So famous is Ernst Hemingway’s passion for a good drink that Philip Greene wrote a book about it , which explores Papa’s drinking habits and the drinks that appear into his books. Hemingway loved martinis and created his own version called “The Montgomery”, named after Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, the British general who would not go into battle unless he outnumbered his opposition by 15 to 1, the ratio of gin to vermouth that Hemingway used in his martinis.
Hemingway – who in his maturity years engaged with cocktail-making with an alchemical precision – had his way to fix a Martini: freezing the glass beforehand so it stuck to the palm, sliding in “just enough Vermouth to cover the bottom of the glass” and topping up with gin. The recommended garnish were Spanish cocktail onions, very crisp and 15 degrees below zero. Finally, Papa’s trick to get his cocktails icy-cold is not known to many: freezing water in tennis ball tubes to make massive ice cylinders.