Remember this post?
(Actually, I’ll be seriously impressed if you do.) “Classics & Cocktails” was one of my first, written shortly after I turned 21 in Toledo, Ohio last summer. I was bored and lonely in my apartment one day, flipping through some classic literature I’d taken out of the library. I felt like going out, but my fellow interns were working the night shift (we often had opposite schedules) and I had no one to have a drink with.
So naturally, I decided to Google my favorite authors’ favorite drinks and write a post about it.
Classic literature and classic cocktails: what a perfect combination.
Well over a year later, at a book sale at work the other week, I found this gem. Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition by Lesley M. M. Blume, a journalist and author based in New York City. The cover drew me in initially (isn’t it preettyy?) but the content pushed me to buy it. It’s basically an entire book of classic cocktail recipes, along with humorous anecdotes about each one, bits of history, quotes and poems.
The Chicago Tribune called it “a charming slip of a book…that quite deliciously and convincingly has the romantics among us pining for the ways of the dearly held past.”
Definitely my kind of thing.
In Ms. Blume’s introduction to the book, she writes:
“It’s great fun not only to revisit the stories behind the creation of these cocktails, but also to imagine the millions of narratives caused by drinking them. The following libations caused faces to be slapped, tears to be shed, babies to be made, fox trots and the Twist to be danced, marriage proposals to be uttered (and perhaps rescinded,) and so on.”
She continues, more seriously:
“The people who drank these drinks during the heights of their popularity did so for the same reasons we guzzle today’s trendy cocktails: to celebrate, to escape, to drown sorrows, to feel bigger, to feel glamorous–or feel nothing at all.”
As tongue in cheek as most of the book is, it also touches on the deeper theme of why people drink, why socializing over alcohol has persisted so strongly throughout history.
For now, Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition is tucked neatly into my bookshelf. But as soon as I have my own apartment in a city, I’m going to make use of this book and hold an epic throwback cocktail party, unapologetically artsy and decidedly literary.
Either that, or I’ll go find a way back to go back to the grandeur of 20s nightlife, Owen Wilson style.
Fictional Cheers, Hemingway.