Nominative Determinism Strikes Again

November 9th, 2015

Bitterman's Field Guide to Bitters and Amari

This young fellow should count himself fortunate that he was not descended from the Liqueur or Cordial families—or, heaven forbid, the American Schnappses.

Bonfiglioli on Proper Proportions

October 14th, 2015

“Jock was at my side in a twinkling, forcing one of his famous brandy-and-sodas into my nerveless fingers. (The secret of Jock’s famous b-and-s’s is that he makes them without soda: it is a simple skill, easily learnt.)”

— Kyril Bonfiglioli, The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery

I’ll Be Home Soon, Dear – First I Must Stop in at the Library

April 5th, 2013

Naturally, the Designated Drinker has been seen, at various times, in all of these fine establishments. Let your own tour begin.

Sanchez on Professionalism

September 11th, 2012

“You’re an amateur drinker—you drink in public places. Noah is a professional. A professional, he drinks alone. He doesn’t need an audience.”

— Thomas Sanchez, American Tropic

Block on Fish and Poison

February 23rd, 2012

“You drink like a goddamn fish,” Charlie said.
“That’s nothing. I swim like an alcoholic.”

— Lawrence Block, writing as Sheldon Lord, 69 Barrow Street

“He got the hell away from Sondra’s place and the Gila Monster and found a bar, a nice ordinary bar where the customers were quiet, clean-shaven alcoholics and liquor was the only poison used on the premises.”

— Lawrence Block, writing as Ben Christopher, Strange Embrace

Ballard on Thirds

June 7th, 2011

“I finished my Scotch, already thinking not of the next drink, but of the one after that.”

— J. G. Ballard, Millennium People

Hastie on Literary Tastes

February 26th, 2011

“It tastes like licking a library book from 1964.”

— John Hastie, after drinking Jeppson’s Malört

Sours Are Sweet

February 2nd, 2011

…to appropriate the vernacular of today’s youth. To wit: the Pisco Sour. Being snowed in, these made quite the tonic for cabin fever. (Followed by fondue, if you must know.) Given a bartender who mixes these correctly, home would become but a distant memory.

1 1/2 oz. pisco
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. heavy simple syrup
1 egg white
several drops Angostura bitters

Shake vigorously, strain, etc.

Recipe from Dale DeGroff, via Auntie Iris. Seldom have I needed to tamper so little with a prescription. The bitters are a revelation!

An Object Lesson

January 17th, 2011

 . . . on the danger posed by Bailey’s Irish Cream. Puzzlingly, the offender was French.

Your Big Cocktail Is Nothing to Brag About

January 2nd, 2011

Catching up on some 2010 reading that I had heretofore missed–will my manservant ever catalog the periodicals correctly?–I find that Wayne Curtis shares my aversion to supersized cocktails.

Small cocktails were favored for a simple reason: they stay chilled from beginning to end. Few things are as unappealing as a Martini that’s warm when you hit bottom, with the possible exception of an Old-Fashioned on the rocks that’s both watery and warm at bottom.

My own feelings on the matter are, of course, well documented, and, having actually been alive to witness this horrible evolution firsthand (I do not know, but I suspect that Mr. Curtis is a mere pup of 50 or so), I can speak to the matter better than most. But Curtis’s words are well weighed, and he has the distinct advantage of being willing to report from locales (such as T.G.I. Friday’s and Margaritaville) where I fear to tread.