Vancouver has long struggled with a reputation as a "No Fun City", largely due to draconian BC liquor laws. Many prohibition-era laws were not repealed until 1999 or later. The struggle to bring fun to the city culminated in the 2010 Olympics; but on Saturday, the fun proved too much for city officials, and police ordered all downtown liquor stores to close at 7pm. [more inside]
An estimated 10,000 people died during the Prohibition years after drinking alcohol poisoned on the orders of the U.S. government.
The flying mammals were placed in a closed obstacle course on the forest floor. "It’s like walking a straight line," Fenton quipped, referring to a common test given to suspected drunk drivers by police —except to succeed, the bats had to maneuver around hanging plastic chains without crashing. Bats can fly drunk.
One person’s helpful mood improver, though, is another’s worryingly effective stimulant. "The drink is 15 percent alcohol by volume, a bit stronger than most wines. Also, each 750 milliliter bottle contains as much caffeine as eight cans of Coke." Scottish authorities are trying to reduce alcoholism in the country, but consumers still love their Buckfast, which has been linked to violent behavior by some, and dismissed as merely a scapegoat by others. [more inside]
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has published a position statement on the impact of the life style factors obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption on natural and medically assisted reproduction. Rationing health care is a complicated subject easily politicized. ESHRE has published five recommendations. While smoking and alcohol consumption can have a clearly negative impact on the fetus, so can apparently obesity. Is this part of a slippery slope or needed restraints on medical services? [more inside]
He drinks a whisky drink, He drinks a vodka drink, He drinks a lager drink, He pays a fortune for the privilege...
The House of Commons Health Committee recommends (report) that England should introduce a minimum price for alcohol. Unsurprisingly, the British Medical Association agrees, saying that the country needs "minimum pricing, higher taxation, reduced availability, improved regulation and better treatment for patients who have alcohol addiction problems" while the alcohol industry does not." So, what is the worth of a pint? [more inside]
The Violet Hour, a speakeasy styled lounge in Chicago with no sign, has been pushing the envelope in creative drink mixing since it opened in 2005. Toby Maloney, the Violet Hour's "Head Intoxocologist", had no problem posting on a Chicago food forum and sharing some of the drink recipes that have made his bar one of the most exciting in the country. [more inside]
The New York Times discusses some of the nation's most atrocious bands in the context of the Vans Warped Tour. We've seen some of these bands on the blue before, but never before has there been this much atrocity in one place. [more inside]
On 200 mg a day of baclofen, in an important meeting with several associate deans of my college and three new department chairs (I was made chair of my philosophy department just a few weeks before I tried to commit suicide), I fell asleep with my head on the conference room table and, for 40 minutes, everyone was too embarrassed to wake me. Somnolence is the most obvious and inconvenient side effect of baclofen. I reduced my dosage to 100 mg a day, and started taking it only at bedtime. A few days later, a colleague asked if I had changed my medicine. ‘Yes,’ I told her. ‘Why do you ask?’ She is German, an analytic philosopher, and therefore very direct: ‘You are drooling less than you were.’My Life as a Drunk is a searingly honest essay by novelist and philosophy professor Clancy Martin about his experiences with alcoholism, AA, valium and baclofen.
It's no secret that classic cocktails are back. Fresh fruit and house-made bitters and infusions are de rigueur, but no less important is the quality of the ice. Good ice and the right shake ensure that spirits are properly chilled and diluted and improve the cocktail's flavor profile.
On 5 December 1933, 75 years ago today, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the Twenty-First Amendment of the United States Constitution, signalling the end of the Prohibition era.
How many calories did you drink last night? Alcohol intake, rendered in food equivalents. [more inside]
NASCAR as little as they like it, has it's roots in Moonshine. Junior Johnson, one of the early heroes who is considered the greatest to never win a championship, has even gone legal with it after getting his start running Moonshine for his father. He was even the subject of a 1965 Tom Wolfe Essay as the Last American Hero. The latest cheating scandal to hit NASCAR? Junior just says they were doing their job, being creative, and just got caught.
How to make the worst White Russian ever. That's what you get for asking for cocktail at some super square looking business hotel adjacent to an exhibition center. Ok, ok, here's how to make a nice one. Ooh it looks like Jupiter. Try one hot. Teeny tiny Kahlua drinks. Do NOT cook pork in it. Oh, okay, go ahead. Make you own kahlua. It won't be as pretty as this. While we're adding coffee to booze why not add booze to coffee.
I know what you're thinking: "What if I attached a faucet to a watermelon and filled it with spiked watermelon juice so party guests could serve themselves right from the melon?"
Europeans Get Drunk to Have Sex. The UK has one of the worst reputations for binge drinking and underage sex but there are striking similarities between countries, a study found. A third of 16 to 35-year-old men and 23% of women questioned said they drank to increase their chance of sex. The study - of 1,341 young people in nine countries including the UK - is published in BMC Public Health. PDF available here. [more inside]
The Southern Foodways Alliance is one weighed-down church-supper table, full of oral history/blog projects like The Tamale Trail, the Boudin Trail, interviews and recipes from the Bartenders of New Orleans, photo essay/interviews from Birmingham's Greek-Americans, a mess o'homemade films, and a passel of event and BBQ-shack photos on Flickr, all smothered in the tangy-sweet academic goodness of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. These folks get my vote for most flavorful, funkiest food-loving folklorists in the lower forty-eight. [more inside]
Cantaloupe, garlic, ginger, habenero, kiwi, nutmeg, pineapple, spearmint, watermelon and many other vodka infusion experiments by the crack alconomics team of Waylan and Brendan.
