"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 ..."
Leigh Bardugo writes haunting, Eastern-European inspired fairy tales (Previously) often highlighting the experience of women in a unfair world. Tor.com presents two new stories, the somber "The Too-Clever Fox" and the subversive "Little Knife."
The infamous, sprawling Winchester Mystery House has plans to allow overnight stays and full onsite alcohol consumption
Cambodian Trees by Clément Briend. "La culture cambodgienne est habitée par une spiritualité qui crée une conscience du monde peuplée de génies et d’esprits. Dans le paysage d'une ville endormie, la nuit fait apparaître ces figures divines sur les arbres, permettant ainsi leur incarnation. Par ces projections nocturnes, nous pouvons alors toucher la magie qui illumine leur regard sur le monde." [Via]
“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)
When happy hour's over, and it's time to cruise back to trash someone's loungeroom, continue the tight-arse tradition with Boozle!
Fed up with old-fashioned boards and planchettes? Want to contact spirits the 21st century way? Try iPod Ouija. (not responsible for any possessions or nightmares. try at own risk.)
The Coffee Pot Ghosts. In November of 2000, a Maryland woman bought a black Krups coffee maker from Sears. Shortly thereafter, her lizard died mysteriously, strange white lights appeared and she began experiencing “classic Poltergeist phenomena of every description.” Then the spirits began to speak.
The real Spirit of 1776. Spurred by a Christmas gift of 18th century-style rye whiskey, I found this fascinating exposition on the history of beer and the history of San Francisco. I've signed up for a tour!
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.]
Stop Wining Laddie - And Pass the Macallan! Why bother with sissy wines and beers when you can have whisky all through your meal? A new trend in dining is pairing spirits and cocktails with food. Russian aristocrats still refuse to drink vodka unaccompanied by comestibles while modern Italians and Americans cook with it. The Japanese love their straight Cognac and Chivas with everything bar sashimi and eccentric old Englishmen stick with Port from start to finish. I guess they're all on to something, no? In case they're not, here, by way of consolation, is a wonderful interactive food and wine matcher for the dullards and traditionalists among us. Cheers!
Since 1995, a growing number of researchers have hunted ghosts across 4 states as South Jersey Ghost Research. Their website claims a long list of equipment. Are they huckstering hoaxers or the real deal? A 1999 New York Times article didn't make the call. What's everyone's opinion? [via gillan.blogspot.com]
"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?