Summertime Sipping: Imbibing with F. Scott Fitzgerald

May 14, 2015
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“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”

This blog post was inspired by one of our all-time favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his love for delicious cocktails. Even if you’re not familiar with all of his writings, you probably know that Fitzgerald was, well…… a bit of a lush.  During his time in Europe in the 1920s, “The Jazz Age,” Fitzgerald was a fixture in the party scene and was among many American ex-patriots whose art was highly influenced by their time there. If you have ever read one of Fitzgerald’s famous novels, such as “The Great Gatsby,” you may have noticed that rarely is there a scene where a character does not have a drink in hand. Alcohol is practically its own character in most of Fitzgerald’s writings! Although Fitzgerald’s love of imbibing led to darker days as the writer’s life went on, it doesn’t take away from his brilliance as an artist nor from us celebrating this iconic American Author’s favorite cocktails, especially as summer’s sultry days are upon us! Enjoy a few of Blake Entertainment’s favorite recipes and…Cheers!

F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Gin Rickey

The Gin Rickey was one of Fitzgerald’s favorite cocktails. He especially loved gin because he (erroneously) believed it could not be detected on one’s breath. The Gin Rickey is referred to often in “The Great Gatsby,” and it’s the perfect cocktail to cool you off on a hot day.

Instructions

In a chilled highball glass combine:

  • 2 oz Gin (I like to use a nice clean tasting gin like Distillery 209)
  • Fresh juice from 1 lime

Add:

  • Ice
  • Soda Water
  • Lime Wheel

(If the straight Gin and lime juice combo is too intense for your taste buds, try adding a ½ oz of simple syrup, Agave nectar or Elderflower Liqueur)

Mint Julep

In “The Great Gatsby,” when Daisy, Tom and Gatsby have their heated blowout in a sweltering New York City hotel room, what are they drinking in an attempt to cool down? Mint Juleps of course! Mint Juleps were Fitzgerald’s nod to Daisy’s Southern roots, and possibly to his real-life wife Zelda’s own Southern heritage.

Instructions

In a shaker muddle together:

  • Leaves from 4 sprigs of mint
  • 2 tsp fine granulated sugar or powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ oz Kentucky Bourbon (4 Roses is a true pre-prohibition bourbon that will add authenticity to this powerful cocktail)
  • 1.5 oz distilled water

Fill shaker with crushed ice and stir together. Pour contents into traditional tin Julep cup or into a chilled Collins glass. This drink should be consumed without a straw so that your nose is closer to the aroma of the fresh mint.

The Bailey

Gerald Murphy and his wife Sara are widely recognized as being the inspiration for Dick and Nicole Diver, Fitzgerald’s main characters in “Tender is the Night.” Like the two characters, Gerald and Sara were wealthy American ex-patriots who spent much of their time in the French Riviera. They had a flair for parties and a vibrant social circle which consisted of many artists such as Fitzgerald. Gerald Murphy was a long-time patron of Fitzgerald and it is thought that his infamous cocktail parties were where the writer essentially learned to drink. Gerald’s favorite cocktail, as well as one of Fitzgerald’s, was the Bailey.

Instructions:

In a shaker combine

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 ¼ oz fresh Grapefruit juice
  • ¾  oz Lime juice
  • Mint leaves from 2 sprigs mint
  • ½ oz simple syrup

Add ice cubes and stir ingredients together. Strain contents into chilled martini glass and garnish with a floating mint sprig. 

Whether you want to enjoy one of the writer’s favorite drinks while you read his books or are itching to throw a “Jazz Age” themed party, these three cocktails need to be in your repertoire. Whatever your reasons for mixing up one of these delicious concoctions, embrace the spirit of Fitzgerald and have a roaring good time!

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