris Twirling gif

This tequila cocktail is sweet and fresh with a spicy kick.  Just like Idris. There’s just enough tequila to free your inhibitions, but you’ll still remember Idris in the morning.

Idris Elba has become one of our group’s mascot, um, I mean writing inspiration. The name was perfect. I hope you’ll make The Idris for your next writing session.

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The Idris

The Idris

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This tequila cocktail is sweet and fresh with a spicy kick. Just like Idris. There's just enough tequila to free your inhibitions, but you'll still remember Idris in the morning.


  • 1.5 oz gold tequila
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves, crushed
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • ginger beer


  • Place all ingredients except ginger beer into cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake to mix.
  • Strain into a glass and top off with ginger beer. Garnish with lime and basil leaves.


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