This just in from purveyor of quality fiction, and my amico (he lives in Italy) Matthew Licht; it’s a passage from the novel The Professional by W.C. Heinz. Matthew says he pretty much shares Ernest Hemingway's opinion, and personally I'm not sure I've ever read ANY boxing novel, so who am I to judge? The passage in question runs thus:
"No matter how sad this character is," Dave said, "he makes a good dry murder."
"He should. He's an expert."
"Yes. When he was drinking he had enough of those to fill this lake out here."
"He never should have stopped."
"A doctor scared him. He used to drink them out of milk bottles."
"Who?" Dave said. "The doctor?"
"Please," Fred said. "Drinking martinis out of milk bottles. Don't spoil these."
"Are you kidding about that?"
"No. Years ago there was a dinner here one night. The Lions Club, or something in town, was having its annual Volksfest or bonspiel or whatever, and Girot made up a batch of martinis in milk bottles beforehand. He had them in the refrigerator behind the bar, and when he came down the next morning he remembered one bottle was left. So, in the course of one day, he got to sneaking that. He told me about it once, when he was still drinking, and I used to see him nip the bottle. He got to like them that way. He always had a bottle of them in there--and banged them like that, right out of it."
"Now I like them less than ever," Fred said. "What a way to treat a martini."
"I know what you mean," Dave said. "The dry martini--to be sipped from shell-thin, prefrosted glasses in the quiet dignity of the Ritz's men's bar late of a sparkling autumn afternoon."
"Precisely," I said. "It has always seemed to me that the dry martini is the épée of alcoholic weapons, to be handled as such."
"No. The épée in the armory of alcohol."
As you may know, I’m of the belief that two small martinis always beats one big martini, but to each his own. And of course, I have a terrible feeling that there are a great many “young people” out there who don’t realize that milk ever came in bottles.