November 29, 2022

Cocktail Talk: The Heart of the Matter

graham-greene-heart-of-the-matterOur recent Graham Greene Cocktail Talking (don’t miss The Comedians Cocktail Talk and This Gun for Hire Cocktail Talk, plus more Graham Greene’s from the past) continues, this time with The Heart of the Matter, which I recently re-read, and in which they drink a lot of Pink Gins, and sweat a lot, too. It’s a classic in the more serious Greene vein, steeped in immaculate, elegant, prose, alongside delving into the interactions and motivations of the main character, including a deep look in his Catholic beliefs and how they cause in a way part of the action to unfurl. Not for the faint of reading heart, neccessarily. But for those who like gin!

“What about you, darling?” He turned quickly away from her and began to fix two more Pink Gins. There was a tacit understanding between them that ‘liquor helped;’ growing more miserable with every glass one hoped for the moment of relief.

“You don’t really want to know about me.”

“Of course I do, darling. What sort of a day have you had?”

“Ticki, why are you such a coward? Why don’t you tell me it’s all off?”

“All off?”

“You know what I mean – the passage. You’ve been talking and talking since you came in about the Esperanca. There’s a Portuguese ship in once a fortnight. You don’t talk that way every time. I’m not a child, Ticki. Why don’t you say straight out – you can’t go?”

He grinned miserably at his glass, twisting it round and round to let the Angostura cling along the curve.


–Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter

January 4, 2013

What I’m Drinking: The We Have to Be in Bed by 10 P.M.

Back when I was younger (this was before things like cocktail blogs – really, before electricity. Ba dump bump), there was a drink called The We Have to Be at Work by 10 A.M. It was all about mornings and how sometimes you need to pack breakfast, juice, and a pick-you-up into one glass, and was printed first in that award-winning cocktail cuddler, Good Spirits. Recently, though, I re-visited the drink, thinking about how it’s more often now that I’m thinking of a pre-going-to-bed drink, and that I now have to go to work much earlier than 10 A.M. I didn’t want to change its nature too much, cause it’s a fun drink. First, I thought I’d make the switch from vodka to gin, cause gin’s a bit more of a refined evening number. Then, though, to make things a bit easier (it’s evening, remember, and we’re winding down) and because it’s tasty, I moved to the Bitter Truth’s new Pink Gin, which is a gin-aromatic-bitters mix, served in a beautiful bottle (if you don’t see it in your store, try Astor Wine & Spirits). It has a florally-juniper-y taste underlined by  and mingled with spice notes. Yummy. I also, when, updating the recipe, added a little simple syrup, because before bed one likes some sweetness. I kept the orange juice and part of the egg (the white), though, because healthiness is good any time of day.

The We Have to Be in Bed by 10 P.M.

1-1/2 ounces Bitter Truth Pink Gin

1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

1 egg white

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Pink Gin, orange juice, egg white, and simple syrup. Shake really well (it’ll wear you out for bed).

2. Strain (through a fine strainer if you have one) into a cocktail glass. Drink. Sleep. Dream dreamy dreams.

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