A very nice birthday present from Jordan! The first half of the book is a hilarious manual on how to spend your life drunk. I couldn't wait to get started. Amis's technical knowledge, especially when it comes to spirits and mixed drinks, is impressive. Also his ability to avoid bullshit.
We got our courage together and tried making Ernest Hemingway's signature cocktail, the fabulous Death in the Afternoon. It's very simple: put one measure of absinthe in a champagne glass, and then top up with champagne. An interesting point, which Amis somehow fails to mention, is that the absinthe stops the champagne from foaming, so it's easy to fill the glass up to the top.
Hemingway recommended drinking three to five glasses to get the full effect. I had one, and although I thought it was delicious I decided to stop there - I wanted to be still in shape to appreciate the Sauterne we were going to have with dessert. Our neighbor Don amazed us all by having a second glass of Death, and then three glasses of Sauterne with the blue cheese and figs. But he's an aspiring novelist. Maybe it goes with the territory?