I haven’t devoted nearly enough attention to drinking literature, but from the books I’ve read, Kingly Amis’ collection of essays, Everyday Drinking, is some of the best. Sure, he’s a limey, but I think the English have a special knack for creating drinking literature. The P.G. Wodehouse “Jeeves” and “Wooster” stories, for instance, are some of the best drunken fictional books out there. In addition to great writing, there’s something ennobling about reading drinking prose from an Englishman, but there’s also a risk: an endeavor, once if feels ennobling, becomes more enticing. While reading Amis or Wodehouse, I almost always feel like a gin and tonic.
Anyway, here are a few passages from Amis’ tome (if you want some Wodehouse samples, go to this righteous piece at Modern Drunkard Magazine). Expect more in the future:
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“Reading must be combined with as much drinking experience as pocket and liver will allow.”
“‘It is the unbroken testimony of all history that alcoholic liquors have been used by the strongest, wisest, handomest, and in every way best races of all times.’ George Saintsbury.”
“Serving good drinks, like producing anything worth while, from a poem to a motor-car, is troublesome and expensive. (If you are interested, a worthwhile poem is expensive to the poet in the sense that he could almost always earn more money by spending the time on some other activity.)”