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:…

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…

Aged Bourbon

Tommy Boy turns eighty today, and while I won’t say that counts as officially old, it is a pretty creditable age. No doubt he’s got another book coming together, as vivid and profound as anything before… On the occasion of our Chief Chum of Chance’s 80th, I’m toasting Pynchon in Public Day with an 18 year old bourbon….

Veuve Clicquot Brut

Season two of the Pynchon in Public podcast‘s trek through Gravity’s Rainbow is a wrap! Watch your iTunes feeds. I popped some Champagne on the air this morning in celebration. You may notice the Champagne is pictured above in a beer mug. In this, as in the choice of the specific Champagne house, I follow the good example…

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…

Rye Whiskey

Rye shows up in both Gravity’s Rainbow and Vineland. In a weird coincidence, the paragraphs in the two books that mention the stuff both also mention Superman. Here they are. Gravity’s Rainbow (p. 752): Superman will swoop boots-first into a deserted clearing, a launcher-erector sighing oil through a slow seal-leak, gum evoked from the trees, bitter manna for this bitterest…

Merry Christmas! (Pink Champagne)

A very merry Christmas to Pynchonites and friends the world over. I hear it’s a warm one for you Northern Hemisphere folks. Down here in Australia, we’ve enjoyed a relatively cool 33 °C (91 of your funny Fahrenheit degrees). Admittedly not eggnog weather. But this pink Champagne went down a treat. It’s Moutard Père et Fils Rosé Champagne. The presentable bubbles come…

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…

Quimporto

It’s been a while… so I’m back with a bit of a weird one. Weird enough even to be called weird in Gravity’s Rainbow, which let’s face it is itself pretty weird. Page 615: Clive Mossmoon and Sir Marcus Scammony sit in their club, among discarded back copies of British Plastics, drinking the knight’s favorite, Quimporto—a weird pre-war mixture…

Schloss Vollrads

Does anyone have a time machine handy? Some of these drinks are getting tricky to pull off stuck in 2014. Peach brandy, for example, seems to be the liquor of the moment in the 18th century of Mason & Dixon, but it’s a lot harder to come across now. The Mt Vernon estate made a special batch of the…

Cachaça with beer chasers

Well I really lived up to that ‘Drunk Pynchon’ moniker on this one. Cachaça, it turns out, goes down easy and goes down fast and then may or may not come right back up again. A few days later now, I think I’ve just established enough distance between myself and the event to write about it. That’s contrary to my…

Oude Genever

Now we’re getting somewhere. The beaten track just slipped out of sight. Oude Genever.It’s totally obscure to me, but gets a couple of runs in Pynchon, making a grand debut in Gravity’s Rainbow then popping its head up again in Mason & Dixon. In GR, it’s episode fourteen and we’re flashing back in Katje’s memory/imagining to Holland, to the…