Holiday Special: Literary and Media Figures and Their Favorite Drinks

Elizabeth Black
writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror,
and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son,
and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook
page, and her Amazon Author Page.

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing
It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda
Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by
Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No
Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

For The Love Of God, Montresor!

Literary and Media Figures and Their Favorite

Since ’tis the
season for festivities, I though it would be fun to not only write about famous
literary and media characters and their favorite drinks, but to include
recipes! During this holiday season, feel free to be like Phryne Fisher or
Ebenezer Scrooge and toss back one of their favorite cocktails. I found some of these cocktails at The Cocktail Chart of Film & Literature at Pop Chart Lab.

These first three
aren’t meant to be taken seriously, but they’re so amusing I had to include
them. I’m not encouraging you to throw cigarette ash or downers into your drinks,
but if you insist on doing that, at least be creative.

Moe Szyslak – The Simpsons

The Flaming Moe

Drops of various

Cigarette ash

Krusty Brand
non-narcotic cough syrup

Charlie Chaplin – The Adventurer

The Dregs

All leftover
cocktails in the bar poured into one glass.

Alex – A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

Alex and his cronies
downed this drink before engaging in some wholesome, clean ultraviolence where
they’d beat up strangers, rob stores, and the like. It’s nothing more than milk
and downers.

Moloko Plus

Milk and
barbiturates – Vellocet, Synthemese, and Drencrom

The following are
classics. I enjoy drinking Amontillado since I am a huge Poe fan. I could drink
this stuff and argue with writers as to who is better – Poe or Lovecraft? That
always ends up being a very heated discussion. When I went to the Stanley Hotel
Writers Retreat in October, 2015, I passed on drinking bourbon on the rocks
despite that being Jack Torrance’s favorite drink since I detest bourbon. That
said, I can’t let this article continue without mentioning those fine

Montresor and Fortunato – The Cask Of
Amontillado – Edgar Allan Poe


Jack Torrance – The Shining – Stephen King

Bourbon on the rocks

Harry Potter – Butterbeer – J. K. Rowling

Butterbeer is
generally thought of as non-alcoholic but there are boozy varieties of the
drink. There is even a Starbuck’s version. I’m here to give you both.

From Food52, the alcoholic version
includes ½ stick of unsalted butter, light and dark brown sugar, freshly grated
ginger, dark rum, ginger beer, and other ingredients. Go to the link for the
full recipe including ingredients and instructions on how to make it.

Here’s one of the many
versions of a grande butterbeer
for Starbuck’s
. Just save this blog post page on your iPhone and show it to
the barista who will make the drink for you. Please don’t do this when it’s
very busy because you may annoy the staff with a special order.

for a Creme Frappuccino base. Don’t skimp on the fat by asking for skim or 2%
milk as whole milk is required for the right consistency.

Add 3
pumps of caramel syrup.

Add 3
pumps of toffee nut syrup.

with caramel drizzle.

Phryne Fisher – Miss Fisher’s Murder
Mysteries – Kerry Greenwood

I have enjoyed Benedictine
for many years, but I was sold when I discovered Phryne Fisher likes the
liqueur. My husband’s late father used to declare it on his taxes as medicine
and he got away with it. Maybe it’s because he lived in Europe. Ha! Kerry
Greenwood, who created Miss Fisher, talked about Phryne introducing herself in
the forward to her books.

from Kerry Greenwood
, about Phryne Fisher for the books Cocaine Blues,
Flying Too High
, and Murder On The Ballerat Train.

Thank you for buying this book. I have a wizard and three
cats to feed. Picture the scene. There I am, in 1988, thirty years old and
never been published, clutching a contract in a hot sweaty hand. I have been
trying for four long and frustrating years to attract a publisher and now a
divinity has offered me a two book conract about a detective in 1928. I am
reading the ads as the tram clacks down Brunswick Street. They are not
inspiring posters. I am beginning to panic. This is what I have striven for my
whole life. Am I now going to develop writer’s block? When I never have before?

Then she got onto the tram and sat near me. A lady with a
Lulu bob, feather earrings, a black cloth coat with an Astrakan collar and a
black cloche jammed down over her exquisite eyebrows. She wore delicate shoes
of sable glacé kid with a Louis heel. She moved with a fine louche grace, as
though she knew that the whole tram was staring at her and she both did not
mind and accepted their adulation as something she merited. She leaned towards
me. I smelt rice powder and Jicky. ‘Why not write about me?’ she breathed. And,
in a scent of Benedictine, she vanished. That was the Honourable Phryne Fisher.
I am delighted to be able to introduce you to her.

