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Our Time: Cocktails with a Literary Twist at MWF18

With America in the grips of an economic recession, Ernest Hemingway did what any artist might to revive oneself: invent the perfect cocktail. ‘Death in the Gulf Stream’, to be enjoyed anytime from 11am onward, was a “reviving and refreshing” concoction that “cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life” – the perfect salve for 1937.

A tribute to Hemingway and a nod to this year’s theme, A Matter of Life and Death, literature-loving Melbourne Gin Company have created their own cocktail for times to be served daily at the Festival Bar. A nod to Hemingway’s first collection of short stories, ‘Our Time’ will also be available for your tasting pleasure at two of our showcase events, Irvine Welsh: Redemption and Second Last Rites: Magda’s Funeral.

Our Time

A sign of the times indeed, sample the official Festival Cocktail over Hemingway’s In Our Time. 

30ml MGC
15ml lime juice
120ml Capi Grapefruit soda
2 dashes of Angostura bitters 

Serve with a lime wedge to garnish.


For some light ‘reading’ ahead of this year’s Festival, we’ve pulled together some of our other favourite cocktail and classic book pairings from MWF office staple, Tequila Mockingbird.

One Flew Over the Cosmo’s Nest 

Liberate your inner Nurse Ratched.

45ml vodka
30ml cranberry juide
15ml triple sec
15ml lime juice

Combine the ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Gin Eyre

Raise a glass of English gin to a legendary lady.

8 sprigs fresh mint
60ml English gin
30ml lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 dashes orange bitters

Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well and strained into cocktail glass.

A Rum of One’s Own

Who needs a man when you’ve got a drink this hot?

1/2 tablespoon salted butter, at room temperature
1 teapsooon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60ml dark rum

Place the butter, sugar and cinnamon at the bottom of a mud and mix well with a metal spoon. Pour in the rum and fill to the top with hot water. Stir and serve.

Lord of the Mai-Tais 

Serve in a conch shell. Don’t turn your back while drinking.

60ml cranberry juice
60ml orange juice
40ml light rum
30ml coconut run
1 teaspoon grenadine syrup
Orange slice, to garnish

Shake the ingredients with ice and pour into a Collins glass.