Friday, February 3, 2017

The Fay Wray Cocktail & Jimmy and Fay

Michael Mayo is getting behind the bar today to tell us how to make the Fay Ray Cocktail and how it's the perfect drink for his novel, Jimmy and Fay. 

About Jimmy and Fay (Mysterious Press/Open Road; paperback, digital and audio editions)

In the midst of Prohibition, Jimmy Quinn joins forces with screen siren Fay Wray to take on a King Kong–size case of extortion.

It’s March 2, 1933. King Kong is premiering at Radio City Music Hall, and Fay Wray is about to become the most famous actress on earth. So what's she doing hanging around a rundown Manhattan speakeasy? This Hollywood scream queen has come to see Jimmy Quinn, a limping tough guy who knows every gangster in New York—and does his best to steer clear of them all.

A blackmailer has pictures of a Fay Wray lookalike engaged in conduct that would make King Kong blush, and Fay's movie studio—with the cooperation of a slightly corrupt NYPD detective—wants the threat eliminated. Jimmy tries to settle the matter quietly, but stopping the extortion will cut just as deeply as Fay's famous scream, ringing from Broadway all the way to Chinatown.

Jimmy and Fay is the 3rd book in the Jimmy Quinn Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

About Michael Mayo

Michael Mayo has written about film for the Washington Post and the Roanoke Times. He was the host of the nationally syndicated radio programs Movie Show on Radio and Max and Mike on the Movies. He is the author of American Murder: Criminals, Crime, and the Media. His first novel, Jimmy the Stick, was published in 2012. Mayo lives in North Carolina. Website:


Fay Wray, best-known for her role in King Kong, is a character in Jimmy and Fay. At the time of the book, the movie has just debuted. 

Here is a recipe for a “Fay Wray cocktail” (created by bartender Joseph Jordan at The Crunkleton, Chapel Hill, NC, Nov. 15, 2016). 

One egg white
½  oz. cinnamon gum syrup made with pineapple
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
Dash Angostura bitters
½ oz. Montenegro
1/8 oz. Benedictine
1 ½ oz. Bruichladdich Islay Barley Scotch
Pinch salt

Mix ingredients and dry shake to break down proteins.
Add ice and shake again vigorously
Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass
Top with four dots of cinnamon aromatic bitters

Like its namesake, the Fay Wray is more spicy than sweet. The egg white gives it body. Bruichladdich is not a peaty, smoky Scotch, and so the drink is well balanced.


  1. The Fay Wray cocktail sounds very intriguing and unique!

  2. All right, confession time. A week or so after the creation of the Fay Wray cocktail, my wife, my sister and I went back to the Crunkleton. (It is, by the way, one of the South’s great bars.) I proudly ordered a Fay Wray so that they could witness its complex creation and revel in its deliciousness. I also assumed that at least one of them would want it. Wrong. They were dubious. My wife ordered an Angel’s Envy bourbon on the rocks; my sister an Old-Fashioned. As I sat between them at the bar, sipping this ornate concoction and they had their whiskies, I had to admit that the Fay Wray is not the most masculine of cocktails. Yes, it’s tasty and potent but, gentlemen, I advise that you order one for your date. If you have the option, stick with the Angel’s Envy for yourself.

    Michael Mayo