Ebenezer Scrooge –  A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

I can’t let a
holiday article about cocktails go by without mentioning Mr. Scrooge. This
drink is served warm and it’s perfect for curling up in front of a roaring fire
and listening to Victorian Christmas carols with someone you love.

Smoking Bishop

¼ cup sugar

1 bottle red wine

Juice from several oranges

1 bottle port

Strain oranges

Prick oranges with

Let sit for 24 hours

Serve warm

Edgar Allan Poe – Eggnog

I must mention Poe
one more time, since he liked a classic holiday drink. Poe loved eggnog. He
even used in in his classic tale The Pit
And The Pendulum
. Poe’s West Point roommate recalled he also couldn’t be
found far from a bottle of Benny Haven’s best brandy. Benny Haven was Poe’s
favorite place to go to drink. The jury is still out as to whether or not he was
an alcoholic. Stories regarding the cause of his death range from rabies to
being beaten to death after refusing to be used in vote rigging. The eggnog was
a family recipe.


eggs, separated

cup sugar

cups whole milk, divided

cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cups brandy

cup rum


the egg yolks and sugar in a medium boll and whisk until thick and pale. Set
aside. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Warm 3 parts milk over
low heat. Whisk 1 cup of warm milk into the yolk mixture. Add this back to the
milk in the pan. Stir over low heat until combined and thickened. Remove from
heat and stir in the cream quickly. Place the saucepan in the ice water. Stir
until chilled then add the brandy, rum, and remaining milk. Pour eggnog into
glasses. Whip the egg whites into stiff peaks in a bowl and spoon over the
eggnog. Top with nutmeg. Merry Christmas!

Topper – Pink Lady

When I first watched
the movie Topper, I became very
interested in Pink Ladies since Marion Kerby swore by them. I have yet to try
one, but maybe this season I’ll give one a try.

1½ -2 oz. Gin

1 Egg White

1 teaspoon Grenadine

1 teaspoon Double

Fresh Strawberry for


Combine the
ingredients with ice, shake vigorously. Strain into a glass. Garnish with ½
strawberry on a cocktail stick.


White Lady:

2 oz. Gin

¾ oz. Each of
Cointreau and Lemon juice

1 Egg White (if

[Omit the grenadine
and cream]


Combine the
ingredients with ice, shake vigorously. Strain into a glass. Garnish with ½
strawberry on a cocktail stick.

Carrie Bradshaw – Sex and the City – Candace

I am not a fan of Sex and the City for reasons I won’t go
into here, but I must give Carrie Bradshaw kudos for popularizing the Cosmo.


4 parts vodka

1 part Cointreau

2 parts lime juice

3 parts cranberry

Shake and serve on

John Steed and Mrs. Emma Peel – The Avengers

The reason my
favorite drink is champagne is due to it being the preferred beverage of Steed
and Mrs. Peel. It’s nearly all I drink aside of red wine, Benedictine, Campari,
and Amontillado. Those two drank it all the time, even when they were painting
Mrs. Peel’s flat. I recall they preferred Chateau Mouton Rothchild, but that’s
a bit out of my price range. I also like brut champagne. The drier the better.

FYI – Oscar Wilde
also preferred to drink iced champagne. At the time of his death, he was
drinking a combination of opium, chloral and champagne. He did say, “And
now I am dying beyond my means.”


And now for the
hard-boiled characters. You don’t get much more hard-boiled than Raymond
Chandler. Chandler was as much of a double-fisted drinker as were his
creations. An alcoholic, he suffered blackouts and threatened suicide. He lost
a job due to drink and began writing at 44. When his wife died, he dived
further into the bottle. His alcoholism haunts his stories. He favored the gin
gimlet just like his character Philip Marlowe. Still, if you want to drink like
the heavies, go for it.

Vivian Sternwood Rutledge – The Big Sleep –
Raymond Chandler

Scotch Mist

2 to 3 ounces
scotch, bourbon, or brandy

½ cup crushed ice

lemon twist over
edge of glass

Philip Marlow – The Long Goodbye – Raymond

Gin Gimlet

½ gin

½ Rose’s lime juice

And now for the disasters
amongst us. The Great Gatsby included drinking and excessive living. It was
mainly about the downfall of the American Dream in the 1920s. Fitzgerald
favored gin because he believed people couldn’t smell it on his breath. He ad
his wife Zelda were heavy gin drinkers. Another alcoholic writer, cocktails
figured prominently in his fiction. He preferred the gin rickey, just like his
character Jay Gatsby did.

