Happy Hour [21/4/23]

Have Drink or Two (Not Five)

old tom gin
Trademark registration by Hoffheimer Brothers for Old Tom brand Gin / 1878 / https://www.loc.gov/item/2022668814 T.S. Eliot may have drunk this gin. These cats had better not be jellicle.

April is the Wastedest Month

I warned Hannibal when I signed up to sub that I would be going grim, and what could be grimmer than “April is the cruelest month” — the most famous line from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, which was published 100 years ago. And while English PhDs will insist the title is a reference to a scene from Arthurian legend, I think it’s a reference to Eliot being wasted.

Like, all the time.

This blog post say Aldous Huxley found Eliot “grey green” after drinking five gins. For lunch! Who knows what he drank for breakfast? A year later, he wrote The Journey of the Magi after drinking half a bottle of gin.

Years later, Groucho Marx had dinner with Eliot and reported to his brother Gummo that cocktails were served during a fairly awkward-sounding encounter. Do all repressed Anglicans from Saint Louis pound booze like this?

Anyway, I would definitely discourage everyone from drinking half a bottle of gin. Instead, here’s a link to a drink called The Wasteland in honor of Hozier’s song. I have none of the ingredients on hand but it sounds pretty good — basically whiskey, lemon, and honey, with a little curacao and bitters and garnished with rosemary.

So Deadsplinterwasters, do you drink gin? And if not, what are you drinking, and hopefully not in the quantities of that reactionary (although also a great poet) drunk guy, T.S.Eliot?



  1. i do not drink gin….in fact i do not drink anything stronger than port which i use for cooking….but sometimes the rest of the bottle just…kinda disappears whilst i cook

    sometimes some of it even goes in the food

    anyways…here have the bestest song about a state of being i aspire to be as infrequently as i can manage i have found to date


  2. …I don’t drink a lot of them…but I’ve been known to get the odd compliment for putting together a decent G&T…& I will say there’s a world of difference between one of those & the sorry facsimile it used to be dismayingly easy to find served in a great many establishments?

    …I recall a time when there might as well only have been about three options for the gin, too…so trading up from off-brand to gordons was a leap but bombay sapphire was about as far as you could get

    …now, with the likes of fever tree meaning you can have more choices for the sort of tonic you’re mixing it with than there used to be easily sourced gins…& the absolute profusion of “boutique” gins…the permutations are numerous enough that I’ve been to weddings with a whole separate bar serving noting else…& drunk for…well…depending on the wedding…6-10hrs without either drinking anything that wasn’t a G&T (& possibly the odd glass of water & at some point a coffee) while also never having the same drink twice

    …someone I know is a big fan of old tom gins…which are a recipe that was big in the 18th century before disappearing from behind the bar almost completely until quite recently…another considers gin mare to be their go to…but mostly I’m not that picky…needs to be schweppes or better for the tonic, though…& I’d take lime over lemon for the slice/wedge

    …but I’m not a fan of hendricks…not least since a rep told me once that the pairing they suggest is cucumber…which…let’s say makes it clear they don’t want (or need) my custom…either way…leaving aside the part where the G&T spectrum is considerably more varied than it was when I first encountered them…in my experience the restorative effects of a decent gin & tonic are not to be underestimated?

    • I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the tonic that makes a GT more than the gin. Unless you drink like TS Eliot and just sort of bump into the bottle of tonic while you’re drinking straight out of the gin bottle.

      • …the gin definitely makes a difference…but so long as it’s not paint-stripper grade I think the tonic is where more of the disappointing ones get ruined than anything else?

  3. Mostly made G&Ts with Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. I think it is because I like gin from shiny deep colored bottles.


    I like London Dry Gins… but not the cheap stuff.

    I don’t mind Hendricks, but I like something less cucumber filled.

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