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6 Popular Cocktails From Acclaimed Novels For A Literary Buzz

literary cocktails

Is there anything more delightful for a bibliophile and a connoisseur of quality liquor than a good book with references to their favoured cocktails? A good novel stands out for its character depth, complex plot and unexpected twist. But books authored by noteworthy writers have made certain cocktails rather popular in literary circles. It is not so much the cocktail as its appearance at a precise moment in a story that makes it stand out. 

So, whenever you think of Casino Royale, you think of a martini—shaken, not stirred. A true book fiend would think of a mint julep whenever reminded of Daisy Buchanan. Literature has indeed made a few cocktails rather famous, with authors relishing in the process of weaving their presence into a story.

Read on below for a list of some spirit concoctions made popular in literature:

Vesper Martini, Casino Royale

When Ian Fleming created his iconic British spy, he also featured a cocktail which would go on to become synonymous with this secret agent. Named after Vesper Lynd, a character in the story, James Bond instructs a bartender to shake this martini using gin, vodka and a bit of Lillet blanc. Bond’s iconic instructions to the bartender, “Shake it very well until it’s ice cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel,” are words which induce a tingling in fans of the spy thrillers.

Mint Julep, The Great Gatsby

Jealousy, betrayals and love make up what is perhaps one of the finest novels in American literature. In F Scott Fitzgerald’s book, the enigmatic Daisy Buchanan tries to sway her husband Tom away from a quarrel with Jay Gatsby by offering this drink to beat the heat. Oozing with minty freshness and generous measures of bourbon, the mint julep is reminiscent of a tragic but flagrant love story.

gin rickey from the great gatsby

Gin Rickey, The Great Gatsby

This drink is often associated with the lavish parties of the protagonist Jay Gatsby. It is made using a simple method that brings together gin, lime and soda water. The effervescent cocktail reflects the complexity and elegance of the characters in the story that have made it rather popular across bars.

Whisky Sour, A Moveable Feast

Ernest Hemingway is no stranger to a bit of booze and one famed reference to this signature cocktail would lead litterateurs to a night in France when he tried to cure Fitzgerald’s hysteria with whisky and lemonade. This anecdote appears in the American novelist’s notes on the time he spent as a struggling writer in Paris following World War I. In the memoir, Hemingway recalls calming a fellow writer down after he had too much wine by advising him to stay in bed sipping whisky.

drinks made famous by books

White Angel, Breakfast At Tiffany’s

From the American writer Truman Capote comes an iconic character in literature and in Hollywood, Holly Golightly. Her story begins with the narrator rushing to Joe Bell’s house for the gossip latter acquired from Holly. Joe fixes his guest a new drink, it’s called the White Angel, he tells him and proceeds to mix one-half vodka, one-half gin with no vermouth. 

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

This is a rather complicated drink to mix because you would need some rather hard to find ingredients including some Ol’ janx spirit, water of the Santraginus V seas, some Falian marsh gas, Zamphuor and an olive for garnish. But this very popular Gargle Blaster has an amazing effect, it is almost like having your brain smashed by a slice of lemon. You can make an earth version using bourbon, peach schnapps and lemon twist soda.