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…

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…

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…

Brandy and Soda

The brandy and soda is a drink that seems to exist today primarily as a P. G. Wodehouse reference. It’s a basic combination that nevertheless occurs to no-one but those imitating Bertie Wooster. Surveying the internet, it appears that mention of the ‘B and S’ without reference to Jeeves and Wooster has been strictly outlawed. They do seem…

Absinthe Frappé

This here is the fiftieth drink to join our digital cabinet of liquors! And a mighty fine addition it is too. If I were asked elect an emblematic spirit for each Pynchon book, some choices would be easy. White corn whiskey would represent Mason & Dixon. Lot 49 might be kirsch. And Against the Day would be absinthe. The denizens of AtD take their absinthe in…

Whisky Sours

8 May is universally recognised and celebrated as Pynchon in Public day. Parades fill the streets from Venice Beach to Vheissu; confetti pours from airships over all the world’s great capitals. In celebration of this grand holiday, I gathered some compadres to join Oedipa Maas and me for a whisky sour. Boilermaker House whipped us up a…

Gin Marshmallows

I hope everyone is digging the new season of the Pynchon in Public podcast. After three seasons pissing around with minor works, they’ve finally bit the bullet (or, I suppose, the rocket) and taken on the big one: Gravity’s Rainbow. (I kid—they’ve been doing great and noble work from the beginning. If you haven’t heard the earlier…

Vodka with Milk, Vegetable Soup, and Watermelon Juice

…so quoth a commenter when the Guardian books first introduced our frivolous little endeavour to the world. And I know of course one shouldn’t read the comments and less still feed the trolls, but I have been looking forward to this post ever since. As any true Pynchonite should realise, Pynchondom abounds with dedicated souls who wouldn’t blink at slurping…

Old Fashioned

I’ve recently embarked with the Chums of Chance aboard the good ship Inconvenience—and man, (isn’t this supposed to be some kinda kid’s book?) the air in here sure is alcoholic. My Against the Day list is already 50 drinks long, and I’m not even halfway through. Gravity’s Rainbow only has 45 or 46 all up. And now that’s as smooth…

Champagne Cocktails

With all the drinking in Pynchon, you’d think there’d be a few more recognisable bars dotting his fictional landscapes. But the only one that really jumps out to me is The Scope, which we find out on the way to LA, near the Yoyodyne factory in The Crying of Lot 49. From chapter three: The Scope…