In Chapter 23 of Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit, Constance and Geraldine go to visit John Ward, a real-life attorney who did actually continue to turn up in the Kopps’ lives over the years. He was, I suspect, a bit of a playboy, and I definitely play up that part of his personality in my version of events. (There’s a photo and brief bio of him here.) In this scene, Ward and his law partner, Peter McGinnis, start joking about cocktails and making up names of cocktails to fit their client.
Willful Deserter is one drink they mention (referring to a divorce case in which a man deserts his wife), and you’ll recognize the ingredients from other lines in that conversation. This is basically a fancy version of a Moscow Mule, a drink that wasn’t popular until the 1950s—but Constance Kopp is always ahead of her time.