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Food & Drink

Hemingway's Drink: Death in the Afternoon

hemmingway lookalikes

In this photo, released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, some of the semi-finalists of the 2011 "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest including, from left, Arnie Inge-Mathisen, Bear Hoochuck, Greg Fawcett, Charlie Boice, Ed Lindoo and Frank Long show their to looks to the audience during the first of two preliminary rounds Thursday, July 21, 2011, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. More than 120 men resembling Ernest Hemingway are entered into the contest that is a facet of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival. The finals are set for Saturday, July 23. (AP)

A little history with your buzz...

In 1932, Ernest Hemingway published Death in the Afternoon, a nonfiction account of the customs of Spanish bullfighting. Hemingway was living in Europe, and there’s ample documentation of his time spent in bars and cafes across the continent. There are few authors out there whose writing can make you want a drink more reliably than Papa (the fishing-and-white-wine-drinking scene in The Sun Also Rises has forever changed the way we think about white wine), so if a cocktail comes with his recommendation, we’re all for it. This drink was published in a 1935 collection of celebrity cocktail recipes, and Hemingway’s own instructions are thus: "Pour one jigger of absinthe into a champagne glass. Add iced champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly."

We don’t necessarily recommend the three-to-five part, but hey -- you’re a grown-up. You can make up your own mind.

Hair-on-your-chest factor: 100/100

Hemingway may have been the very embodiment of the expression “hair on your chest,” so it barely merits justifying why we give this drink a perfect score. Absinthe is strong stuff. You can get somewhat adulterated versions of the real stuff in North America now, and while it won’t necessarily cause hallucinations, we can assure you that it will go to your head.


1 1/2 oz absinthe

4 oz brut champagne


Pour the absinthe into a champagne flute and top with champagne.


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