"China's traditional grain spirit, baijiu, has evolved—mostly in obscurity—along a trajectory that has no Western equivalent." "Whereas Western grain alcohols are fermented and distilled in liquid form, the Chinese perform both processes in a solid state ..."
“When it came to hard liquor . . . Americans preferred bourbon whiskey. Vodka was still mysterious, a drink yet to be discovered.” The story of how a colorless, odorless, tasteless spirit became a billion-dollar business in less than fifty years. (SLWeeklyStandard)
I Have Seen The Future And It's American Straight Whiskey: How many things do you know that get not only better but more numerous with every passing year? You could call it Bourbon, of course, it you wished to exclude the superb Tennessee products of Jack Daniel's and George Dickel (just because they charcoal-filter their otherwise equally impeccable straight whiskey), but you should know that this is only the result of a strictly commercial rivalry between the two main producers: Brown-Forman (who own Jack Daniel's in Tennessee) and Jim Beam (who make only Kentucky straight whiskies, i.e. Bourbons). Call it American straight whiskey and be proud! [More inside.]
Portugal: Officially the greediest, laziest and most drunken country in the West. What dubious, highly debatable sources of pride do you attribute to your own country?
The Amazon.com Of Spirits is getting closer and closer, with California's BevMo now giving Internet Wines and Sam's a good run for their money. If you cunningly use Wine Enthusiast and the Chicago Institute for your tasting notes (I don't much like the gushing, amateurish drivel on Epinions, but some reviews are surprisingly good) you're away and ready to say: "Wake up Mr. Bezos - your time may be almost up. What are you waiting for, kind sir?" [I linked to vodka selections for comparison purposes, but here are the main links to BevMo , Internet Wines and Sam's. Unfortunately, I failed to find a good price comparison guide to complete the package. As for European online spirits retailers, I found none with the kind of range a discerning drinker will countenance.]
"The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)" is the Trade Association for "America's favorite brands of distilled spirits." They try to promote pro-liquor causes such as reducing tariffs on alcohol and increasing the number of states selling it Sunday. Here is where it gets interesting: their site is at: www.discus.health.org/ which is (obviously) a subdomain of health.org. If you go to health.org there is no mention of DISCUS involvement. The health.org 'about' page implies that the site is jointly run by several Federal Agencies. Health.org itself seems devoted to stopping drugs in their seedy illegal tracks. Take a look at: "Marijuana: Weeding out the hype" or this "Prevention Alert" which suggests "Skewed articles can be used in the classroom to provide 'teachable moments' in seeking the facts about... ecstasy." Is it troubling that "the trade association for... America's favorite brands of distilled spirits" is operating behind the scenes of the 'government sponsored' anti-drug site with no disclosure? Would it be too jaded to conclude that when health.org commands teens: "If you're smoking marijuana--stop!" that the puppet master is more worried about the fierce competition presented by non-alcoholic drugs than they are genuinely concerned about the health.org of young people?