Writing and drinking…or writing about drinking

Those of you who know me know I love a good cocktail–mixology (though I hate the word) is a bit of a hobby. I make a killer martini, have perfected my favorite version of an Old Fashioned (Makers 46, The Bitter Truth’s Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters, orange peel, bar sugar, and a splash of soda), and even have some Creme de Violette, in case a guest requests an Aviation. That said, I’m a total lightweight who can’t ever have more than two drinks, so I’m always in awe when people speak of three martini lunches. I know the drinks and glasses were smaller years ago, but it’s still impressive!

More to the point, I was really taken with this Daily Beast piece with the 10 Best Writings on Booze.  With excerpts from heavyweights (and heavy drinkers) like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, it’s worth it just as a reminder of how good these ten writers are. Two of the pieces stood out.  Kingsley Amis’s description of a hangover from Lucky Jim is beyond brilliant. Who knew a hangover could be so poetic (and downright funny) in its pain?  And to sum it up with “He felt bad,”  is nothing less than perfection.  The other excerpt that stood out to me was from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, in part because it’s so good, but also because I still clearly remember reading the book sophomore year of high school, sprawled out on my tomato-soup-red carpet (it was there before we moved in!), totally absorbed. It’s one of those magical reading moments that’s forever etched in my brain. Maybe all that foreign drinking inspired my love of travel and cocktails? Considering the content of the book, I doubt it!

Anyone got any great booze-related books or book-related cocktail recipes to share?

10 Responses to Writing and drinking…or writing about drinking

  1. http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/2011/07/intoxicated_cupcakes_review.php

    Check out this book review on Intoxicated Cupcakes.

    My book, Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys is a comedic mystery but also has some boozy recipes.


    Pam DuMond

  2. L. M. Quinn says:

    I would add Dashiell Hammett’s “The Thin Man” to your literary/drinker’s list.

  3. Catherine Whitney says:

    I can’t believe you gave up your Old Fashioned recipe…is nothing sacred?

  4. Lorelei says:

    I’m a novelist and I homebrew.

    I believe I’ve won this post.

  5. Kim says:

    Looking forward to the comments to follow. Wish I had a cocktail recipe to contribute–I too love to mix but can’t hold my liquor. Interpret that anyway you want.

  6. Jenni Wiltz says:

    I’m not sure that I can name any book-related cocktails, but I do know that many of my own writing sessions are more productive with a cocktail in hand. It helps me keep a lid on my inner editor.

    My latest favorite is sweet tea vodka, water, and lemon juice. If you mix these in the correct proportions (one-third vodka, two-thirds water splash lemon), you’ll never taste the alcohol. Never. A bored bartender in New Orleans introduced me to sweet tea vodka and it’s perfect for people who don’t like the taste of alcohol. (I like the taste of alcohol, so I’m still devoted to dirty martinis, gin, of course.)

  7. Lorelei says:

    I realize I’ve been screwing up my query letter. Rather than discuss the new book and my previously published novel, I should have said “I live on Kauai and I homebrew.” Sigh.

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