Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Gonzo Breakfast / Gonzo Glaucoma

The late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who died by his own hand earlier this week, was not famous for writing about food. However, there are a couple of passages worthy of note here.

The first is his view of the ritual of breakfast, written in 1976:

I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon: anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least 1 psychic anchor every 24 hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas, or at home -- and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed -- breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon or corned-beef has with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert ... Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next 24 hours, and at least one source of good music ... all of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked.

In a later paragraph of this article ("Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1976," Rolling Stone, no. 214, p. 54-64) he mentions that breakfast takes 3 hours for him. I can believe it, even allowing for his habitual blend of fact and fiction in his writing. I also have to take into account the fact that he had a more active metabolism than most people; I sure as heck wouldn't want to try to eat that much, even in three hours.

By the way, the above passage was quoted from Thompson's book The Great Shark Hunt, a select compilation of his work to 1977. In the title article, Thompson describes another recipe, this one for an alcoholic drink:

... Bloor's mannerisms were becoming more and more psychotic. He took one sip of his drink, then whacked it down onto the table and stared at me. "What is this?" he snarled.

"A double margarita," I said, glancing over at the waitress to see if she had her eye on us.

She did, and Bloor waved at her.

"What do you want?" I whispered.

"Glaucoma," he said.

The waitress was on us before I could argue. Glaucoma is an extremely complicated mix of about nine unlikely ingredients that Bloor had learned from some randy old woman he met on the porch of the Bal-Hai. She'd taught the bartender there how to make it: very precise measurements of gin, tequila, Kahlua, crushed ice, fruit juices, lime rinds, spices -- all mixed to perfection in a tall frosted glass.

I wondered if this drink recipe actually existed. As it turns out, it does:


1 oz Vodka
1 oz Rum
1 oz Gin
1 oz Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
4 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp SugarIce

Pour all ingredients over crushed ice in a shaker. Shake well. Strain into a frosted glass.


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