Writers and drinking. A worn out but to some extent true cliché. There seems to be a correlation between being a creative person and seeking out stimulants such as alcohol and drugs. Some writers, however, denounced drinking on the job. Both Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Hemingway said that drinking while on the job made for bad writing. But then there are the Bukowskis and Hunter Thompsons of this world who seemed to live in a perpetual state of intoxication.
People are different and so are writers. Wether they were alcoholics or not here are some famous writers and their favourite drinks:
Ernest Hemingway – Dry Martini
Although deemed an alcoholic, drinking didn’t became a problem for Hemingway until late in his career. Many different cocktails are branded as papa’s favourite. The mojito and mimosa seem to be popular choices. Yet, he once said that drinking martinis was one of the three manly skill next to bullfighting and game fishing. And the man liked his martinis strong with a ratio of gin to vermouth of 15 to 1.
Ian Fleming – Vesper Martini
The creator of James Bond invented this drink while writing Casino Royale. The drink made a cameo in the 2006 movie as well where you can see Bond coming up with the drink as he orders it. A vesper martini consists of three measure Gordon’s, one measure vodka, half a measure Kina Lillet and a thin slice of lemon peel.
Carson McCullers – Sherry (with hot tea)
The writer of “Heart is a Lonely Hunter” liked sherry. A pleasurable apéritif on its own yet she did something peculiar with it. She’d prepare a thermos of hot tea and pour the sherry in it. I don’t know about the taste of it but she claimed it “useful for mixed company”.
Truman Capote – Screwdrivers
Struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, the writer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood loved his orange drink. Besides orange juice and vodka he even added orange slices.
F. Scott Fitzgerald – Gin Rickey
A gin rickey seemed to be the writer’s favourite cocktail. Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda were both notorious lightweights and mischievous drunks. Fitzgerald said that he liked gin because no one could smell it on his breath but that won’t get you far if you’re dancing naked at parties. This quote explains a lot: “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”
William Faulkner – The Mint Julep
A southern drink for a southern man. The mint julep was undoubtedly Faulkner’s favourite. He is one of the writers who thought that he wrote better with a little whiskey in him. “There’s no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskey’s just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty; then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.”
Charles Bukowski – Boilermaker
Last but not least. This functioning alcoholics favourite was a boilermaker. A boilermaker consists of a glass of beer with a shot of whisky. I’ll leave further explanation to the man himself: “That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
Feel free to emulate these literary geniuses but remember to enjoy responsibly. Cheers.
Article by Alexander Eeckhout