Literary Libations: 10 Famous Writers' Favorite Cocktails
What did F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, and Ernest Hemingway have in common? Besides being famous writers, they all enjoyed a good cocktail! In honor of these literary legends, we're taking a look at their favorite cocktails and how you can make them yourself.
A portrait of Mark Twain - Image by Wikipedia
Samuel Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, is most famous for his novels, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
Twain once said, "Too much anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” His favorite cocktail was Whiskey Sour, an alcoholic drink that became mainstream during his lifetime.
This cocktail recipe's first appearance was in Jerry Thomas’s “The Bartender’s Guide” in 1862. However, it’s believed that British Army sailors drank something similar for years before.
Over the years, bartenders added different ingredients to this classic drink to make it stand out from the competition, including everything from maraschino cherries to egg whites.
Here’s the recipe for Whiskey Sour.
A portrait of Ernest Hemmingway - Image by The Manual
Nobel prize winner Ernest Hemmingway began as a journalist before gaining fame for his straightforward prose and novelizations.
Hemmingway was also famous for his love for Mojitos. The author ordered this drink when he visited La Bodeguita De Mexico in Cuba.
Havana is the birthplace of this cocktail, and it first came together when South American Indians combined the ingredients to make a tonic. The modern-day version of this drink can be made with or without rum. Here’s a family-friendly recipe inspired by Hemmingway’s Mojito.
Thanks to this beverage's flavor and refreshing nature, your can easily enjoy it with or without rum. To dress the drink up, you can garnish it with mint leaves and a circular lime cutout.
A portrait of Anne Sexton - Image by Houston Chronicle
This Pulitzer Prize-winning poet indulged in a Martini when out with friends or working on her verse. Anne and Sylvia Plath would hang out together and enjoy these cocktails whenever they crossed paths in poetry classes.
Many surmise that the Martini first rose in popularity during Prohibition. Over the years, bartenders created different versions of this cocktail, including the now-famous Vesper Martini popularized in the James Bond books.
If you don’t have a lemon twist, olives also work as a garnish for 007’s favorite beverage. Here’s the recipe for Vesper Martini.
A portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald - Image by My Modern MetScott Fitzgerald is best known for writing “The Great Gatsby.” This accomplished author and essayist enjoyed a Gin Rickey so much that he featured it in his famed novel.
The cocktail is a simple, refreshing drink that features lime as its staple ingredient. It first appeared in the 1880s, thanks to bartender George A. Williamson.
Gin Rickey got its name from Colonel “Joe” Ricky, who enjoyed entertaining congressmen at his bar in Washington, D.C. This drink is enjoyed with or without gin on many occasions. It is a refreshing beverage you can serve on warm days throughout the year.
Here’s the recipe for Ginger Rickey.
A portrait of Edgar Allen Poe - Image by Encyclopedia Britannica
If you had to associate Edgar Allen Poe with a holiday, you might choose Halloween. The author is most famous for his eerie poem “The Raven.” However, Poe’s favorite alcoholic drink is a staple of Christmas.
The accomplished author and poet indulged in his family’s eggnog recipe, which features brandy. Early versions of this beverage appeared in the circles of monks in medieval Britain and are still enjoyed today.
Though eggnog is now associated with Christmas, you can prepare this cocktail any time of the year! The drink works well on its own or as a base for other liquors, so feel free to experiment.
Here’s the recipe for Brandy Eggnog.
A portrait of William Faulkner - Image by Pinterest
A southerner through and through, the “The Sound and the Fury” author greatly enjoyed this bourbon-based cocktail.
The julep’s original purpose was a stomachache remedy, but it was popularized as a cocktail in the late 1700s. Refreshing and sweet, the alcoholic drink became a staple of the Kentucky Derby.
Though the horse racing only lasts a couple of minutes, Kentucky Derby fans are known for sipping on mint juleps throughout the afternoon. For the most authentic version of the drink, ensure that the leaves you use are spearmint.
Here’s the recipe for Mint Julep.
A portrait of Truman Capote - Image by Books Tell You Why
It’s safe to say that Truman Capote had the day's most important meal on his mind. The “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” author had a special fondness for a Screwdriver, which he called his “orange drink.”
The simple but delicious cocktail allegedly got its name when American oil workers stirred vodka into their orange juice using a screwdriver.
The Screwdriver is one of the most refreshing drinks you can make and is best paired with breakfast or brunch foods. It's perfect for hot days or whenever you need a break from the mundane.
Here’s the recipe for Screwdriver.
A portrait of Jack Kerouac - Image by Wikipedia
The story goes that Jack Kerouac fell in love with Margarita during his escapades to Mexico. The “On the Road” author later referenced these adventures in his autobiographies.
The origin of this cocktail is unknown, with several theories spread over the years. Some debate which bartender in Mexico created it, while others believe the beverage was originally Irish.
A margarita may seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but its versatility makes it an excellent alcoholic drink for experimentation. Bartenders have used it for years to try different flavors and combinations, from peach and watermelon to mint.
Here’s the recipe for Classic Margarita.
A portrait of John Steinbeck - Image by IMDb
“The Grapes of Wrath” author had an affection for the cocktail, which uses a special apple brandy mixture from Laird. Jack Rose gained popularity in the 1920s and was a regular offering at bars through the 1930s.
Laird’s Applejack is a necessary element to this cocktail, as its combination involves apple brandy and other neutral alcohols that complement the fruity fragrance and taste.
Though this cocktail waned in popularity, now is a great time to reintroduce it to your friends and family. Pair it with a “Titanic” movie night, and you’ll have an experience everyone will enjoy!
Here’s the recipe for Jack Rose.
A portrait of Tennessee Williams - Image by Wikipedia
Tennessee Williams, the playwright known best for “Cat on a Hot Tim Roof” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” greatly enjoyed this complicated yet beloved cocktail.
The Ramos Gin Fizz got its name from famous New Orleans bartender Henry Ramos who first served it in 1888 at his Imperial Cabinet Saloon.
This cocktail has a unique appearance, which is part of the reason many enjoy it. It’s best to prepare this delight only when you have help at the bar, considering the lengthy process.
You don’t want to rush it since timing is necessary to transform the egg white and cream into a light and luxurious texture. If you’ve never tried making this alcoholic drink, don’t feel discouraged if it takes you a while to master.
Here’s the recipe for Ramos Gin Fizz.
Toasting the great writers of our time with their favorite drinks is the perfect way to end this blog post. Whether you're an aspiring writer or looking for a new boozy hobby, trying out some of these famous authors' favorite cocktails is a great way to get inspired.
Who knows? Maybe you'll be ready to pen your masterpiece after a few drinks. Cheers!