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…

Suntory Scotch

Tom Pynchon’s Liquor Cabinet turned one year old on Wednesday. We started out drinking Chivas Regal with Winsome in V. A year later, it’s a very happy birthday sipping Suntory Hibiki 12 year old. Very happy. My whisky knowledge has progressed not at all in the past year. My tasting notes for this might look something like: The…

Singapore Sling

We Australian Pynchonites have been waiting patiently and less patiently for Inherent Vice to reach our shores. It did finally appear in Melbourne in a moonlight preview last week, but I was already seeing (the excellent) Gareth Liddiard that night. So I’m still waiting. BUT the movie comes out on Thursday and I have a ticket in hand! So…

Inexpensive (airborne) vodka

Of all the bars in Pynchon, Kahuna Airlines’ airborne tiki bar must be one of the most colourful: Each 747 in the Kahuna Airlines fleet had been gutted and refitted as a huge Hawaiian restaurant and bar, full of hanging island vegetation, nightclub chairs and tables instead of airplane seats, even a miniature waterfall. Zoyd gets a…

Chivas Regal

We’re in the second section of Chapter five (in which Stencil goes west with an alligator) of V., and Winsome’s sitting on his “grotesque” espresso machine smoking something referred to as “string.”  The string was from Bloomingdale’s, fine quality: procured by Charisma several months before on one of his sporadic work binges; he’d been a shipping clerk that time….