Among detective novelists, Raymond Chandler was the king of the cocktail. Philip Marlowe without a drink is very nearly as unthinkable as Humphrey Bogart – who played Marlowe in "The Big Sleep" (1946) – without fedora, trench coat, and unfiltered cigarette. Chandler was very particular about his drinks and liked switching favorites from book to book. In "The Lady in the Lake" (1943), a "wizened waiter with evil eyes and a face like a gnawed bone" serves Marlowe a Bacardi cocktail – we'd probably call it a daiquiri (juice of one lime, two shots of rum, sugar). By the time of "Playback" (1958), Chandler's last book, Marlowe has begun to favor double Gibsons (gin and vermouth as in a Martini, but with a cocktail onion substituted for the olive or lemon twist).
Chandler liked gimlets so much he included a recipe in "The Long Goodbye" (1953). In the book Marlowe and his pal Terry Lennox make a habit of meeting at Victor's and drinking gimlets. "What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters," Terry Lennox says scornfully. "A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow." (He's right, though I’d go a little easier on the Rose’s and serve it on the rocks.) Yet even the flawed gimlets at Victor's do the trick. Says Terry Lennox, "I like bars just after they open for the evening. When the air inside is still cool and clean and everything is shiny and the barkeep is giving himself that last look in the mirror to see if his tie is straight and his hair is smooth. I like the neat bottles on the bar back and the lovely shining glasses and the anticipation. I like to watch the man mix the first one of the evening and put it down on a crisp mat and put the little folded napkin beside it. I like to taste it slowly. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar."