6 GREAT WRITERS & THEIR FAVOURITE COCKTAILS
All the evidence goes to prove that alcohol helps to fuel the writers’ imaginations! Who knows, perhaps the only thing standing between you and becoming the next literary giant is Gin Rickey or Dry Martini served at the inspiring atmosphere of the Fitz Bar or enjoyed at the intimacy of the Writer’s Room. However, be careful with your order: your drink choice will determine the tone of your writing and the creativity of your ideas!
So, if you’re looking for a way to level up your writing skills, try adding one of these cocktails to your everyday routine.
1. Scott Fitzgerald: cocktail of choice – The Gin Rickey
There were three things that Francis Scott Fitzgerald had a passion for: writing, gin, and his wife, Zelda.
Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria from Fitzgerald’s novel The Beautiful and Damned inherited the drinking habits of Scott and Zelda, whose reputation in New York society was defined by their alcohol-driven follies, as, for example, jumping in the Plaza Hotel fountain or appearing to parties wearing pyjamas.
So, Jay Gatsby was not the only one who enjoyed a Gin Rickey on hot Summer days, so did The Great Gatsby author. It is rumoured that Fitzgerald’s love for gin, particularly the Gin Rickey, arose from his belief that the gin’s smell was undetectable on his breath. Served in highball glasses, this cocktail provided refreshment in a pre-air-conditioned age and was easy to make. All you needed for this cocktail was a spirit, citrus, soda, and ice.
To create this cocktail, simply fill a highball glass with ice, pour in an ounce of spirit, add the fresh juice of half a lime, and fill with soda.
Turn to this recipe next time when you want to adjust a little bit of Jazz Age Decadence into your everyday routine!
2. Ernest Hemingway: cocktail of choice – Martini
Ernest Hemingway loved to drink, and the writer’s drinking habits were legendary! Though he is known for propagandizing Daiquiri in Havana and creating the absinthe-laced Death in the Afternoon, legends say that an extra-dry martini was his standby cocktail.
The Martini was mentioned in many novels by Hemingway: from Across the River into the Trees to A Farewell to Arms. In the latter, the main character Frederic Henry says about Martinis: “I had never tasted anything so cool and clean. They made me feel civilized.”
Ernest Hemingway claimed his martinis to be icy-cold and changed the proportions to a ratio of 15:1 gin to vermouth creating thereby his version called “The Montgomery”.
3. Truman Capote: cocktail of choice – Screwdriver
American author known for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the novel In Cold Blood had a passion for a good party and a good drink. Remaining loyal to the Screwdriver throughout his life, the writer warmly referred to it as “my orange drink.”
There is a secret to this simple cocktail: Capote used only Russian or Polish Vodka and freshly squeezed orange juice.
To prepare Truman Capote favourite drink, put vodka with orange juice in a pitcher or container and gently stir. Once mixed, pour this combination over ice cubes, add the orange wedges, and enjoy your orange drink!
4. William Faulkner: cocktail of choice – Mint Julep
“Civilization begins with distillation,” William Faulkner once announced, and like many of the talented authors of the 20th century —F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce — Faulkner had a passion for alcohol. As being a good Southerner, Faulkner’s was a fan of whiskey, especially in the form of a Mint Julep cocktail, which
combines a Bourbon part with mint, sugar and water & is generally served in a pewter cup. The writer had his Mint Juleps by his side when he wrote some of the most iconic creations of 20th century American literature. There is a secret of Faulkner’s recipe: the sugar must be dissolved into a small amount of water before the whiskey is added. Once the sugar is melted, the whiskey is poured over it. The last step of the recipe is to add lemon and wait for inspiration.
5. Jack Kerouac: cocktail of choice – The Margarita
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.”
American novelist and poet Kerouac has often described his alcohol-fueled adventures in generally autobiographical novels. The writer’s favourite cocktail was Margarita, a mix of tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice.
To drink like Kerouac, you have to maintain the rustic feel of the cocktail, so do not overindulge in Margarita and use Mezcal tequila for an authentic smoky flavour.
Thus, the Kerouac’s margarita is far from the saccharine beverage many would associate it with today. The drink is essentially originating from the Sidecar (perhaps the best thing produced by Prohibition). Just replace the cognac with tequila and the lemon juice with lime. Shake well and enjoy it while reading “On the Road”
6. Ian Fleming: cocktail of choice – Vesper Martini
The Vesper, or Vesper Martini, has become famous due to James Bond. The cocktail was created by none other than Ian Fleming, the author of James Bond novels. Named after a fictional double agent Vesper Lynd, Vesper Martini first appeared in the book “Casino Royal”.
When James Bond orders Vesper Martini, he provides the barmen with strict restrictions: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.” (“Casino Royale,” Chapter 7.)
The Vesper is a very interesting cocktail. In contrast with the Gin Martini, it has a sweet taste and a little bit of bitterness provided by Lillet.
The Kina Lillet, a French aromatized wine used by James Bond, is no longer produced. However, it could be replaced by Lillet Blanc, which is softer and without bitterness.