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…

Cactus Beer

Around page 82 of Against the Day, we learn a little backstory on Viekko, Webb Traverse’s potato-spirit bootlegging buddy. He and some comrades at one point had been rounded up for miners union activities and dumped in the southern San Juans deep in the middle of the night. They half expect to be executed, but are…

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…

Dão wine

Fleetwood Vibe, most mysterious son of that sinister household, recalls on page 168 his travels in Mozambique—then a colony of Portugal: Debarking at Lourenço Marques, he spent a week in various local cantinhas, gathering information, as he liked to think of it. This required a tidy lakeful of Portuguese colonial-market wine, the rotgut rejectamenta of Bucelas and Dão,…

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…

Stolichnaya Elit

Probably like plenty of other Pynchonites, I found the ’90s pop-culture bandwidth overload of Bleeding Edge pleasantly jarring. Not that it was really out of character—the books are all loaded with this kind of cultural flotsam and jetsam. It’s just that Pynchon’s usually rebuilding a pop culture expired well before my time. Catching lowbrow references comprehensible without wikipedia was a strange new…

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…

Lambic Beer

I’d hazard a guess Pynchon’s a wine man. The books are littered with specific vintages and vineyards, many of them challenging for the budget of this blog.  (On the other hand, he could just be using a wine-guide like he does those Baedekers.) As something of a beer nerd, I do now and then pine for more hops and…

Apricot Brandy

Around page 718 of Against the Day, Cyprian and Yashmeen meet up with Ratty McHugh to discuss Yashmeen’s fear that she’s being followed, including by a “Hungarian element.” (My recollection of this passage is close to nil, but the Chumps of Choice group-read blog has great memory-refreshing summaries of AtD chapters—it’s a great travelling companion if you’re reading the book…

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…

Montepulciano

Drunk Pynchonette and I ordered a couple of (enormous) glasses of this last night then only realised halfway through ’em that the name’s familiar ring owed itself not to my comprehensive knowledge of Italian viticulture but to Pynchon’s most alcoholic of opuses, Against the Day. So it was camera out, non-Instgramming restraint and decency away, and time for…

Small Beer

Among the many pieces of historical, gustatory, and alcoholic miscellanea we can gather from the pages of Mason & Dixon, the early birth and long-life of the mutual incomprehension customary between British and American beer drinkers is one I particularly enjoy. Yanks find British beer dank and warm, Poms find the US stuff fizzy and insipid, and…