Published during that alcohol-surfed wellspring of the mid-thirties, So Red The Nose or Breath in The Afternoon, was a point of pride for the dazed and heavily intoxicated muckety-mucks in their Gatsby-like fandangos.

Prohibition had robbed a society of dipsomaniacs the right to live up to their name for almost 15 years, and these noble world-class winos, the upper crust, needed to up their game in order to make up for lost time. Its rush job into the press was a way to reach down and grab that quintessential ideal that America was founded on:

Our right to get hammered, talk nonsense and do whatever we damn well please with our liberties.

For all claims, so Red The Nose was New York’s high society’s civil way of flicking off the Capitol during the holiday season; and, some of its most ingenious recipes were akin to grabbing their balls and telling Congress to lick their sack.

The two knaves, backed up by ESQUIRE — and jilted into the fray, with nothing but a compromised liver and faulty promised of rivers of booze far more educated than moonshine — were two rosy-cheeked authors, Sterling North and Carl Kroch. A couple headstrong journalists with a lifetime of hangovers to collect and rent to pay.

Their mission? Simple. Dig down into that abyss, that mighty well of despair where the boozers, the lush, and sponges call home and handpick the worst of the worst; those rare individuals with the amazing mutant power of out-drinking Captain Morgan and asking Jesus Christ,

“Hey, buddy, mind turning that Olympic pool over there into Italy’s crazy juice? I have an afternoon to spare.”

Then, after they singled those out, they’d sit down with the poster children of an AA’s recruitment video, kick back and “tipple-test” their cockamamy breed unique concoctions. If they survived, If Sterling and Carl – and their lab rat friends – didn’t lose their sight, if the turpentine didn’t play havoc with their inner workings, if the stars aligned in their favor, then their publisher would hand them over a hefty sum to write a Holiday inspired cocktail recipe book. (…)

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One thought on “So Red The Nose,” the roaring 30’s fabled cocktail book; recipes by Hemingway, Burroughs and other legends.

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