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Top 5: writers and their tipple

By Amber Rolt on 12/08/14 10:00 AM

1. F Scott Fitzgerald – Gin Rickey

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It features in his masterpiece as Gatsby’s favourite tipple to cool off in the mid August heat, but Fitzgerald was also known to enjoy a Gin Rickey to help keep his creative juices flowing.

This stiff drink served in a highball glass is a simple mix of gin, lime and soda water. Whilst penning some of the American classics such as ‘The Beautiful and Damned’ and ‘Tender is the Night’, Fitzgerald would enjoy a Gin Rickey in the evening, and began to get a reputation in the ‘20s for his drinking habits. He evn used to introduce himself as “one of the most notorious drinkers of the younger generation.”


2. Tennessee Williams – Ramos Gin Fizz

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Famous for his plays ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, the former which was adapted for the screen with the handsome Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in 1951. But like many of his peers, and indeed the characters he wrote and knew so well, even Williams would take to the bottle, and often spoke of his fervent love for Ramos Gin Fizz cocktails.

The drink even made its way into some of his later works. The cocktail is served in a highball glass with gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water and soda water. It is still drunk in many bars in New Orleans today, and drinkers will often toast Williams for bringing them to this delicious drink and the amazing works it helped him to write.


3. John Steinbeck – Jack Rose

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Inspiration for Steinbeck’s famous novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ came from working on sugar beat farms in the heat of the summer as a child. Steinbeck was always one to favour a moderate lifestyle instead of extreme living, which comes through in much of his work. He was partial to a Jack Rose cocktail, which is a mixture of Applejack brandy with grenadine and lime juice.

He famously once said: “I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.”


4. Ian Fleming – Vesper Martini

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A fictional creation of Fleming’s making, the vesper martini came into being as Casino Royale came went to print. Named after Casino Royale heroine Vesper Lynd, this drink consists of three measures of Gordon’s gin, one of vodka and a half measure of Kina Lillet, shaken not stirred (naturally), and served with a twist of lemon peel.

Bond aptly describes the drink in Casino Royale before ordering it for the first time, reflecting Fleming’s desire for a well made drink: “I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well made.”


5. Ernest Hemingway – Daiquiri

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“I drink to make other people more interesting,” American author Ernst Hemmingway famously said. A man of many drinks and women, it was the Daiquiri that helped him through hot sticky Florida nights.

The Hemming Daiquiri consists of white rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur, finished with a lime wedge. He swore by this drink, and even boasted to having downed 16 in one sitting. However, he had a strong mantra about keeping work and play separate, which is probably the only reason he was ever capable of writing such classics as ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.


 Featured image credits: creative commons