“Sometimes, the words don’t flow as easily as the whiskey.” This quote, sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill, could not be more true. Many writers have certainly felt the pain of writer’s block. But as for putting pen to paper, many authors and screenplay writers flow the whiskey into the words they are writing and write the drinking into the scene. There are many books, movies, and television shows that feature fictional characters enjoying a cocktail or two, or even a bottle! Below are some of the most well-known examples of whiskey at work.
- John Steinbeck created his share of whiskey moments in the famous Dust Bowl novel Grapes of Wrath. In the beginning of the novel, Tom Joad downs an entire pint while getting back to his family. And throughout the book, Joad’s Uncle John loves the stuff.
Steinbeck didn’t just stop with one novel of imbibing, however. He also made Old Tennessee whiskey a big part of his novel Cannery Row, another Great Depression novel where the characters decide to throw a thank-you party and need a little liquor to help the cause.
- Scott Fitzgerald certainly took the roaring twenties seriously in The Great Gatsby, a book simply oozing with alcohol. In the time of Prohibition, his characters loved to drink. Jay Gatsby’s drink of choice was the Gin Rickey, which featured gin, bourbon, and lime juice.
- In Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, James Wormold is a keen collector of miniature whiskey bottles. He is also a very clever man, and he uses 12 Scotch minis and 12 bourbon minis to get the police chief drunk and steal a list of spies. Due to the use of these many mini booze bottles, Wormold is able to get the chief drunk, steal the spy list, and make himself look good to his superiors. Whiskey to the rescue!
- Horrible Bosses, Seth Gordon’s dark comedy, tells the tale of three people who set out to murder their oppressive bosses. In order to pull off such a feat, one could imagine that alcohol would be involved! But scotch for breakfast? In one famous scene, Kevin Spacey and Jason Bateman are drinking scotch at 8:15 a.m.
- You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming is a novel expression of the very famous character James Bond. Both the man and the novel are all about excess. The martini drinker of movie fame has literally gone off the deep end when it comes to liquor in this fictional novel. One morning, after a night of excess and partying, he has a breakfast of champions: painkillers, a double portion of eggs benedict, and an entire pint of Jack Daniels.
- Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror-thriller The Shining is no stranger to whiskey either. The protagonist Jack Torrance is a struggling writer and former alcoholic who ends up as a hotel caretaker, and of course, needs a little drinking of Jack Daniels to keep him going!
- Lost in Translation, has at its very premise the advertisement of whiskey. Bill Murray’s character, who was busy with a mid-life crisis, was sent to Tokyo to promote Suntory whiskey, and he certainly spends a good amount of his time drinking Hibiki 17-year while he works through his problems. Nothing like whiskey taking center stage!
- Kingsman The Golden Circle is a spoofy action spy comedy that has a larger-than-life plot. Jeff Bridges’ character, Old Forester Statesman, enjoys his Straight Bourbon Whiskey as the plot unfolds and the spy heroes come to fruition.
- Ron Burgundy of Anchorman fame was known to scream “I love Scotch! Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch! Here it goes down, down into my belly!” This lively character knew a good drink when he saw it. In his case, he favored Odin’s Raven Blended Scotch as his whiskey of choice.
- Another Ron, Ron Swanson, is the larger-than-life character from the sitcom Parks and Rec and rounds out our list. Though not quite a movie, this cult-favorite show is known for its quirky humor and wild characters. Ron Swanson is known for drinking Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch, and Lagavulin even put him on a label!
You don’t have to live in a fictional world to enjoy whiskey. And there are more than a few whiskeys that are perfect for cuddling up with a good book or a good movie. For starters, try Harlem Standard Bourbon Whiskey, which is aged for over four years in American White Oak Barrels. This deep caramel and cream taste will offer you a toasted nutty flavor and leave you with a spicy finish. Another must-drink whiskey is Harlem Standard American Straight Whiskey This whiskey is aged over 3 years with floral tones along with honey, maple, and citrus flavors and offers drinkers a spicey, honeyed finish.