Cocktails

The Bellini and Hemingway

From the New York Times, a Bellini Video Recipe.  The Bellini — the Times‘s drink for Wednesday — is not nearly as silly as it sounds.  The cocktail is best-known for being served at Harry’s Bar in Venice.

At its tables, according to the website, Hemingway held forth:

During the long, cold winter of 1949-50, Ernest Hemingway installed himself comfortably in the Concordia room. Hemingway practically dropped in on us that year, and divided his time between the Inn on Torcello, the Gritti, and Harry’s Bar, where he had a table of his own in a corner. He was the only client with whom once during an outing to Torcello I had to drink a little myself – much, much more than a little, actually – just to keep up with him.

Hemingway was the only client, I was saying, because I have always believed that the client’s place is on one side of the counter, and the barman’s is on the other.  Everything in its place….but he had such an overwhelming personality that it was impossible to maintain any barriers.

He was generous to a fault, and filled more pages of his check-book than those of a medium length novel.

At the time, he was just finishing “Over the River and Into the Trees” in which he mentions Harry’s Bar many times. Every time I hear someone say “Hemingway sure gave you a lot of free promotion!” I say: “You’re all wet, Bud. It was me and my bar that promoted him. They gave him the Nobel prize afterwards, not before.”