June 23, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Red Harvest, Part III

red-harvestHah! I told you there’d be three Cocktail Talk posts from Dashiell Hammett’s hard-hard-boiled book Red Harvest, and now we’re up to the third (and really, I could do more!). If you’ve missed Red Harvest Part I or Part II, then go catch up if you know what’s good for you. But don’t miss this one! Where a few of the key characters in the book sip on Martinis – in the way they probably did at the time the book takes place, meaning they have some orange bitters in the mix. Which is delicious!

When I came back she was mixing gin, vermouth and orange bitters in a quart shaker, not leaving a lot of space for them to move around in.

“Did you see anything?” she asked.

I sneered at her in a friendly way. We carried the cocktails into the dining room and played bottoms-up while the meal cooked. The drinks cheered her a lot. By the time we say down to the food she had almost forgotten her fright. She wasn’t a very good cook, but we ate as if she were.

We put a couple of gin-gingerales in on top of the dinner.

Red Harvest, Dashiell Hammett

June 16, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Red Harvest, Part II

red-harvestDashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest is a pummeling of a book, where the fists, bullets, and drinks are flying (read more in the Red Harvest Part I Cocktail Talk post). Because of this, I sure couldn’t have just one post – so here’s the second (and I think they’ll be one more)! This one’s one of my favorite quotes of the moment, and maybe one of the really swell lesser-quoted quotes about being tipsy. Or at least part of it is – see what you think, and if you can guess what part!

“All right, Mr. Knowitall,” she said, “I’m going to play with you. You can think it’s not going to cost you anything, but I’ll get mine before we’re through. You think I won’t?” she challenged me, peering at me as if I were a block away.

This was no time to revive the money argument, so I said: “I hope you do.” I think I said it three or four times, quite earnestly.

“I will. Now listen to me. You’re drunk, and I’m drunk, and I’m just exactly drunk enough to tell you anything you want to know. That’s the kind of girl I am. If I like a person I’ll tell them anything they want to know. Just ask me. Go ahead, ask me.”

–Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest

June 9, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Red Harvest, Part I

red-harvestI recently did some Cocktail Talk posts featuring the quotes from the Dashiell Hammett book, The Glass Key, a fine read of politicking, rough-housing, drinking, and plot twists. It’s one of my favs! I also recently re-read the Dashiell Hammett book Red Harvest, and while I don’t love it as well as The Glass Key, it’s still a fun read – a little more of a punch in the face then a tightly plotted yarn (though it does have its share of twists and turns), with a high, high body count, and a whole city boiling over with the rat-a-tat-tat of the tommy gun as The Continental Op (Hammett’s cowboy with no name, in a way) tries to clean up Poisonville (or at least that’s what the residents call it). As you might expect, there’s a fair amount of boozing that goes on, and that’s where we come in! Starting with the below:

Robert Albury, the young assistant cashier of the First National Bank, was sitting in the lobby when I returned to the Great Western Hotel. We went up to my room, had some ice-water brought, used its ice to put chill in Scotch, lemon juice, and grenadine, and then went down to the dining room.

–Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest

May 26, 2015

Cocktail Talk: The Glass Key, Part 2

glass-keyOkay, I’ve taken nearly a month since the Glass Key Part 1 post, and during that time haven’t been able to get this smashing Dashiell Hammett novel of politics and ka-pows out of my mind. So, that means – a second Cocktail Talk post on it. You are very lucky people (but not as lucky as when you actually read the book), cause it’s a swell, swell read, as the below demonstrates (in boozy fashion).

Lee Wilshire had returned to her table. She sat there with her cheeks between her fists, staring at the cloth.

Ned Beaumont sat down facing her. He said to the waiter: “Jimmy’s got a Manhattan that belongs to me. And I want some food. Eaten yet, Lee?”

“Yes,” she said without looking up. “I want a Silver Fizz.”

–Dashiell Hammett, The Glass Key

May 5, 2015

Cocktail Talk: The Glass Key

glass-keyI feel sorta weird right now – I swear I’ve put up a Cocktail Talk post from Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key before. I swear! But I certainly can’t find evidence of such. Drinking does take its toll! But even if there is some rogue post, it doesn’t matter, cause I recently re-read the book, and found even more swell quotes. If you don’t know (I’m taking it for granted you at least know Hammett a bit, cause who doesn’t) The Glass Key, it’s one amazing little book, packed with politics, punches, and pulchritude. The inspiration (even if not called out directly) for the Coen Bros. movie Miller’s Crossing, it has swagger, smarts, and sass. The dialogue is crisp, the machinations are mapped minutely, and the drinks flow. As evidenced in the below.

A waiter came. Ned Beaumont said: “Rye.” Jack said: “Rickey.”

Jack opened a pack of cigarettes, took one out, and, staring at it, said: “It’s your game and I’m working for you, but this isn’t a hell of a good spot to go up against him it he’s got friends here.”

“Has he?”

Jack put the cigarette in a corner of his mouth so it moved batonwise with his words.

–Dashiell Hammet, The Glass Key

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