Daisy Buchanan – The Great Gatsby – F. Scott

Mint Julep

2.5 ounces bourbon

2 sugar cubes

4 or 5 mint leaves

Serve over ice


Jay Gatsby – The Great Gatsby – F. Scott

Gin Rickey

1 shot gin

½ shot fresh
squeezed lime juice

lime zest

2.5 ounces bourbon

Here’s to the rise
and fall of rugged masculinity from Hemingway and Williams. Although Hemingway
was fond of drinking, he did not do so while writing. Also, his favorite drink
was not the mojito. He was diabetic and couldn’t tolerate the sugar so it’s
unlikely he drank mojitos. He did drink absinthe and double daiquiris without
sugar. His favorite drink was the dry martini.

Jake Barnes – The Sun Also Rises – Ernest

Jack Rose

2 ounces applejack

1 ounce lemon or
lime juice

dash of grenadine

Tennessee Williams
suffered from severe anxiety and drank to ease the pain. He often spoke of his
love for downers saying that they enhanced and unblocked his creativity,
although his critics disagreed. Downers did him in in the end when he choked to
death on a bottle cap to his prescription barbies. Alcohol played an important
part in the lives of his characters as well, Brick Pollett being an excellent

Brick Pollett – Cat On A Hot Tin Roof  – Tennessee Williams

Hot Toddy

2 tbsp bourbon

1 tbsp mild honey

2 tbsp fresh lemon

¼ cup boiling hot

Stir and serve warm

I can’t talk about
rugged masculinity without mentioning Bond. James Bond. While most people
associate Bond with a martini, shaken, not stirred, it wasn’t the only thing he
drank. He enjoyed an Americano in Casino
. My husband and I are huge fans of Campari and vermouth. The
Americano is similar to a Negroni, but it uses Perrier instead of gin. We could
drink either one. To you, Mr. Bond!

James Bond  – Casino Royale – Ian Fleming


1 ounce Campari

1 ounce sweet red



You can’t go wrong
this holiday season with all these cocktails at your disposal to drink. Celebrate
Christmas and honor Phryne Fisher, Marion Kerby, and Scrooge with warmth and
nostalgia. Don’t forget to share with your friends. Happy Christmas to all, and
to all a good night!

The Wisdom Of Wine – On Writers And Drinking

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of
genres including erotica, erotic romance, and dark fiction. She lives on the
Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and four cats.

UPDATE: While this article touches on writers and alcoholism, I don’t discuss it directly. For a more direct discussion about writers, alcoholism, depression, and suicide, please read my article “The Madness Of Art“.


Writers and drink go
together like, well, writers and drink! I have a drinking ritual I follow most
mornings. I start off with a cup of coffee at home. Then, I pour coffee in my
travel mug and head to the beach. I walk for an hour, running plots and other
things through my head, and drink my second cup of coffee. Then I return home
and drink my third cup. After that, I’m all coffeed out.

I save the alcoholic
stuff for the afternoon. Most often I drink champagne, but I won’t turn down
red wine or reisling. I sometimes drink cognac and liqueurs. I developed a
taste for Grand Marnier after reading too many British murder mysteries. My
other favorites are unusual drinks like Benedictine, Strega, Campari, absinthe,
amontillado (hat tip to Poe), Quantro, and Drambuie.

I’ve met a few
writers who didn’t like coffee, which is something you wouldn’t expect because
writers and coffee is a match made in Heaven. I quote two writers who don’t like coffee below. My son is a computer geek and he can’t stand coffee, either.
You’d never expect to meet a computer geek who loathes coffee, but I know one.

Some fictional
characters are well-known for their drinking habits. Jack Torrence liked his
bourbon on the rocks, much to his downfall. Maggie in Tennessee Williams’
“Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” was surrounded by alcoholics. Agatha
Christie’s Hercule Poirot liked his sirop de cassis as well as hot chocolate.
He also liked tisane, an herbal or lime hot tea.

Two of my own
characters have a penchant for drink. Catherine Stone in my Night Owl Top Pick
erotic novel “Don’t Call Me Baby” prefers a TNT (Tanqueray and
tonic). That was a popular drink in the 1980s in America, during which time the
book is set. Jackson Beale in my WIP “Alex Craig Has A Threesome”
prefers expensive liquor, especially Cristal champagne. That man enjoys the
good life.

There’s something
soothing about a hot or alcoholic drink. It helps releases your inhibitions so
that you write more smoothly (in some cases). A drink or two may make you more
sociable – something that doesn’t come easily to many introverted writers. The
ritual behind preparing a pot of coffee, a cup of tea, or a fancy drink can be
satifying in its own way.

