Happy Pynchon in Public Day! Alas I must most shamefully confess to having read no Pynchon in public today. As penance, I will now drink one shot of Jägermeister and 151 and tell you about it on the semi-public of this weblog.
Chapter 20 of Bleeding Edge finds our heroine Maxine snooping for Eric Outfield at the very dubiously named “Joie de Beavre” strip club. She conducts her survey of the clientele from the convenient vantage of one of the poles on stage (knowing, as she does, a few moves from her regular gym, “Body and Pole”):
In the course of a dance routine somewhere between vanilla and cherry ripple, including leg hangs, helical descents, upside-down humping of the pole and so forth, Maxine notices this one party out on a remote curve of the bar, drinking you’d say relentlessly what will prove to be Jägermeister and 151, through a Day-Glo straw out of a twenty-ounce convenience-store cup he has brought in with him, and showing no signs of alcohol poisoning, which could mean either unnatural immunity or unreachable despair.Bleeding Edge, p. 222.
Maxine undulates a little closer and determines that this suicidally determined drinker is indeed her mark Eric.
Eric’s drink really is a bit fucked up. “151” is 151 proof rum—that is, 75.5% alcohol. Mixing 50/50 with Jägermeister brings things down to more like maybe 55%, but he’s got potentially twenty ounces of the stuff. You will forgive me for forgoing the convenience-store cup and Day-Glo straw and just drinking one shot.
Actually though, it doesn’t taste all that bad. The slightly sweet, floral, aniseedy Jägermeister combines with the overproof rum’s hint of sugarcane and huge whack of booze into a very potent, warming, vaguely tropical elixir. Sure did make me stagger though. I think the last time I shotted anything may have been drinking King Kongs here? (I should note that I am using Diamond Reserve 151 instead of the more typical Bacardi version, the latter being entirely unavailable in Australia at present. A Bacardi version might be headier still).
I haven’t found any established record of drinkers other than Eric partaking of this particular mixture, although versions with the addition of Rumple Minze, Goldschläger, or both are known respectively as Liquid Heroin, Liquid Cocaine, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, according to Wikipedia. The simple 50/50 mix suits Eric’s own personal apocalypse. But if you’re after something less lethal and more celebratory for Pynchon in Public day, perhaps go with one of the variations. Failing that, at least add a Day-Glo straw.
Happy Pynchon in Public Day again, everybody!