While Prohibition may have withered the American drinker’s palate and understanding & sent the most talented drink-slingers into exile, cocktails are back, and better than ever! And who are the people that have brought the all-but-dead art of America’s contribution to world drinks culture (and the profession & craft of the Bartender) back to stunning, exuberant life? Hey Bartender! [more inside]
This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of 1890s Washington, D.C., naming and locating “saloons” and “bawdy-houses” in the so-called Murder Bay neighborhood, located east of the White House. The Library of Congress, which holds the map, tells us that it’s a newspaper clipping from the 1890s, without a known author or publisher. (Slate.com)
Before his death, Mickey Mantle spoke to Sports Illustrated about the effect that alcoholism had on his life and career. [more inside]
You might have thought a six month hangover was bad enough but now in 'binge-drink Britain' there's a reported rise in 'exploding bladders'... safe for work but you might want to read it with your legs crossed. Or a least spend a penny first.
Speaking Of weight loss and exercise... Those who like their booze also like their nicotine. People who drink to excess also tend to be chronic smokers, and a new report suggests the combination of the two might prove more toxic than either one alone. a small study found chronic smoking + alcohol dependence = increased severity of brain damage. The frontal lobes (short-term storage sites) turn out to be the most damaged. A separate study used rats to show that alcoholism and excessive food intake may share the same chemical pathways in the brain. Forbes has the HealthDayNews report that focuses mainly on the smokes, MSNBC looks more at the eats. They also have an interesting Addictions Sections. Could it be that some folks are just prone to addictions and everyone settles on something different?
Poor, Much-Maligned Alcohol Gets A Good Word: It's quarter to three, there's no one in the place/Except you and me,/So set 'em' up Joe, I got a little story/ I think you should know... And the story is something, if you're a drinker, you probably already know. (I was so surprised by this article I wondered if it was sponsored by the booze industry. But then I mixed myself another drink; read the wonderfully-named, probably Guinness - and poteen-fuelled - Dublin Principles and drank its health anyway!)
The Last Bastion Of Serious Sexual Discrimination: Booze! Do men and women really have different tastes when it comes to drinking? What does it all mean? Do girls really like girly cocktails? Do men hate sweet, fruity drinks? Are rye and malt whiskeys, cognac, red wine and beer resolutely masculine? Are gin, cocktails, liqueurs, white wine and champagne eternally feminine? Is vodka neutral? Is a gin and tonic always truly gay? Is tequila bisexual? Too neat? Perhaps. I wonder whether guy booze, girl booze and gay booze can ever be satisfactorily mapped out...
You've Come A Long Way, Baby: Unfortunately, you picked the wrong one, dear old Old-Fashioned, dean of cocktails. Robert Hess's definitive essay on the ever-changing ways of making one shows just how contentious a cocktail recipe can be. It also bears sad testimony to how the great classics are being fruited up, iced up, fizzed up, shaken till obliteration and generally girlied, dumbed and boozed down. So how do you stand on the cherry, the pineapple and the orange? And don't even bother commenting if you're a seltzer fan! ;)
Finally, a holiday we can all get behind. Saturday, November 2 is the American Homebrewers Association’s 4th Annual Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day. Find a location near you to help you create the nectar of the gods. "To alcohol! The cause of – and solution to – all of life’s problems."