Some writers are
famous for their enjoyment of alcohol. William Faulkner noted, “I usually write at night. I always keep my whiskey
within reach.” Carson McCullers preferred hot tea and sherry she
kept in a thermos. At Yaddo, the writers’ colony,
she had her own ritual. She started writing with a beer shortly after breakfast,
then moved on to her hot tea and sherry (her “sonnie boy”), and ended
in the evening with cocktails. F. Scott Fitzgerald preferred gin since
he believed no one could detect it on his breath.

Absinthe is a drink
that has been long favored by writers, including Ernest Hemingway. Absinthe is
nearly a mythical drink. It has its own cachet, but the reputation may be borne
of myth. The chemical that causes the hallucinations you get from drinking too
much absinthe (thujone) exists in very minute amounts in the drink – not enough
to make you hallucinate. Absinthe alone is a very powerful drink. You’d get
drunk and hallucinate by simply drinking the stuff because it’s so strong. The main
reason absinthe was so popular in the 1800s was because the stuff was cheap and
strong. For those unable to afford better, more expensive liquor, absinthe was
the way to go. Plus big drinkers favored it and got drunk not because of the
drink itself but because of the massive amounts of it they drank. Absinthe
drinkers drank a lot of absinthe. Calling it “The Green Fairy” only
gave it a mystical allure that hid its true nature as a fancy version of

I interviewed some
of my author friends to learn what they drank when writing and why they drank

Tanith Davenport Lewis – Cider. Because I like it. And I find it easier to
write without second-guessing myself after a drink.

Fredsti – Wine, both sparkling and still. I try to reward myself with sips of it
as I write as a little relaxes me enough to not beat myself up over what I’m
writing (my inner critique is a mouthy bitch), but too much relaxes me to the
point I don’t write enough. It’s a fine line…

Lisa Lane – I used
to drink often when I wrote (I have a weakness for margaritas, tequila shots,
and chocolate wine–not together, lol). I ended up getting drunk too often, so
I switched strictly to coffee (or, more specifically, mocha). I brew my own
espresso and use Ovaltine in place of cocoa. It’s very yummy.

Adriana Kraft – We
never drink while we’re writing – but champagne to celebrate a release?

Gemma Parkes – Only
water! I couldn’t drink alcohol because I get drunk too quickly and I don’t
like coffee!

Sharolyn Wells – I
don’t drink alcohol. My father was an abusive alcoholic when he was younger and
I saw the things he did to my mother when he was drunk. I drink either water or
Dr. Pepper. Sometimes milk, depending on what I’m eating at the time. My mother
had a rule–chocolate milk if you’re eating anything non-chocolate; white milk
if you’re eating anything chocolate. I never drink coffee. Never acquired a
taste for it.

Devon Marshall –
Strictly speaking, I’m always drinking something when I write – mostly water
and coffee though! I do drink alcohol sometimes when I write, especially if I
happen to be having a drink on that day, with beer or cider being my poison of
choice. As someone else said above, there are times when alcohol helps relax me
enough that I can write without continually nitpicking at it. Was it Hemingway
who said “Write drunk. Edit sober”? Sounds like something he’d say

Vanessa de Sade –
Don’t drink at all, especially not while I write but I do use other stimulants
whilst composing sexy scenes

Phoenix Johnson – Tea
is my trending drink right now because it relaxes and soothes to get the mind
clear of everything but what I need. I accompany it with water or big cup of
juice for endurance and energy once the tea has cleared my mind.

It’s only natural
for writers to drink something while they write, whether or not that drink is
alcoholic. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored
glasses of life.” He was right in more ways than he was probably aware.

Here are some quotes
by the famous about alcohol:

“I drink to make
other people more interesting.”

― Ernest Hemingway

“An intelligent man
is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

― Ernest Hemingway

“I have absolutely
no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not
been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and
reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories,
from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending

― Edgar Allan Poe

“In wine there is
wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”

― Benjamin Franklin

“The Hitch-Hiker’s
Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in
existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like
having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold

― Douglas Adams

“Drink because you
are happy, but never because you are miserable.”

― G.K. Chesterton

“I like to have a

Two at the very

After three I’m
under the table,

after four I’m under
my host.”

― Dorothy Parker

“Death: “THERE

Albert: “Oh,
yes, sir. But alcohol sort of compensates for not getting them.”

― Terry Pratchett

Now I’ll go enjoy a
bottle of champagne. Cheers!  🙂

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