15. Ian Fleming, Vesper Martini
Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was a journalist before entering Military Intelligence. Its rumored that he drank gin until his doctor advised him to switch to bourbon as it might be better for his health.
“It’s just that I’d rather die of drink than of thirst.”
13. Stephen King, Beer
The legendary fiction writer drank so much in the 80s, he barely remembers writing Cujo. King’s family immediately staged an intervention after the novel’s publication.
“I always drank, from when it was legal for me to drink. And there was never a time for me when the goal wasn’t to get as hammered as I could possibly afford to. I never understood social drinking, that’s always seemed to me like kissing your sister.”
12. Carson McCullers, Sherry
To appear inconspicuous, the writer known for The Heart is a Lonely Hunter always drank her hot tea and sherry from a thermal.
“Next to music beer was best.”
― The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
11. Truman Capote, Screwdivers
The author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood struggled with drinking and drug abuse for most of his final days. Capote referred to orange juice and vodka his “orange drink.”
“I’m an alcoholic. I’m a drug addict. I’m homosexual. I’m a genius.”
10. Jean Stafford, Wine
The Californian pulp-writer was known for a troubled personal life but she wrote excellent fiction in works such as her Collected Stories, The Mountain Lion and Boston Adventure.
“She wanted them to go together to some hopelessly disreputable bar and to console one another in the most maudlin fashion over a lengthy succession of powerful drinks of whiskey, to compare their illnesses, to marry their invalid souls for these few hours of painful communion, and to babble with rapture that they were at last, for a little while, they were no longer alone.”
— The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
9. Dorothy Parker, Whiskey Sour
Parker was known for her drinking and suicidal tendencies but she remains one of the most accomplished female writers of poetry, prose and screenplays.
“I wish I could drink like a lady
I can take one or two at the most
Three and I’m under the table
Four and I’m under the host.”
8. William Faulkner, Mint Juleps
The Nobel Prize winning author was one of the few writers to admit that drinking didn’t fuel his creative process. Faulkner simply used alcohol as an “escape valve” from the pressures of his life.
“There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty; then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.”
7. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gin
Fitzgerald became a heavy drinker in college. While his health began declining, he continued to drink gin because it couldn’t be detected on his breath.
“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
― This Side of Paradise
6. Jack Kerouac, Margaritas
The beat poet had many poor, drunk, hitchhiking excursions in Mexico where he fueled his love for alcohol with margaritas. At 47 years young, Kerouac died from liver failure.
“What do you want out of life?” I asked, and I used to ask that all the time of girls.
I don’t know,” she said. “Just wait on tables and try to get along.” She yawned. I put my hand over her mouth and told her not to yawn. I tried to tell her how excited I was about life and the things we could do together; saying that, and planning to leave Denver in two days. She turned away wearily. We lay on our backs, looking at the ceiling and wondering what God had wrought when He made life so sad.”
― On the Road
5. Edna St. Vincent Millay, Rum Sidecars
The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner and playwright was known for her feminist activism and her whimsical attitude towards writing and her drinking habits.
“I drank at every vine. The last was like the first. I came upon no wine. So wonderful as thirst.”
4. Hunter S. Thompson, Wild Turkey
Originally from Kentucky, its no surprise that Thompson’s favorite drink was whiskey. Wild Turkey beat out Chivas Regal Scotch, bloody Mary’s and gin, coupled with occasional grams of cocaine and prescription medication.
“It gave me a strange feeling, and the rest of that night I didn’t say much, but merely sat there and drank, trying to decide if I was getting older and wiser, or just plain old.”
― The Rum Diary
3. Edgar Allan Poe, Cognac
The legendary writer, editor and poet of the American Romantic Movement allegedly spiked his drinks with opiates. He tragically passed away at the age of 40. His cause of death is still unknown but has been attributed to alcohol, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, among many other theories.
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
2. Ernest Hemingway, Mimosas
Bullfights, boxing, big-game hunting, fishing and numerous awards, Papa lived hard and drank hard. When his dear friend F. Scott Fitzgerald penned a memoir confessing his creative decline, Papa simply told him, “toss your balls into the sea — if you have any balls left.”
“Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares. If you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.”
1. Charles Bukowski, Boilermakers
Throughout Buk’s semi-autobiographical novels, his alter-ego Henry Chinaski drinks anything he can get his hands on. Hank could usually be found dropping shots of whiskey into his beer glass.
“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you’re allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.”
—Interview, London Magazine, 1975