There are no harsh words with this drink. In fact, the first sip tastes of sweetness, but as the flavors linger on the palate, you experience its complexity with a dry bite on the finish, which makes you want that next sip.
Inspired by the gloriously contentious debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr., during the 1968 Republican and Democratic National conventions, these two warriors of the spoken word battled each other for ten nights, and in the process, raised the level of public discourse. With trenchant arguments, elegant exchanges, classical allusions, witty yet acerbic wordplay, and subtle yet potent invective. Their intellect was bristling, as was their undisguised rancor for each other. But this was not about the argumentum ad hominem (except for a single time, to Buckley’s lasting shame and regret), but of elevated discourse. An edifying battle of two razor-sharp minds in peak condition, like a prizefight of intelligence. Nunc est bibendum.
1½ parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Whiskey
1 part Vya Sweet Vermouth
½ part Drambuie
splash of Goldschläger
1 part fresh-squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit juice
dash of Bittermens Boston bitters
Shake everything over ice, then strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a long grapefruit twist.
Best of Enemies movie trailer
Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.
A still from Best of Enemies