May 1, 2018

Cocktail Talk: Maigret and the Madwoman

Image result for maigret and the madwomanWell, my Maigret completism still has a long ways to go, but I made another little dent recently, picking up four volumes which I hadn’t yet read at a book sale. Which probably means more Maigret Cocktail Talk posts, lucky you, because he does like a drink (or two, even when his doctor friend warns him off the sauce), as he wanders around Paris and France, solving murders and more (though usually there’s a murder). The first of the new batch that I read was Maigret and the Madwoman, and it’s typically great, and with a sad-but-underlying, oh, sweet-worldweary-ness (can that even make sense? It felt right when typing) that Simenon delivers via Maigret like no other. Read it, on a spring day at dusk, and you’ll get what I mean. Also, you’ll get this quote – perhaps the only Tom Collins quote in a Maigret book? I feel I’ve seen another, but can’t recall perfectly.

The butler, in a white jacket, had followed them out and stood, a watchful figure, awaiting orders.
“What would you like to drink? May I suggest a Tom Collins? I know of nothing more refreshing at this time of day.”
Maigret and Marella indicated their approval.
“Two Tom Collinses, Georges, and the usual for me.”

–George Simenon, Maigret and the Madwoman

January 16, 2018

Cocktail Talk: Made in Miami, Part I

Image result for willeford made in miamiThe earlier Cocktail Talks from the Charles Willeford book Pick-Up (read Pick-Up Part I, and Pick-Up Part II if you missed ‘em) alluded to me diving into the Willeford canon lately – deeper, that is, than the Hoke Mosely books I do so love (read all the Willeford Cocktail Talks to learn more). The dive included the dark, really, lesser-known book Made in Miami, which is a fast-paced, hotly-focused, a bit (for the times, and maybe even now, in inflection) saucy and tawdry, and finally fairly bleak look into a shady side of Miami. If that sounds intriguing, it’s well worth tracking down. And it has – it’s hot in Miami – some nice cocktail talking.

Maria unzipped her dress at the back and carefully slipped it over her head. She draped it lovingly over the foot of her bed while she looked for a coat hanger in the closet. It was the only really decent dress Maris had brought with her and she took excellent care of it. The silk dress was much too good to wear in a Rotunda Room full of women while she drank Tom Collinses at sixty-five cents apiece, the waiter expecting a dime tip every time he brought another round.

–Charles Willeford, Made in Miami

March 17, 2011

Cocktail Talk: Say It With Bullets

Okay, first, apologies for the lack of posts recently. Living in Italy (as detailed on my Italy blog) lately has included lots of jolly visitors, which leaves little time for blogging (but lots of time for wine, amaros, art, and eating, if you were feeling sad for me). So, if you’ve been crying over a lack of Spiked Punch, forgive me. At least you weren’t shot in the back by one of your own posse while finishing up the war, then (after surprisingly living with no-one knowing) having to go on a Treasure Trip tour around the west to track down said war posse to find out who and why. Which is what happens to the main character in Richard Powell’s Say It With Bullets, another of the rad reprints from Hard Case Crime (the book was originally published 50 plus years ago). Touring around with vengeance in your heart does make you thirsty, however, and vengeance needs refilling—what better drink for both than the reliable Tom Collins. Read on:

The town of Winnemucca was about six gas stations long by four taprooms wide. But the place had quite a hotel. It was sleek and modern and had a tiled patio decked with gay umbrellas around a swimming pool. He relaxed in his air-conditioned bedroom and studied the play of light on the swimming pool below his window and on the Tom Collins glass in his hand. Things were going to look brighter as soon as he got outside the Tom Collins and inside the swimming pool.

 

Say It With Bullets, Richard Powell

January 28, 2011

Cocktail Talk, The Gutter and the Grave, Part 1

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

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