15 Cocktails inspired by literary greats

Dorothy Parker

While fond of whisky sours, outspoken American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist Dorothy Parker was an avid Martini fan. Celebrated for her acerbic wit, Parker once said in jest: “I like to have a Martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.”

Writing regularly for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue, Parker’s screenplays led to two Academy Award nominations. Her literary career began in 1914 when her first poem was published in Vanity Fair. There, she met several of the authors with whom she would found the famous Algonquin Round Table, a group of collaborators who met regularly at New York’s Algonquin Hotel.

Soon enough, she and her wit had developed a national reputation, and she became famous for her sharp-tongued comedic poems on the topics of romance, death and, of course, drinking.

Though she is best known for her verse, she was also a skilled short story writer and an accomplished screenwriter. Parker remains an incredibly popular writer. The Portable Dorothy Parker stands alongside the Bible and Shakespeare as the only of Viking Press’s ‘Portable Library’ series to remain continuously in print.

The Dorothy Parker cocktail

Combine 2 ounces of rye, ¾ ounce of sweet vermouth, ½ teaspoon of black pepper syrup and 2 dashes of bitters in a shaker. Strain into a cold Martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Nothing but a classic Manhattan cocktail would suit this New Yorker, but we’ve added a black pepper twist as a wink to her wise-cracking humour.

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