Stephen Bayley

A soothing Negroni for la dolce vita

Stephen Bayley celebrates the Second Cocktail Age with three sumptuous new books on the best way to mix spirits

The first draft of the famous story was called ‘A Martini as Big as the Ritz’. That’s not true, but F. Scott Fitzgerald was certainly at work in the First Cocktail Age. The Algonquin circle also floated into literary history on a choppy ocean of toxically high-ABV mixed drinks. The quotes and jokes are legend: Robert Benchley says to Ginger Rogers in a 1942 Billy Wilder film ‘Why don’t you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini?’ (The line is also attributed to Mae West.)

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