Frontier Psychiatrist

Frontier Mixologist, Vol. 23: The Drunken Word

Posted on: October 1, 2010

It’s no secret that the editors of FP share a bit of a literary bent.  Fiction and cocktails share an affinity. Reading a good book with a drink at hand is a simple pleasure, and certain cocktails have become famous from their appearance in fiction.  Chief amongst being the Gimlet.  Although likely invented by British colonials and once popular “from Bombay down the Malabar coast to Colombo,” it makes its most famous appearance in Raymond Chandler’s ur-noir masterpiece The Long Goodbye.


Bogart as Marlowe in The Big Sleep


Hard-up detective Philip Marlowe drinks one on the suggestion of a rummy with scars all over his face named Terry Lennox.  Marlowe, sadly, does not show the attention to imbibing one might hope for, replying that he “was never fussy about drinks.”  Despite Marlowe’s indifference, the Gimlet took off, although it is best made with proportions different from those cited in the book, which call for one-to-one.

The Gimlet

2 oz. Plymouth gin

1/2 oz. Rose’s Lime Juice

dash of simple syrup

Combine all ingredients; shake with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The specific ingredients are key here.  While another brand of gin may be substituted, please stick with gin, rather than going for the unremarkable vodka gimlets favored by the author of Julia and Julia.  As for the lime, it must be Rose’s lime juice.  But wait, isn’t fresh citrus juice a must?  It is, but Rose’s Lime Juice is not actually lime juice, but instead the modern iteration of what was once known as lime cordial.

Another cocktail made famous in fiction, this time of the spy rather than detective variety, is the Vesper. Ordered by James Bond in the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, the drink gave its name to Bond’s love interest Vesper Lynd.  Ms. Lynd was not long for this world, and upon her (inevitable) death, Commander Bond sensitively noted that “the bitch is dead now,” and made the switch to shaken vodka martinis. In the book, Ian Fleming actually has Bond recite the entire recipe.

The Vesper

3 oz. gin

1 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. Lillet (or Cocchi Americano if you can get it)

Stir all together in an iced mixing glass; strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with lemon twist.

This one packs a lot of booze, and is a worthwhile twist on a classic martini.  To be sure, Commander Bond’s switch to vodka martinis was ill-advised.  If you get a bottle of the Lillet, it’s great just on its own with ice, too.

As opposed to cocktails in fiction, a discussion of fictional cocktails begins and ends with the undisputed greatest: the Flaming (Homer) Moe.  With Krusty-brand cough syrup as its secret ingredient, however, the Flaming Moe sounds suspiciously like purple drank, and should probably be avoided.

Drink up,


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L.V. Lopez, Publisher
Keith Meatto, Editor-In-Chief
Peter Lillis, Managing Editor
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Andrew Hertzberg
Franklin Laviola
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