Tequila Sour

Not long after Oedipa first spots that muted posthorn in the bathroom of the Scope, she finds herself out with Metzger and the Paranoids for a day at the among the earth-moving machines and “total absence of trees” of the still under construction Fangoso Lagoons. It’s a perfect picnic spot:

The Paranoid element piled out of their car, carrying musical instruments and looking around as if for outlets under the trucked in white sand to plug into. Oedipa from the Impala’s trunk took a basket filled with cold eggplant parmigian’ sandwiches from an Italian drive-in, and Metzger came up with an enormous thermos of tequila sours.

The Crying of Lot 49, p.37.

Oversized vessels of tequila sour arise in one of the Slow Learner stories too. “Entropy” narrates the events of the lease-breaking party of one Meatball Mulligan, picking up the tale as the party moves into its fortieth hour and gathers its second wind. (I would have thought the fortieth hour of a party would call for maybe more like a fifth wind than a second, but I guess Meatball’s friends have good stamina). Meatball himself was passed out, but is “hurled wincing into consciousness” by the closing cymbal crashes of The Heroes’ Gate at Kiev, someone’s idea of party music. He is very much in need of a morning restorative:

“Hair of the dog,” said Meatball. “Only hope. Any juice left?” He began to crawl toward the kitchen. “No champagne, I don’t think,” Duke said. “Case of tequila behind the icebox.” They put on an Earl Bostic side. Meatball paused at the kitchen door, glowering at Sandor Rojas. “Lemons,” he said after some thought. He crawled to the refrigerator and got out three lemons and some cubes, found the tequila, and set about restoring order to his nervous system. He drew blood once cutting the lemons and had to use two hands squeezing them and his foot to crack the ice tray but after ten minutes he found himself, through some miracle, beaming down into a monster tequila sour.

Slow Learner, p. 85-86

Earl Bostic‘s saxophone pyrotechnics seem rather more party-reviving than that Russian stuff they had on earlier. And indeed, Sandor is in the mood to party on, asking Meatball if he can make him a tequila sour too. Meatball tells him, in Hungarian, to go and fuck a horse.

I was kinder to my guests. Both books mention the drink being oversized, “monster,” “enormous,” and mine did not back down on this criteria, so there was plenty to go around. Don’t tell me it doesn’t look so huge in the photo, that thing used up all the tequila I had (left over from the Tequila Zombie way back when) and probably like twelve lemons. I more or less followed this recipe, scaled way up.

Actually I’m not sure how suitable tequila sours are to batching like this. I included the egg whites in the batch, then poured into a shaker with ice anytime I convinced someone to drink some to froth it up. This did seem to result in vague gelatinous clumps in the drinks though, slowing the rate at which I managed to get the jug emptied considerably. The fact that my homebrew was the main other option available may have been critical in getting the tequila sour jug drank at all…

The next morning I had no tequila left and so was unable to evaluate the drink’s performance in a hair-of-the-dog type situation. We will for now have to trust Meatball on that.

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