I always wonder if it's in questionable taste to recommend books by, and featuring, alcoholics (or very heavy drinkers) with yet more alcohol. But then I think if I avoided every writer who had had a drink problem I'd have to get rid of a lot of books I love and maybe it doesn't do to be overly worried about these things.
I love a bit of Raymond Chandler, and hard boiled noir generally, both on film and in book form, for it's stylishness, but also for the very real feeling that the world weary cynicism has come from a generation who had genuinely seen, and lost, to much. There's more than a whiff of ptsd about some of these characters.
I have a copy of 'The Long Goodbye' but I haven't read it yet. If I didn't have it it would be right at the top of my wish list - you can't go wrong with a handful of modern classics under the Christmas tree either (annoyingly when talk turns to presents this year people keep telling me they're not going to buy me more books - which is fine, but they say it like someone can have to many books, which is obviously nonsense).
Meanwhile the reason I've chosen this book with this drink is because Chandler (who I would more naturally associate with bourbon or other whisky) basically defines the gimlplet in this book. Before 'The Long Goodbye' a gimlet seems to have quite commonly have had soda water in it as well as gin and lime, since 'The Long Goodbye' it's accepted that the proper way to make one is half and half gin and rose's lime cordial (well chilled and in a martini glass).
The Gin Foundry recommends Sipsmith's VJOP (very junipery over proof) as the gin to use. It's an excellent gin, but it's very strong, so I'd be more inclined to go for an old fashioned classic like Tanqueray, Beefeater, or Plymouth - especially Plymouth if you want to honour the naval connections the gimlet has. The other option would be to go for one of the new wave American gins. Whatever the choice I'm seeing this combination as perfect for Boxing Day.