Monday, May 16, 2011

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My Very Own Death in the Afternoon

I said goddamn!
~ Mia Wallace

The lighthearted 1935 cocktail book So Red the Nose (or, Breath in the Afternoon) featured cocktail recipes contributed by well-known authors of the day. Ernest Hemingway, no slouch in the drinks department, came up with one of his own: Death in the Afternoon.
Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.
I know now why the drink is called Death in the Afternoon. It's not just an homage to Hemingway's 1932 book of the same name about bullfighting. It's the effect (on me, anyway) of launching into Sunday brunch with champagne and absinthe. Truth be told, there was whiskey and gin involved as well, but I lay blame for my deathlike afternoon  nap squarely on the milky green greenness of Moet & Chandon and Philadelphia Distilling's Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure.

Mardi Gras truck bed drunkard (not Rowley)


Ken said...

There is no doubt in my mind that a better name for the Death in the Afternoon would actually be "Blackout in a Champagne Glass". One is lovely. Two or more, and you're not going to remember a thing.

It's a lovely drink!

Matthew Rowley said...

Yeah, NOW you tell me.

I second that, though: it is a lovely drink. I passed mine around for those who were so inclined could sample. As I suspected, I was the only one who liked it, but then I also like jamming a glass full of graham crackers, filling it with milk, and eating the thing before anyone catches me. So my tastes are questionable.