The Long Goodbye
By Jay Porter
Thursday, 21 July 2011
“We sat in the corner of the bar at Victor’s and drank gimlets. “They don’t know how to make them here,” he said. “What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.” – Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
I love gimlets. I love bars. And I love Raymond Chandler, whose finest book, The Long Goodbye, is about gimlets and bars as much as it’s about anything.
Chandler was living in La Jolla when he wrote that book, and I’ve read that he passed many evenings with Max Miller and Neil Morgan, drinking in a small cantina in the Upper Hermosa.
Chandler must have loved bars, too, or at least loved his local:
I like bars just after they open for the evening. When the air inside is still cool and clean and everything is shiny and the barkeep is giving himself that last look in the mirror to see if his tie is straight and his hair is smooth. I like the neat bottles on the bar back and the lovely shining glasses and the anticipation. I like to watch the man mix the first one of the evening and put it down on a crisp mat and put the little folded napkin beside it. I like to taste it slowly. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar — that’s wonderful.
When we were putting together an El Take It Easy cocktail program embracing the traditions of San Diego/Tijuana, it would clearly have been a crime to omit Chandler and his gimlet. But, we’re not as formalist as Terry Lennox, the character through whom Chandler shared his cocktail philosophy. So our gimlet was likely to get a wee bit creative.
One thing led to another, and we were all sitting in Dean’s living room, drinking mescal gimlets, with the longest, most satisfying finish of any cocktail we’d tried in a long time.
To be known as, The Long Goodbye.
It’s a simply made drink. A very nice joven mescal (Sacacuento)…”
Read Jay’s full post and learn more about the “The Long Goodbye” recipe at http://thelinkery.com/blog/anatomy-of-a-mescal-gimlet/