Tag: Toasts

“Dorothy Parker was a Brilliant Slut” and Other Sundries to Fascinate Your Friends at the Bar

The godfather of modern libertarianism, Albert Nock, was in his prime during Prohibition. Needless to say, he railed against it, noting once that it’s absurd to regulate something that, in nature, flows as freely as water.

He’s right, of course. And the fact that it flows as freely as water has made it a form of recreation and escape for nearly 10,000 years. (Okay, we don’t know for sure why the Chinese in the Yellow River Valley (where 9,000-year-old pottery (with alcohol residue) was found) were drinking alcohol, but they weren’t Neanderthals, so presumably, there was a large measure of recreation involved.)

It’s no surprise that there’s a ton of interesting and fun alcohol trivia.

I’m working on a definitive list of such, but for now, I offer this handful:

1.            Go Extreme

Are you tired of the beer snobs? I know I am. I realize I probably have an unsophisticated palate, but when I read beer aficionados talk about “hints” of malt from the Euphrates Valley, I roll my eyes.

But if you want to try to understand a little of what they’re talking about, you should taste and contrast beers from the two extremes: double boch (extreme malt) and bitter ales (very hoppy).

2.            Government Created the Great London Gin Craze

The Great London Gin Craze was a pretty scary things: kids getting soused, women selling themselves for a gin and tonic with lemon spritzer (okay, I embellish).

It resulted from government interference. William of Orange and his allies in Parliament wanted to punish the French for, among other things, their ongoing support of deposed King James, so they banned the importation of French brandy. Parliament pushed through the Distillation Act of 1690 to promote the interests of powerful landowners. Parliament then increased the tax on … Read the rest