Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Guide To Drinking With Hemingway

Jason Wilson at the Washington Post offers a piece on a new book about author Ernest Hemingway and the drinking in his novels and short stories.

For the better part of a century, a certain type of young person has learned to drink from the pages of Ernest Hemingway. I should know. I’ll sheepishly admit that I was once that certain type of young person.
“The Sun Also Rises” might do more to spark an interest in spirits and cocktails (and wine) in people like me than does an entire library of mixologists’ guides. Look back through my Spirits columns and recipes, and you’ll find Hemingway’s fingerprints are all over them, including the Negroni, the daiquiri and the Jack Rose.

Philip Greene, the Washington-based author of the new book “To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion” (Perigee), is a kindred spirit.
“Hemingway introduced me to Campari. He introduced me to Valpolicella wine. In the 1980s, I was reading ‘Islands in the Stream’ while visiting my in-laws in Florida and decided to make Green Isaac’s Special — with gin, coconut water, lime juice and bitters,” Greene says. “The first time I had it, I thought, ‘This is cool. I’m drinking what Hemingway drank.’ ”

Whatever one feels about the literary legacy of Hemingway, one thing is indisputable: The man was detailed and exacting in which drinks his characters imbibe, and the choice of drink is always important.

“We watched the beginning of the evening of the last night of the fiesta. The absinthe made everything seem better. I drank it without sugar in the dripping glass, and it was pleasantly bitter.” So says narrator Jake Barnes in the waning pages of “The Sun Also Rises.”

At this point in the novel, Jake’s friends have beaten the hell out of each other, and the girl has run away with the bullfighter. Jake’s decision to drink absinthe “without sugar in the dripping glass” is no small thing.

... “People ask me, ‘Could you do this with another author?’ I don’t think so. Maybe Ian Fleming or Raymond Chandler, but no one else,” Greene says.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

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