Join us in the courtyard of the Hemingway Home with Philip Greene and John Hemingway to sample Ernest Hemingway’s favorite cocktails. Following Greene’s entertaining and enlightening presentation, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and the ambiance of the Hemingway House while rubbing shoulders with John and Phil, to dulcet tones of Skipper Kripitz and his all-star band of musicians.
Philip Greene, author of To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion, for a spirited look at the life and times of the likely prototype for Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” From the woods of North Michigan to World War I, Paris in the 1920s (think Midnight in Paris), to Key West, Cuba, Africa, Europe, from covering the Spanish Civil War to hunting for U-Boats on the Gulf Stream, to covering the landings off Omaha Beach during D-Day, to the liberation of Paris, Hemingway was the epitome of a bon vivant, and lived a full and compelling life. And he wrote a bit, too.
During this entertaining look at his life, Greene focuses on the drinks that Hemingway and his characters enjoyed, in novels and short stories such as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” Greene explains how Hemingway (like Ian Fleming, Raymond Chandler, and other authors) used drink to add another layer of complexity to his characters and the setting. In 1933, Hemingway wrote the following in a letter:
“I am trying, always, to convey to the reader a full and complete feeling of the thing I am dealing with; to make the person reading feel it has happened to them.”
So if the story took place in Key West, Cuba, Italy or Spain, his characters were likely to be enjoying drinks from that locale. Further, he described the drink, the way it tasted, how it made the character feel, in a way unsurpassed by any other writer. From Islands in the Stream:
Thomas Hudson took a sip of the ice-cold drink that tasted of the fresh green lime juice mixed with the tasteless coconut water that was still so much more full-bodied than any charged water, strong with the real Gordon’s gin that made it alive to his tongue and rewarding to swallow, and all of it tautened by the bitters that gave it color. It tastes as good as a drawing sail feels, he thought. It is a hell of a good drink.
Or this, from A Farewell to Arms:
The hotel was very luxurious. I went down the long halls, down the wide stairs, through the rooms to the bar. I knew the barman and sat on a high stool and ate salted almonds and potato chips. The martini felt cool and clean. The sandwiches came and I ate three and drank a couple more martinis. I had never tasted anything so cool and clean. They made me feel civilized.
During the presentation attendees will enjoy several sample-sized Hemingway cocktails, and learn how to make them at home, along with vintage photographs, anecdotes, and excerpts.
Greene is the Trademark and Internet Counsel for the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed at the Pentagon. He is also one of the founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail (New Orleans), and a Brand Ambassador for both the Hemingway Rum Co./Papa’s Pilar Rum, and Peychaud’s Aperitivo. He’s also on the Board of Directors of the National Food and Beverage Foundation, is a member of the National Press Club, and is a contributing columnist for The Daily Beast. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three daughters. His second book, The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail (With Recipes) was published by Sterling Epicure in June.