June 21, 2011
I’ve hit up Ed McBain quotes before (a couple from his boozirific The Gutter and the Grave), and talked a bit more about him there, so I’m going to skip too much intro here, and just say that the cover for this book, Like Love, is very tantalizing, and the two quotes below are also very tantalizing, especially if you like Rob Roys and Martinis (hey, wait a minute, I like both of those!). The Rob Roy sadly isn’t mentioned very often in books outside of those tomes focused specifically on cocktails and cocktail lore, which made it even nicer to see it in this police procedural-y book. Also, the Martini isn’t really thought of (enough, anyway) as a romantic drink enough anymore, which made it even nicer to seen in in a romantic scene here.
I worked until about four-thirty. Howard came in and said he was knocking off, and would I like a drink. I said yes, I would. We went to the bar on the corner, it’s called Dinty’s. I had two Rob Roys, and then Howard and I walked to the subway. I went straight home.
He was glad to be away from Kling and away from the squad room. He was glad to be with Christine Maxwell who came in from the kitchen of her apartment carrying a tray with a Martini shaker and two Martini glasses. He watched her as she walked toward him. She had let her blond hair grow long since he’d first known her, and it hung loose around the oval of her face now, sleekly reflecting pin-point ticks of light from the fading sun that filtered through the window.
–Ed McBain, Like Love
February 1, 2011
It’s hard to believe that there could be two more beautifully booze-y quotes from this Ed McBain book, quotes as good as those below, but I’m going to say, drink in hand raised to the sky, that these may be as good. At least, they manage to mention a whole array of classic mixes—and both mention the Zombie. Is there another book (outside of drink books, duh) that mentions the rum’d out Zombie twice? I have my doubts (but would be happy to be pointed in the direction of another one). Does this mean you should be sure to have rums on hand when you read the Gutter and the Grave? Well, of course.
It was Park Avenue mixed with the slums, it was cocktail parties and pool parlors, theater openings and all-night movies on Forty-Second Street. It was her world and mine, mixed like a Zombie, four thousand kinds of rum, but blended because underneath the exotic name it was all rum.
The man handling our table wondered back. ‘Sir, the bartender says he is not equipped to make hot rum toddies, sir. He suggests, if you care for rum, a Planter’s Punch, or a Cuba Libre, or a Zombie.’
‘I’ll have a rye and soda,’ I said. ‘Toni?’
‘A whiskey sour,’ she said.
—The Gutter and the Grave, Ed McBain
January 28, 2011
Ed McBain is one of those mystery, noir, hard edged, cop story, suspense, and pretty much every other word related to the genre where drinks are had more often than not writers (he writes enough that he has to write under a variety of names, even). He’s had a whole little library of books, many of which I could read anytime I had a shot of whiskey alongside me. This particular book was re-released by the genius back-alley folks at Hard Case crime, and has more drinking (and much more interesting conversation) than the parking lot at the college football game. Heck, there’s enough that I’m going to break the quotes into two parts, starting with these two boozy gems, the first a drinking manifesto (which hopefully will bring back the term “ossified”) and the second a dreamy drinkers dream:
I drink because I want to drink. Sometimes I’m falling down ossified, and sometimes I’m rosy-glow happy, and sometimes I’m cold sober—but not very often. I’m usually drunk, and I live where being drunk isn’t a sin, though it’s sometimes a crime when the police go on a purity drive.
I was sitting in the park thinking of cool civilized drinks, like Tom Collins and Planter’s Punches and then thinking about what I’d drink—an uncool, uncivilized pint of cheap booze.
—The Gutter and the Grave, Ed McBain