Gerald and Sara Murphy partied with Picasso in 1920s Paris and inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, but their story was shrouded in mystery until writer Calvin Tompkins, by chance, became their neighbor. Tomkins talked to The Paris Review about his friendship with the Murphys and MoMA’s new reprint of his book about their lives.
She was not a legitimate beauty– thank God. Her beauty was not legitimate at all. It was all in her eyes. They were strange eyes, brooding but not sad, severe, almost masculine in their directness. She possessed an astounding gaze, one doesn’t find it often in women..perfectly level and head-on.
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or wineglass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
It’s a name you would associate with the liqueur Baileys, but it has nothing to do with it. The drink was invented by Gerald Murphy, he and Sara Murphy were a pair of well-known American expatriates who moved on the French Riviera in the 1920s. The two were known for their parties and large social circle, some of the famous names include Pablo Picasso, Dorothy Parker and the Hemingways.
This could well be the drink that introduced Ernest Hemingway to the idea of combining grapefruit juice and lime juice, as it clearly resembles the Hemingway Special or Papa Doble. As a Wall Street Journal columnist Eric Felten once wrote, “just a teaspoon of sugar or simple syrup makes the drink sing.” And he’s absolutely right about that, just as I love my Hemingway Special made with only a teaspoon of maraschino, this drink profits from it’s large amount of tart ingredients to only a touch of sweetness, making it that extra refreshing.
Below is the original method as stated by Gerald Murphy:
“The mint should be put in the shaker first. It should be torn up by hand as it steeps better. The gin should be added then and allowed to stand a minute or two. Then add the grapefruit juice and then the lime juice. Stir vigorously with ice and do not allow to dilute too much, but serve very cold, with a sprig of mint in each glass.”
I fully agree with his “steeping mint in gin” part, but I always prefer shaking my drink containing juices, just as long as you double strain out the broken pieces of mint at the end.