Unless you are in a book club, reading typically is a solitary activity, and composing a novel, much like a magazine article, is equally as lonely — unless you are writing this column. My mixologist Stephen Dennison and I work closely together when crafting cocktails, but when we envisioned the perfect cocktail for drinking alone, we pictured Gore Vidal.
We think the legendary writer needs repose for his work. We visualized Vidal in his study in front of a typewriter, gripping a cocktail for a victory sip after he masterfully completes a complicated paragraph. Dennison and I realize this is our fictionalized version of Vidal. We have no idea if it’s true. The image is more of a caricature of any thoughtful writer, but this cocktail, which we named in Vidal’s honor, represents quiet reflection. Perhaps, then, on a cool spring evening — before the sweaty Evansville humidity strikes — consider this drink. It’s a great companion for when you want a moment to think.
10 to 12 black peppercorns
2 ounces of Four Roses Small Batch bourbon
1/2 ounce of brandy
1/2 ounce of Benedictine liqueur
In a shaker, add 10 to 12 black peppercorns. Shake well for 1 minute. Add ice. After frost forms outside the tin, stir for 30 seconds. Strain carefully, so as not to lose any peppercorns from the tin. When drinking alone, garnishes seem unnecessary.
—Tom Fischer of Evansville is the host of an online show, BourbonBlog.com. He works closely with his website’s drink advisor, mixologist Stephen Dennison.