It’s not always a good idea to emulate the habits of your favorite authors (especially if you’re a fan of Jack Kerouak, Ernest Hemingway, or the Marquis de Sade). However, there’s something to be said for relaxing with a well-worn favorite book and enjoying the very same cocktail they sipped on while writing it. This simple act creates a sense of connecting with the author that transcends the vast sea of time and space that lies between you.
If you’re keen to give it a try, stock up on some Spanish gin, vermouth, and tequila, and consider the following author-cocktail pairs:
1. Jack Kerouac – Margaritas
If you’re a fan of tequila, you probably would’ve gotten along swimmingly with Kerouac and the other writers of the Beat Generation. Kerouac adored anything tequila-related, but his cocktail of choice was reportedly the margarita. So, if you’re ever in the mood to visit (or revisit) On the Road, The Dharma Bums, or Mexico City Blues, be sure to have some silver tequila and your favorite margarita recipe on hand.
2. T.S. Eliot – Martinis
The martini is one of the most versatile cocktails for connecting with authors as it was loved by Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Anne Sexton, and of course, James Bond creator Ian Flemming. If you’re a fan of jazz and/or writers of the Jazz Era like T.S. Eliot, then Martinis will take you right back to the 20s and 30s. Just be sure to make your Martini with gin, not vodka, as gin was the spirit of the Jazz Age.
3. F. Scott Fitzgerald – Gin Rickey
Another author who was big in the 20s and 30s, F. Scott Fitzgerald also loved gin – he was just more likely to order a Gin Rickey than a Martini. A simpler drink, the Gin Rickey only requires your favorite gin, soda water, ice, and lime.
4. William Faulkner – Mint Julep
Fitzgerald may have been more of a Gin Rickey guy, but his characters in The Great Gatsby enjoyed their Mint Juleps. As it turns out, so did Mississippi-born author William Faulkner. So, if you’ve got plans to dive into The Sound and the Fury or As I Lay Dying, slip into the spirit of the South by preparing yourself a sweet and refreshing Mint Julep.
5. Dorothy Parker – Whiskey Sour
New York-based satirist, poet, and screenwriter Dorothy Parker preferred whiskey over gin and was particularly partial to a Whiskey Sour. If you’re new to the world of cocktails, you may find it odd that the Whiskey Sour is sometimes prepared with whipped egg whites. However, once you try the sweetly-sour foamy goodness, you’ll understand why this odd ingredient choice just works.
6. Edgar Allan Poe – Brandy Eggnog
Though he was famous for writing macabre and terrifying poems and short stories, Edgar Allan Poe favored one of the coziest and most comforting cocktails ever invented – eggnog. Rich, sweet, spiced, and creamy, eggnog is the closest thing you can get to a hug in a cup. It’s no wonder the master of horror enjoyed it so much.
Poe also had quite a few sorrows to drown in every cup of eggnog. In addition to shaking off the dark themes he explored in his literary works, the author had a near life-long rivalry with a literary critic named Rufus Griswold. Griswold was ruthless in his desire to discredit Poe, going so far as to write a fake biography, forged letters, and other bits of “evidence” to convince people posthumously that Poe was a no-good, drug-addled scoundrel.
With all six authors covered, it’s time to stock your bar, stock your library, and start reading!