“Death in the Gulf Stream”: An Ernest Hemingway cocktail

A cocktail which “cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life.”

We like the occasional cocktail here at Braw Spirit, so when we read about a gin based highball created by Ernest Hemingway which “cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life.”, it seemed worth a look.

“Death in the Gulf Stream” was created by the writer in 1937 as a “reviver” to counter the depressing goings on at the time, including recession and wars.

The recipe description was as follows:

Take a tall thin water tumbler and fill it with finely cracked ice.

Lace this broken debris with 4 good purple splashes of Angostura, add the juice and crushed peel of 1 green lime, and fill glass almost full with Holland gin…

No sugar, no fancying. It’s strong, it’s bitter—but so is English ale strong and bitter, in many cases.

We don’t add sugar to ale, and we don’t need sugar in a “Death in the Gulf Stream”—or at least not more than 1 tsp. Its tartness and its bitterness are its chief charm.

The recipe was documented in Charles Baker’s 1946 compendium, The Gentleman’s Companion, An Exotic Cookery and Drinking Book.

Diffords Guide also have the recipe listed, but note that since Hemingway was a diabetic that his sweet tooth was nonexistent, hence most may prefer the extra slug of sugar syrup which they include.

I tried the recipe using Original Bols Genever and found that without sugar syrup it works very well.

It’s a mighty strong drink though so Hemingway’s suggestion as “a cocktail to be enjoyed from 11:00am on” should probably be treated with caution!

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