Dorothy Parker liked a great martini, so when information unfold that the enduring New York author’s stays had been lastly to be buried within the metropolis, a Brooklyn distiller and diehard fan provided to assist pay for her headstone — by making a particular batch of gin in her identify.
Dorothy Parker Roundtable Reserve Gin can be obtainable for sale Monday — the 54th anniversary of Parker’s demise. A portion of the proceeds of the small-batch gin, created by the New York Distilling Co. in Williamsburg, can be donated to a memorial fund to assist protect her legacy. The bottles are $50 every.
Parker was a member of the Round Table, a gaggle of writers and actors who met for lunch on the Algonquin Hotel, starting in 1919. The every day alcohol-infused lunches had been attended by playwright Noel Coward, “New Yorker” editor Harold Ross and actress Tallulah Bankhead, amongst others. The group usually engaged in charades and poker, and witty phrase play. During one notably memorable recreation, Parker was requested to make use of the phrase “horticulture” in a sentence. “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think,” she deadpanned.
“I have been a fan of Dorothy Parker since I was in college,” mentioned Allen Katz, proprietor of the distilling enterprise, who advised The Post that he and his spouse exchanged their marriage ceremony vows by studying one another a Parker brief story greater than a decade in the past.
“She was one of the contemporary cultural figures of the moment in New York City and had a direct impact on cocktail culture,” he mentioned. “For me, it was a way to honor her memory.”
Parker’s ashes went on a long, strange trip after her 1967 demise from a coronary heart assault in an Upper East Side lodge room.
The satirist, poet, journal author and activist left her complete property, together with all future royalties, to Martin Luther King Jr. Upon his demise, the property was to change into the property of the NAACP. But her will left no directions on what to do with her stays. As a end result, her ashes sat in an urn in a Westchester crematory for six years earlier than they had been despatched to the Manhattan workplace of her lawyer, the place they languished in a submitting cupboard for one other 15 years.
In 1988, after gossip columnist Liz Smith wrote in regards to the destiny of the ashes, the NAACP determined to create a memorial outdoors its Baltimore headquarters. But when the group introduced it was considering of transferring to Washington in 2006, Parker’s household intervened and demanded the ashes be disinterred and returned to New York to be buried in a household plot at Woodlawn Cemetery within the Bronx.
It took 14 years for the household to retrieve the ashes with the assistance of Kevin Fitzpatrick, head of the New York-based Dorothy Parker Society. Fitzpatrick took a practice to Baltimore to select up the urn, which was exhumed on Aug. 18, 2020. Parker’s stays had been buried subsequent to her mom 4 days later, on Parker’s birthday, with Fitzpatrick and civil rights activist Hazel Dukes among the many handful of mourners.
“We’re glad she’s back in New York, and we’re thrilled about the gin,” mentioned Susan Cotton, considered one of Parker’s grandnieces who lives in upstate New York. Cotton advised The Post she was not in a position to journey to the town for the burial though she did commemorate her nice aunt’s birthday by ingesting a martini.
She will drink one other one on Monday to commemorate Parker’s demise, and is planning a visit to the Bronx with her two sisters for the disclosing of the $10,000 headstone in August.
The particular gin will only be available on the lodge and The Shanty, the distiller’s bar, in addition to on-line. Only 250 bottles with a drawing of Parker by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, can be obtainable.
Although Cotton mentioned the household has nonetheless not determined what the headstone will say, they could flip to Parker herself for inspiration, particularly with reference to martinis: “I love a martini. But two at the most. Three, I’m under the table. Four, I’m under the host.”