Thursday, September 3, 2015

Russell Scott's Guide to Books & Booze

Time to grab a book and get tipsy!

Books & Booze, a mini-series of sorts here on TNBBC, challenges participating authors to make up their own drinks, name and all, or create a drink list for their characters and/or readers using drinks that already exist. 

Today, Russell Scott (AKA Scott Anderson) creates his own version of a well known drink and names it after himself.....


Sundowners, Gin and Tonic, and Death in the Afternoon

The action in the new novel, The Hard Times, by my alter ego Russell Scott centers around an ER doctor, Ray Moffett, who is determined to ruin his life. That he wants to go big-game hunting in Africa, despite the fact that he's never fired a gun gives you a hint as to how precariously he is balanced mentally. In learning the legends of Africa he goes to the books, Ruark, Capstick, and Hemmingway's books to be exact, and one of those traditions he can't wait to embrace is that of the sundowner. Now, a sundowner is more of a when than a what, it is the drink shared, usually around a fire at the end of a hunting day, as the sun goes down. It's a wonderful experience to sit, drink in hand, and tell the days tales, kid the one who missed their shot, commiserate about a blown stalk, or frankly lie accompanied by the soundtrack of the African game around you in the gathering dark. A drink is so much more meaningful with the occasional roar, yip, howl, or yell in the night.  What you drink is nowhere near as important as that you are sharing it with your companions.  In my glass, I drank a drink of equal parts 7-up, water, and Stolichnaya Limonnaya vodka. I called it a Lifesaver. Ray is more traditional and his sundowner is the classic - a gin and tonic. 

But in veneration of Papa Ernest, I have decided it is appropriate to share my personal version of the Hemmingway classic cocktail, Death in the Afternoon, the Hemmingway version entailed a jigger of Absinthe poured into a champagne glass, then adding iced champagne until the appropriate milkiness is achieved. Papa advised that one should drink three to five of these slowly, so as not to over do oneself. The problem is that, so much Absinthe emulsifying saps the effervescence of the Champagne, thus I have come up with my own version, which I will credit to my pseudonym Russell Scott:

Russell Scott

My drink is a fairly special one - a light little thing - with Absinthe it is rumored to be an, aphrodisiac as well, I will say that once, after drinking several at a party at my home, a young couple asked if they could beg for closet privileges, in order that they might have sex in my closet, I didn't see why not, so I said sure, and directing them to the closet that held my guns and gear off my study. Telling my wife a few moments later not to go into the closet because our friends were intimately engaged, did not have the expected effect of making her think that I was a wonderful host and terrific bartender and I subsequently had to endure a rather lengthy explanation as to why we don't allow people to have sex in our closets. I suppose they might covet my shoes or shell vests. . . . anyway, enough of these silly preliminaries.

 - rinse a champagne flute with Absinthe or Herbsant,
fill with crushed or shaved ice,
add 1.5 oz of Canton ginger liquor,
then fill the remainder of the glass up with Prosecco,
garnish with a bit of mint.

It was originally called only Scott's drink, ie, will you make me one of Scott's drinks?  He and I hope you find it to your liking, unlike Papa, I suggest that you drink them slowly one at a time until you determine your tolerance, and no, do not ask to use the closet.

To check out The Hard Times and see how Ray fares in his quest to redefine his life visit us at or the books website,

Russell Scott is the pen name of Russell Scott Anderson, M.D. He is a radiation oncologist who serves as the medical director of Anderson Cancer Center in Meridian, Miss. He is a former Navy diver who worked in operations in the Middle East, Central America, and in support of the Navy’s EOD community, SEALS, the U.S. Army’s Green Berets, the Secret Service, and the New York Police Department at various times during his time in the service.

The father of seven has written the family oriented literary columns Una Voce and The Uncommon Thread in the Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association. He has also served the Journal as the chairman of the editorial advisory board. A collection of his columns was published as The Uncommon Thread in 2012. He has also written as screenwriter R.S. Anderson on several feature films, he is the author of the novels Timedonors Wanted and The Hard Times under the pseudonym Russell Scott, and is the editor of the literary journal China Grove.

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