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Ariana Madix Recalls a Time Tom Sandoval Seemed to Cheat in Plain Sight — and in Their Home (Exclusive Excerpt)

PEOPLE can exclusively share the recipe for "Smoke & Mirrors" from Madix's book 'Single AF Cocktails', in which the 'Vanderpump Rules' star looks back on "multiple points of deception" by her ex

<p>Charles Sykes/Bravo; Ralph Bavaro/BRAVO; Phillip Faraone/Getty</p>

Charles Sykes/Bravo; Ralph Bavaro/BRAVO; Phillip Faraone/Getty

In the nine months since Ariana Madix discovered her then-boyfriend Tom Sandoval's affair with friend and castmate Rachel "Raquel" Leviss, a lot of memories have shifted in her mind.

In her forthcoming book Single AF Cocktails: Drinks for Bad B*tches (out Dec. 5), the Vanderpump Rules star and Dancing with the Stars finalist, 38, quite literally shakes up many of those memories, taking inspiration from her roller-coaster year to create spicy, often boozy beverages chronicling her nine-year relationship with Sandoval, 41, from beginning to bitter and — as well as how she's reclaimed her story since discovering the infidelity.

Related: Ariana Madix Is 'Reclaiming' Her Power, 1 Cocktail at a Time, to Prove 'People Wrong' Who Doubted Her (Exclusive)

Though Madix includes many drinkable "shimmering" memories of her "Honeymoon Phase" with Sandoval at the start of the book, its second chapter about his mounting "Betrayal" quickly serves up one a jaw-dropping moment of indiscretion.

Between cocktails called "Midlife Crisis" and "Couples Therapy," she includes a cocktail named "Smoke and Mirrors" that recalls a night when she came across Sandoval outside the guest room in their home. Leviss, 29, was staying for the night after a house party, and Madix believes in hindsight that the pair had sex just feet from where she was sleeping in her and Sandoval's bedroom.

<p>Nicole Weingart/Bravo</p>

Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Speaking with PEOPLE about the real-life inspiration behind the bold mezcal drink, Madix calls her ex's cheating "honestly really disgusting. I mean, that's the bottom line — it is really disgusting behavior."

Because VPR viewers learned of Sandoval and Leviss's affair in early March when the show was still in the middle of its 10th season, they had ample opportunity throughout the spring to dissect the TomTom bar co-owner's increasingly uncomfortable on-camera fixation with Leviss. But according to Madix, what aired on Bravo was only a sliver of the story.

"The majority of my life is off camera, so that's, I think, something that people will never see," she notes.

"We're talking 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 30, 31 days a month of day in, day out, moment-to-moment, lies, deception and gaslighting and horrible treatment." Other lowlights that have since surfaced include the detail that Sandoval and Levis's affair began with an intimate encounter in her car outside the couple's house just days after Madix had to put her dog to sleep. Weeks later, he had sex with the former pageant in his and Madix's bed while his girlfriend was away for her grandmother's funeral.

Related: Ariana Madix Confirms 'Jamie' Rumor with 'Dirty as Hell' Single AF Cocktail Recipe and More: Exclusive Excerpt

With some time and space from her explosive breakup, Madix has chosen to transform that painful memory into something flavorfully nuanced and deliciously hers.

"In a lot of ways it feels like I don't even have ownership over my own story anymore," she tells PEOPLE of the months she endured in the swirl of the Scandoval, "and there's plenty of people who don't know me or know my life who have declared it over or have declared it as old news, but it's mine, and I'm living it. And so, sorry to those people who wanted to avoid it and couldn't, but I certainly am still unable to avoid it, because it is my life."

Below, read the story behind "Smoke & Mirrors" and learn how to sip it in solidarity.

<p>Tawni Bannister</p>

Tawni Bannister

SMOKE & MIRRORS
A Sweet Drink with a Sour Bite

Serves 1

7 blackberries
3/4 oz. vanilla syrup (see below)
1 egg white or 1 oz. aquafaba (see below)
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz. mezcal
Ice cubes

  • In the bottom of a shaker tin, muddle 4 of the blackberries with the vanilla syrup

  • Add the egg white, lime juice, bitters, and mezcal

  • Shake (without ice) to combine the ingredients

  • Add ice and shake again to chill

  • Strain into a coupe glass

  • Garnish with three blackberries on a cocktail pick

If you’ve been cheated on in a relationship, one of the most difficult things is to eventually learn about the multiple points of deception that took place — the countless times smoke and mirrors were put in front of you.

One night we hosted a party at our house with a bunch of friends. It was late, everyone was drinking, so she stayed in the guest bedroom to avoid having to drive home. In the middle of the night, I woke up and couldn’t find him anywhere, so I went downstairs and checked almost every single room. As I was walking down the hallway I saw him leave the guest bedroom. He said he heard her walking around and just wanted to check if she needed water or anything.

A part of me instinctively knew that wasn’t the truth. I told him I believed him anyway and we all know what came next.

NOTE: The egg whites in this mezcal blackberry sour create a nice fluffy texture, but if eggs aren’t your thing, whip up some aquafaba instead — the vegan-friendly ingredient adds the same lightness when shaken with the other ingredients.

Vanilla Syrup
Makes about 1½ cups

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla syrup tastes great with aged spirits like whiskey and rum. I always recommend using real vanilla beans to get the best flavor — vanilla extract will get the job done but will taste a little lackluster in comparison.

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring so the sugar doesn’t burn the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool. Store the syrup in a bottle in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.

Aquafaba
Makes about 2 cups

1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas

Egg whites add a great fluffy texture to cocktails, but for some people the idea of adding raw eggs to a drink is off-putting. Aquafaba is a great substitute — it brings the same frothy goodness to a drink but without adding any flavor. It’s the liquid from a can of chickpeas, so it’s also a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans who want to avoid using animal products in their drinks.

Drain a can of chickpeas, reserving the liquid. (Save the beans for some other use.) In a medium bowl, whip the liquid with a hand mixer or stand mixer until the texture becomes close to whipped cream. You can do this with a whisk, too, but it will take a lot more elbow grease and more time to get the right consistency. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Excerpted from Single AF Cocktails. Published by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2023 by Ariana Madix.

<p>Clarkson Potter</p>

Clarkson Potter

**This recipe was provided to PEOPLE by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.**

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Single AF Cocktails is out Dec. 5 everywhere books are sold, and Vanderpump Rules can be streamed in full on Peacock. Madix will compete in the Dancing with the Stars finale Tuesday on ABC.

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Read the original article on People.