By Misha Grunbaum

Susan Sontag's As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 is out this week. This central portion ranges from when her hair was jet black to when that famous white stripe started creeping in. And because "Susan Sontag" should always be uttered in the same sentence as "cocktails," I've come up with a white-stripe cocktail with a nice purplish tinge to sip while reading her pensées.

The Sontag

2 parts Creme de Cassis (frozen for two hours beforehand)

1 part Triple Sec (kept at room temperature)

2 parts Sloe Gin (kept at room temperature)

In a pousse-cafe glass, pour in the creme de cassis, which should be already chilled to increase its density.

Hold a small spoon upside down over the cassis, with only the tip touching the cassis (as in the image below). Slowly pour the triple sec over the curve of the spoon so that it will float on top of the cassis.

Using a new, dry spoon, slowly pour the sloe gin over the triple sec in the same way to create a third layer.

Voilà! You now have a white-stripe cocktail as refined as Sontag herself. Now go read about what turns her on.


Susan Sontag image credit: Peter Hujar, Susan Sontag, 1975,; spoon layering image credit: