Famous Drunkards #2

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Jack Kerouac (1922 – 1969) : Alcohol

“I’m Catholic and I can’t commit suicide, but I plan to drink myself to death.”

And so he did.

Famous Drunks #1

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Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961): Booze

Notorious for making fun of his fellow writers who sought relief from their own alcoholism (when Fitzgerald admitted that alcohol had bested him, Hemingway urged him to toss his “balls into the sea — if you have any balls left”), Papa himself was an increasingly messy drunk. George Plimpton once famously observed that by the end, Hemingway’s ruined liver protruded from his belly “like a long fat leech.”

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.  – Ernest Hemmingway

Three Hemingway hangover cures have made the rounds, two of which involve … more liquor! The Sun Also Rises novelist is said to have relied on the stomach turning combination of tomato juice and beer. We’re more apt to believe the other recipes since one involves a big weakness of the author’s — absinthe — and the manly libation, gin.

Death in the Afternoon — named after his 1932 bullfighting tale — involves an absinthe and champagne blend. Hemingway described how to mix the hangover helper, which requires a healthy dose to take effect. “Pour 1 jigger of absinthe into a champagne glass. Add iced champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”

Cocktail aficionado, Seamus Harris, has explained Hemingway’s Death in the Gulf Stream.

“Take a tall thin water tumbler and fill it with finely cracked ice. Lace this broken debris with 4 good purple dashes of Angostura, add the juice and crushed peel of 1 green lime, and fill glass almost full with Holland gin … No sugar, no fancying. It’s strong, it’s bitter — but so is English ale strong and bitter, in many cases. We don’t add sugar to ale, and we don’t need sugar in a Death in the Gulf Stream — or at least not more than 1 tsp. Its tartness and its bitterness are its chief charm. It is reviving and refreshing; cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life.”


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