Italian Gin

We return now after an interregnum of two years to the Ballad of Tantivy Mucker-Maffick, Slothrop’s ode to his drunkard mate. Last time we came for the French beer, nowhere near as septic as our lieutenant would have it. Hopefully he’s misjudged Italian gin too.

The Ballad of Tantivy Mucker-Maffick

Oh Italian gin is a mother’s curse,
And the beer of France is septic,
Drinking Bourbon in Spain is the lonely domain
Of the saint and the epileptic.

Gravity’s Rainbow, p. 191.

Somehow, Slothrop’s ballad, which takes as its main theme Tantivy’s reluctance to refuse any chance at the booze, is “a song everyone knows.” He’s accompanied by a choir of somewhere between two and one hundred Welshmen, as well as a Scotsman on grand piano. And it appears that Slothrop has engineered the whole singalong to provide some cover for him to arrange a rendezvous with Katje.

Should Tantivy be waiting for a better offer if Italian gin is all that’s on offer? I’m drinking the Malfy Con Limone, distilled in Moncalieri near Turin. And in fact is is very nice! Bright and citrusy, fresh and straightforward. In general, I reckon Tantivy’s on the money with his drink-whatever’s-going approach. Slothrop gets into some pretty nasty stuff himself, he wants to ease up a bit on the judgement I’d say.

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