By Sam Ujvary
Round Up the Usual Suspects
Earlier this week, I stumbled upon one of the greatest casual reads I've encountered in a long time; Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History. An omnibus of mini biographies alongside quaint illustrations featuring stars of Old Hollywood, Mark Bailey and Ed Hemingway have really outdone themselves. The appeal of this book comes from each bio boasting stories of respective Hollywood stars while intoxicated.
Enjoying every page of this book, I couldn't help but want to share its pages with readers, starting with the man himself, The Great Profile.Having famously said, "You can't drown yourself in drink. I've tried; you float," John Barrymore was quite literally the Don Juan of his time. Also known as the greatest actor of his time, Barrymore enjoyed his fare share of overindulgences. Part of the Bundy Drive Boys, Barrymore pursued a life of debauchery with his closest friends when he wasn't starring in films and on the stage. Using his suave demeanor to get out of situations that scotch got him into, the amount of alcohol Barrymore consumed went unmatched.
Perhaps Barrymore mellowed as he aged, though the stories argue otherwise. For the last two years of his life, he was a permanent guest on the radio show of singer Rudy Vallee. And every day at 4 pm, on his way to the studio, he'd stop at St. Donat's Bar on Sunset and order his favorite drink: a Pimm's Cup. You can't get more civilized. (Of All the Gin Joints; page 9)
2 oz. Pimm's No. 1
3 oz. freshly squeezed lemonade
1 lemon-lime soda
2 cucumber slices
1 mint sprig
Pour Pimm's and lemonade into a chilled highball glass filled with ice. Top off with soda and stir. Garnish with cucumber and mint.
Here's to you.