The backbone of this blog is the amazing and unfortunately out-of-print book, So Red the Nose. To this 1935, somewhat tongue-in-cheek recipe book, thirty bestselling contemporary authors submitted original cocktails, based around their own original works. Edgar Rice Burroughs, for instance, created a Tarzan cocktail with a decidedly jungle flair, while Ernest Hemingway submitted his still popular Death in the Afternoon, which could probably describe any number of drinks the author enjoyed.
Our mid-century mixologists include such illustrious names as Hemingway, Burroughs, Theodore Dreiser, and… 27 people I’ve never heard of. My mission, then, is to recreate 29 of these cocktails (you’ll see why American Tragedy is ill-advised soon enough) and combine them with their namesakes, reporting the results here as I go and discovering which books are classics tragically forgotten and which are better left to collect dust in library basements.
General Disclaimers: I enjoy a good drink. I am not a drink expert. Drink reviews are based purely on what I like, are entirely subjective, and will never contain any phrases like “suggesting notes of…”
Similarly, though I am indeed an English teacher, I teach British and world literature. American literature is far from my expertise. Though I fully intend to look at the books from a literary standpoint, all knowledge of the time period will come from Google and half-remember high school history classes.
Special Thanks: to my brother John Zeller for previewing my content and my husband Alberto Hernandez for helping me with photo set-ups.