Cocktail (Drinker) of the Week: Kingsley Amis

“I have seen grown men close to blows over whether you should or should not bruise the mint in a Mint Julep”
By Beatrix Swanson
Sir Kingsley Amis, who died 26 years ago today, may have been a Booker Prize winner, towering figure of mid- to late-20th-century British literature, and author of over 40 books, but he was perhaps even more prolific in drinking.

Though he had a clear penchant for cocktails, and gave many of his own rather creative recipes in books like 1972’s On Drink (Bovril punch, anyone?), he professes, in the same volume: “Scotch whisky is my desert island drink [his favourite was The Macallan 10, back before it was cool]. I mean, not only that it's my favourite but that for me it comes nearer than anything else to being a drink for all occasions and all times of day.”

As we at Whisky Magazine would tend to share that sentiment, we thought it fitting to send you into the coming no-doubt chilly weekend with one of Amis’s own whisky cocktail recipes. This is “an unusual evening warmer” (at least in name) from Everyday Drinking (1983) — ingredient list provided by us.

The Broken Leg


5oz/140ml apple juice
A few raisins
1 cinnamon stick
1 slice lemon
2oz/60ml bourbon (or stretch the definition of ‘a couple of ounces' if you want to be true to Amis)


“Slowly heat about a quarter of a pint of apple juice in a saucepan with a few raisins, a cinnamon stick and a lemon slice. When it starts to bubble, strain into a preheated glass or mug. Pour a couple of ounces of bourbon whiskey into the pan, warm for a few seconds and pour into the remainder.”

Photo credit: Independent/Alamy

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