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Whiskey Sours and Winter Reading

When we find our hearts and minds in need of expansion and inspiration, we journey into new territory and feed our imaginations through books on fine art, interior and landscape design and fashion–any book with beautiful images and fresh perspectives will do. Through our growing library, we find connections to other artists and visionaries, are invited to inhabit their worlds and revel in the beauty they create and the ideas they boldly explore.

McKinnon and Harris co-founder Will Massie in his living room at home

The library at McKinnon and Harris is a well-loved resource for our designers and creatives. Our founder, Will Massie, is the curator of this collection and always exhibits beautifully bound books with stunning cover art and photography on the tables in his office and home. As it’s the season of giving and we are all searching for the perfect find for our friends and family (and perhaps a little something for ourselves to enjoy on a quiet evening by the fire), we asked Will to share his current favorites. And he did.

We invite you into Will’s library…

McKinnon and Harris Library in Co-founder Will's Office
Couper Club Chair with Whiskey Sour on Arm of Chair

And now that you are here, may we suggest that the best way to enjoy flipping through a book about fellow Virginian Cy Twombly, is while sipping your favorite cocktail in our Couper Club Chair, the ultimate outdoor luxury chair. Since it’s the season to overindulge, We thought we would share the Massies’ own whiskey sour recipe. Let’s shake up a beautiful cocktail and escape into a world of art and design.

Whiskey Sour

Massie’s Whiskey Sour


3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 bar spoon powdered sugar
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. Bourbon
Orange slice and maraschino cherry (for serving)


Make simple syrup by boiling equal parts white sugar and water. Combine all ingredients, add ice and shake for 30 seconds in a cocktail shaker. Strain using a Hawthorne strainer into a low ball glass on the rocks, garnish with maraschino cherries and an orange twist.

Dr. Massie’s whiskey sour recipe is steeped in nostalgia. Will recalls that “As a child the maraschino cherries were usually out of reach in the refrigerator, but we were always excited to fish a few cherries out of the jar when Dad was making Whiskey Sours.”

It’s of note that we are fans of the local Bourbon Distillery, Reservoir–the third bourbon distillery outside of Kentucky. Reservoir says “We love Virginia–we love our farmers and their grains, the trees that make our barrels, and the climate that ages our spirit. Somewhere along the way, because of how we make whiskey, we discovered we were answering a very important question: What does Virginia taste like? The answer? Pretty damn good.” Give it a try.

Overhead shot showing off selection of coffee table books


Anouska Hempel
I dream about Anouska Hempel’s gardens and her simple and elegant green and white garden palette. She imbues everything with a theatrical and romantic flair.

Stephen Sills: A Vision for Design
Stephen Sill’s third book and one of the best design books. He has a fabulous sense for artistry, theater and composition.

Outstanding American Gardens
Stunning gardens that have been open to the public through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, including Tom Armstrong’s gorgeous Fisher’s Island garden.

PROPORTIO, the exhibition in Palazzo Fortuny during the Biennale di Venezia curated by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti about the meaning of proportion.

Cy Twombly Homes & Studios
Striking photographs of Cy Twombly’s studios and homes in NY, Italy and Lexington, Virginia and some of Sally Mann’s too. I love how he wove classical antiquity into how he lived and worked.

Living with Charlotte Perriand
Hands down one of the best furniture designers and interior architects of the 20th Century. Charlotte Perriand’s work is a continuing influence on the modernist movement.

Rose Uniacke at Home
I admire Rose Uniacke’s subtle sense of luxury and her sense of artistry in making a grand home so liveable and inviting. A visit to London is never complete without a stroll by her Pimlico Road showroom.

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