Chianti Rufina

We’ve been at this long enough now that some branches once heavy with low-hanging fruit are looking a little sparse. Lots of wine remains undrunk, but more and more of it is challengingly obscure and/or pricey. But never fear! I’m resourceful enough in hunting down obscurities and sufficiently irresponsibly profligate with my funds that the…

The Macallan

I first cracked open Tom Pynchon’s Liquor Cabinet and got stuck into the Chivas Regal four years ago today. That seems like a good excuse for more whisky. The Macallan graces the same top shelf Bleeding Edge Silicon Alley party bar where we found Stolichnaya Elit and Tanqueray No. 10. Those were both very pleasant, but if I were at…

Grain Alcohol with Grapefruit Juice

Happy Pynchon in Public day all! I confess I am not doing my drinking in public this evening, but I did at least read Vineland on the train this morning AND left it lying prominently on my desk at work all day and it’s just not my fault if none of my colleagues were curious…

Gwenhidwy’s Drink

As you should all already know, the Pynchon in Public Podcast team have planted the glorious tombstone/nosecone on their quest both madcap and meticulous through Gravity’s Rainbow after the rocket. In small tribute to their gargantuan efforts, I shall here tackle perhaps the most intimidating drink found within those pages. It’s maybe more like a…

A six-pack of Dos Equis

Vineland hasn’t gotten much of a run around here, I think because I can barely remember what happens in it. Something to do with Reagan? And ninjas? Clearly a reread is in order sometime soon. I do remember Pynchon’s sympathies for Family as a potential seat of grace and humanity and a bulwark against Their…

Torpedo Juice

During WWII, US Navy torpedos were fuelled on 180 proof grain alcohol. So were the sailors.  The torpedos had an easier time stomaching the stuff. Alcohol was (and is) more-or-less banned on Navy ships, and the higher-ups employed dastardly stratagems to keep the high-proof fuel out of the sailors’ bloodstreams. Early on, They spiked the…

Montrachet

Early on in Gravity’s Rainbow, while we’re still huddled behind London blackout curtains with relatively recognisable characters and fairly coherent plots, Jessica sits up while Roger sleeps, “filling with a need to cry” because she cannot protect him as she wants to. She remembers asking him what things were like before the war. Page 59:…

Green Beer

Early in Against the Day, the young Franz Ferdinand is hanging out in Chicago for the World’s Fair. Greenhorn private security agent Lew Basnight is tasked with protecting the Archduke, whose mostly interested in hunting down “ladies of flagrant repute.” One night, F.F. gives his handlers the slip. Lew goes looking for him. Page 47:…

Soju Wallbanger

It’s time for that old favourite game again: drinking things Guardian commenters say you shouldn’t. Last time it was vodka with milk, vegetable soup, and watermelon juice. Today it’s the Soju Wallbanger, about which one “sprockethawk” holds some strong opinions: I am sorry to report that my evening has thus far involved no solar sparkle…

Brandy Alexander

Just post-Slothrop’s troubling moment with the really-too-young Bianca (discussed with great thoughtfulness and insight on the latest Pynchon in Public podcast), our dubious hero finds himself weaving through “newly-risen roisterers” below decks on the Anubis. Page 480: There is hardly a thing now in Slothrop’s head but getting to Bianca. At the end of the passageway, across a score of…