May 31, 2012 • Cookbook: Drinks
Please note: We do not intend to condone nor glorify substance abuse. But it does make for some good stories. That being said, read on and learn how to drink like your favorite author.
Ernest Hemingway (Absinthe / Death in the Afternoon): Ernest Hemingway was known for a lot of things -- but right now, we’re going to focus on his drinking habits rather than his blatant misogyny. Hemingway was a known advocate of absinthe, a green liquor made from wormwood and other herbs that was commonly referred to as “The Green Fairy” due to the presence of a chemical compound called thujone that is thought to induce hallucinations (you know, like fairies).
If you want to drink like Hemingway, know that he preferred to drink his absinthe as part of a concoction called “Death in the Afternoon” (named after his own nonfiction book of the same name). He describes the cocktail preparation as such: “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”
That being said, Hemingway was not known for, uh, healthy habits involving alcohol, so uh, maybe you shouldn’t try quite the same dosage. I’d start with one, maybe two, and then go from there.
William Faulkner (Mint Julep via Joy the Baker): “There’s no such thing as bad whiskey,” Faulker once wrote. “Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others.” Which is particularly fitting coming from a master of the Southern Gothic genre, where the bourbon flows as freely as the Mississippi River, if the stories are to be believed. (Okay well I’ve never actually been to Mississippi, but he was born there, so it seemed fitting) Faulkner is still recognized as a kind of champion of hard drinking writers; by all accounts, the man literally required whiskey in order to put a word on the page. In his own words: “I usually write at night. I always keep my whiskey within reach; so many ideas that I can’t remember in the morning pop into my head.”
I assume that Faulkner was generally able to get these ideas down on the page before he passed out, so that his brilliant ideas that were otherwise lost in the morning were somehow still salvaged for the future. Although some sources actually insist that Faulkner avoided drinking while working, all can agree that upon completion of a project, he would go out on a bender that would last for several days as a means of escape and decompression.
Whatever his habits, Faulkner preferred to take his whiskey in the form of a mint julep. He even had a metal cup that he preferred to drink out of, which stands on display to this day at the William Faulkner House in Oxford, Mississippi, accompanied by his personal recipe: whiskey, 1 teaspoon of sugar, ice, and mint. Simple enough -- and quite delicious!
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gin Rickey via Food52): It’s only fitting that the man who brought us the raucous parties of The Great Gatsby know a thing or two about partying himself. He and his wife Zelda were a raging pair of drunken pranksters, a ferocious force to be reckoned with. I mean, when your buddy Ernest Hemingway tells you that your wife is a bad influence on you and makes you drink too much? That’s saying something.
The Fitzgeralds’ decadent lifestyle did not come without its consequences, but that’s a story better saved for the sequel. “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you,” said Fitzgerald, and for he and Zelda, that drink was the gin rickey (supposedly, he thought that gin was more difficult for others to detect on your breath): 2 shots of gin mixed with ¾ oz of lime juice, poured over ice in a highball glass and topped with club soda and a garnish of lime. While I can’t guarantee this drink’s discretion, I can guarantee a deliciously refreshing cocktail.
February 22, 2012 • Cookbook: Drinks
Get ready to party, today is National Margarita Day! We could dish out the tried and true recipe for the standard margarita, but come on. Where's the fun in that?
So put away those fancy glasses. Cancel your plans to hit the bar. I've got a fantastic recipe from Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella & Terry Lee Stone. Read on to learn how to make a Top-Shelf Margarita Cheesecake.
That's right, you heard me. A margarita cheesecake.
December 22, 2011 • Cookbook: Drinks
Contest is over! Thanks!
Five Days of Quirkmas continues! Just because my whiskey glass is empty in this picture, doesn't mean yours has to be! Our next giveaway features a library of all our boozy books, perfect for those of you who want to master the ultimate New Year's Eve cocktail.
Field Guide to Cocktails by Rob Chirico: More than TWO HUNDRED recipes for tried and true libations, as well as a bunch of recipes and pairing suggestions.
Old Man Drinks by Rob Schnakenberg: Old-Fashioneds, Sidecars, Clover Clubs, Rusty Nails, Hot Toddys, Monte Carlos... there are sixty classic drinks in here that your grandfather would love.
The Perfect Drink for Every Occasion by Duane Swierczynski: Reprinted in the Spring, this classic Quirk title comes packed with 151 cocktails that are, as the reading line says, perfect for every occasion.
Stuff Every Man Should Know by Brett Cohen: No, this isn't a cocktail book, but Brett dishes out tips on how to make cocktails, shotgun a beer, open a bottle of beer without an opener, and more.
Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella & Terry Lee Stone: Buy too much booze over the holidays? Bake it into cakes.
How can you enter? Leave a comment about your favorite drink. I'll pick one of you at random and mail you this boozy book pack. Make sure you leave an email address, so I'll be able to get a hold of you. Good luck!
October 31, 2011 • Cookbook: Drinks, Crafting
Hooray! Today is Halloween, and you're inevitably planning some sort of fun get-together with your friends and/or family. As it is a Monday night, perhaps you're keeping things low key. Perhaps.
• 2 quarts cranberry juice or cranberry cocktail
• 1 3/4 quarts orange juice
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 2 blood oranges, washed and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
• 2 liters orange-flavored or unflavored seltzer
1. In a clean punch bowl or cauldron, stir to combine cranberry juice, orange juice, and lemon juice.
2. Add orange slices to the brew.
3. Pour in seltzer just before party time to ensure that witches’ brew stays bubbly and fizzy for your guests.
Note: For a potent punch, mix in 4 cups gin or vodka. Alternatively, spike your brew with 2 cups vodka plus 2 cups of orange liqueur, such as Cointreau. What? Not ALL of us are planning a low key evening.
October 4, 2011 • Cookbook: Drinks
Happy Vodka Day! It is time to toast our Russian comrades for discovering a way to turn potatoes into booze. To celebrate this delightfully drunken occasion, here are two of our favorite recipes from Duane Swierczynski's The Perfect Drink for Every Occasion.
And since this is October, I thought it appropriate that we pay a little homage to the dead. The Antichrist is a drink that will damn your soul, liver and memory.
½ oz. Everclear
½ oz. Bacardi Rum (light or gold)
½ oz. Absolute Peppar
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
Mix all liquors in a shot glass, then add the Tabasco on top.
September 28, 2011 • Cookbook: Drinks, Handbooks: Literary Figures
With its psychedelic gigantic mushrooms and tempting “Drink Me” tag, how could anyone, never mind just Alice, resist taking a sip from this fantastic flask? That’s right. They couldn’t. And neither could you. So drink up.
Lori, the creative mind behind the Etsy shop Kitschville, crafts a number of unique flasks, from Powerpuff Girls to these pulp-esque best friend designs. All of her bottles, packed with literary references or not, feature graphics printed on treated, water resident, heavy-duty vinyl.
Alice in Wonderland Flasks @ Etsy