Some advice from Kingsley Amis’ Everyday Drinking, with my commentary in italics:
“If the red strikes you as thick, dark and heavy, feel no shame in cutting it with the local bubbly mineral water; worth trying in parts of Italy and Spain.” I’m gonna have to try that. I would’ve thought such a thing anathema, but if a man of Amis’ drinking culture condones it, well . . .
“Gin men should slip a small bottle of Angostura into their luggage. You can knock together some sort of drink with it—and gin—under almost any conditions, and you can never find it abroad.” This, I believe, was the passage that started my love affair with bitters. See link below for my favorite.
“Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil, and fear her danger, opens a new world when this, the present, palls.” Actually, that’s not Amis. That’s Amis quoting Lord Byron.
“The dipsomaniac and the abstainer are not only both mistaken, but they both make the same mistake. They both regard wine as a drug and not as a drink.” Channel GKC’s “Omar and the Sacred Vine” from Heretics.
Got a relative who grows troublesome when drunk? Here’s some neat, though borderline sinful, advice: “[A] friend of mine, whose mother-in-law gets a little excited after a couple of drinks, goes one better in preparing her third by pouring tonic on ice, wetting a fingertip with gin and passing it round the rim of the glass, but victims of this procedure must be selected with extreme care.”
“Charles Jackson’s marvellous and horrifying The Lost Weekend, still the best fictional account of alcoholism I have read.” My Dad would make reference to this book. Or was he referring to the movie? In any event, I’ve tried for years to find the movie, with no luck.
Some good bar fodder: “Poe himself had a drink problem; contrary to popular belief, he was not a dipsomaniac, but his system was abnormally intolerant of alcohol, so that just a couple of slugs would lay him on his back, no doubt with a real premature-burial of a hangover to follow.”
I knew it! “[T]he reason why so many professional artists drink a lot is not necessarily very much to do with the artistic temperament, etc. It is simply that they can afford to, because they can normally take a large part of a day off to deal with the ravages.”