Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lanterns on the Levee - 2 Southern Concoctions

Walker Percy

The American novelist Walker Percy became the adopted son of William Alexander Percy, after both his parents died separately (allegedly by their own hands).

William Alexander Percy

One of my favorite books is his The Last Gentleman 1966], a story about the contemporary South, one man's search for his lost soul, and the connections between his quest for identity as a Southerner, and the long requiem of Confederate defeat. His first novel, The Moviegoer, won the National Book Award in 1962.

William Alexander Percy was himself a poet of some renown, and the author of a memoir, Lanterns on the Levee [1941]. He was regarded as a sort of Southern spiritual-literary father figure to the Fugitives, which included John Crow Ransom, Allen Tate and Robert Penn Warren.

Walker Percy was a boyhood friend with Shelby Foote, the Southern novelist and historian, familiar to viewers of Ken Burns's PBS mini-series The Civil War, as the crusty raconteur of the Confederate officer corps.

Shelby Foote

In honor of both generations of Percys, here are two equatorial inspirations from the cabinet of booze.

The recipes--as always, by proportion--

First Expression --

2 parts french armagnac
2 parts 151 rum
2 parts green melon rum
dash Fernet Branca
dash bitters

--stirred lightly in ice and served up, perhaps with a very thin slice of honeydew melon dropped in.

Second Expression --

2 parts bourbon
2 parts raspberry syrup
1 part butterscotch liqueur
1/2 orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
1/2 sweet lime
1/2 part orange juice

--stirred lightly in ice and served in a tall tumbler, or up, with a thin shave of sweated orange peel dropped in.

End of Summer coming. Those hot Southern days. Wandering the French Quarter, or the town square in Savannah in early morning.


J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jh said...

what saved percy from following
the tragedy of his parents

some sort of ardency of the heart


Craig said...

Percy's greatest literary acheivement in my view was the posthumous publication of John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces.

jh said...

no doubt craig
quite an achievement
i loved that book

i'm reading percy's essays now
perhaps the brightest and crankiest intellectual the south has produced
his essays bring out the man better than the novels

we could use a dose or two of that kind of honesty
in the contemporary scene

pathos like a bitter liquer