Hemingway had his daiquiris, as we all know, and Jane Austen her port-spiked negus punch. Eugene O’Neill, it turns out, was mad for a Gibson. Now, passionate readers and tipplers alike can take a deep dive into the subject thanks to the just-released compendium How to Drink Like a Writer (Apollo Publishers, $20), which serves up the preferred libations of 100 legendary writers, from Shakespeare and Noel Coward to Maya Angelou and Roxane Gay.
A whimsical mix of recipes, anecdotes and homages to favored watering holes like the Algonquin Hotel and the Beatnik hangout Vesuvio Cafe, the tome makes for entertainingly informative and perhaps even useful reading (“The Dos and Don’ts of Hosting a Parisian Salon,” anyone?).
It’s the recipes, though, that are the core of this charming book—and this one’s a favorite of ours, from iconic short story writer Raymond Carver. It’s a classic approach, one he undoubtedly used, we hasten to add, far more often than he should have.
Raymond Carver’s “Heart Starter” Bloody Mary
-Serves 8, or depending on the size and severity of their hangovers, 2 writers
4 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup dill pickle juice
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups vodka
Celery stalks for garnishing
Lemon wedges for garnishing
Cocktail shrimp for garnishing
In a large pitcher, mix together tomato juice, pickle juice, lemon juice, horseradish, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, celery seeds, and cayenne pepper. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight. In the morning (or whenever it is you wake up), locate your phone, keys, dignity, and pants. Next, find the vodka (if you have any left), and pour it into the tomato juice mixture. Stir. Pour into a highball or collins glass filled with ice and garnish with celery, a lemon wedge, and a cocktail shrimp.