ALLDEAD by Christopher Keeley. Photos of and commentary about the many friends he has made and lost during his years in the intervention business. (Some NSFW artsy nudity.) [more inside]
What Would Jesus Drink? -- “A rabbi, a priest and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and says, ‘What is this, a joke?’ In one Pennsylvania bar, it's no laughing matter. On the last Friday of every month, teams of chaplains...set up camp in the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, Penn. for a few hours to lend a sympathetic, non-judgmental ear to patrons looking for someone to listen to their tales of woe.” [more inside]
"In the U.S., they're mixing drinks with herbs and other weird ingredients, but in Ginza the best guys just polish their cocktails like jewels." And perhaps no Japanese mixology master has contributed more than Kauzo Ueda, who has perfected the art of the hard shake, a refinement over more traditional shake styles. He has a disciple in NYC's Eben Freeman, who now imparts the secrets of the hard shake via a video tutorial. [more inside]
"It is binge drinking. We don't see people who've had just two drinks. People have had 20 shots of vodka." In central London, "Alternative Response Vehicle - or Booze Bus, as it's more commonly known - draw on their reserves of composure, ingenuity and stoicism to treat more than 20 dazed drunks," over the course of a 12-hour shift. [more inside]
Meet St. George Absinthe Verte, "the first American-made absinthe on the market in almost a century." Since Absinthe was legalized earlier this year, various brewers have moved into the market--but is is really the same thujone-enhanced drink that drove many-an-artist to madness?
What is the best tasting Jell-O shot?
Multicultural toasting as an accoutrement for Gunther Anderson's guide to making liqueurs at home [ Principles | Science | Materials | Example recipe | and more... ]
Bitters. This sharp-flavored, slightly medicinal liqueur, originally used as an aperitif, remains one of the defining ingredients in many classic cocktails, including the Manhattan, the Pink Gin, the Champagne Cocktail, and the Sazerac. Some popular herbal liqueurs, such as Campari and Jägermeister, are essentially just big bottles of bitters. But bitters had fallen on hard times, with most bars stocking only one brand, Angostura, or, if they were particularly sophisticated (or Southern), a second option, Peychaud's. Orange bitters, once an essential ingredient in the Martini, were forgotten and impossible to purchase. Times have changed, with companies such as Fee Brothers, Regan's, the Bitter Truth, and even Angostura, releasing their own versions of the orange stuff. In fact, bitters in enjoying something of a renaissance, with bars experimenting with making their own. Hobbyists, in the meanwhile, are reviving lost recipes.
NASA has a rule requiring that astronauts go at least 12 hours between "bottle and throttle." Reports say not everyone followed it, and they went up anyway.
The Heiligendamm G8 summit just ended. While some stuck to alcohol-free beer, fresh French President Nicolas Sarkozy clearly had something a bit stronger before his press conference.
Lushybakingfilter: why bother with that whole pesky drinking thing when you can try your favorite cocktail in dessert form? Mojitos, margaritas, screwdrivers, martinis, black russians, daiquiris, gin & tonics, piña coladas, mai tais and mint juleps. Mmmm.
Horses are not always good role models. Just in case you thought the craziness was limited to this one book, the authors proudly present a "true crime" glimpse into a shadowy world of... okay, I actually have no idea what they're talking about. Ah, the joys of vanity publishing.
"Troy is only 8, but he knows the words to Yanguna, an Arnhem Land song celebrating kava. He sings in tune with Saltwater Band's anthem to the drug as the car bumps along the dirt track. Kava came to Arnhem Land 20 years ago as a ray of hope. Aboriginal community leaders believed the calming drink from the Pacific could be a peaceful alternative to alcohol, then raging through Aboriginal communities like a cyclone. But kava became just another abused substance.”
[Joe] Namath learned to drink as a youngster, back home in Beaver Falls. You could say he developed a taste for hooch as an infant— when he got fussy while teething his mother rubbed his gums with a rag soaked in grain alcohol. (via SpoFi, another story of a great athlete/drunkard)
Some say alcohol prohibition was a failure. Some say it worked. Alcohol abuse costs society billions. Groups seek to add a new flavor to regulation. Citizens are even taking up the cause.
What is the air-speed velocity of the unladen golden plover? My goodness, my Guinness! Happy St. Patrick's Day, Metafilter.
Pocketshot. For when you really need to slug some rum on a long bike ride.
Andre the Giant, Greatest Drunkard of all Time The key to Andre the Giant is this — even as a youth he knew that his disease would dramatically shorten his life. He knew there was no cure, and lived every day with the understanding that death could shamble around the very next corner. Knowledge of this sort can darken a life. It did not darken Andre’s. He chose instead to pack his days with as much insane, drunken fun as they could hold. Instead of languishing in the darkness, he chose to walk in the sun.