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Drink This Now

The Ernest Hemingway Cocktail You’ve Never Heard Of

Death in the Afternoon. Courtesy of The Rum House

Ernest Hemingway came into this world 115 years ago today, beginning a legacy that intertwines great American literature with his passion for drinking. Most cocktail nerds are familiar with the Hemingway Daiquiri, a mix of rum, grapefruit juice, lime juice and maraschino liqueur, which the author used to drink by the dozen at a bar in Havana. But Hemingway didn’t just co-opt cocktails, he invented them.

One of his recipes, called Death in the Afternoon, appears in the 1935 cocktail book So Red the Nose, or Breath in the Afternoon, which compiles drinks from famous authors. In it, Hemingway gives these instructions: “Pour 1 jigger of absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”

If you just want to kill the Mondays, a glass of Champagne with a dash of absinthe will probably do. In honor of Hemingway’s birthday, you can order one at The Rum House in New York City today, or make their recipe below for the fizzy, licorice-y drink.

Death in the Afternoon

¼ ounce absinthe
Champagne
Lemon peel

Pour the absinthe into a coupe or flute and top with Champagne. Garnish with the lemon peel.

Related: 23 Classic Cocktails
Best Cocktail Bars in the U.S.
12 Reinvented Classic Cocktails

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