June 23, 2015
Hah! 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
Dashiell 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
I 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