“It could be that it has improved health because people are drinking eight units over eight hours instead of four hours but hand on heart I’m not sure I believe that." —Some killjoy doctor presents the possible bright side to leaving bars open later before snatching it away.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, fellow Americans, and even you, Mr. President:
On this fortuitous evening, we come together in a highly ritualized, deeply esoteric sacred performance within the inner sanctum of our nation's high temple. The president's words will be parsed by an inverse pyramid of humanity, from a mass of dimwitted Politico commenters bobbing like frantic ill-informed ducks upon the surface to the industrial sludge filters at the bottleneck bottom, monstrous catfish like Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer, slurping up and then expelling the reactions to the president's prepared text, which have already become worn out punchlines on Twitter.
At home, the citizens [...]
You could argue that the brown-liquor renaissance of recent years has been a reaction to the vodka-drenched Pucker-corrupted cocktail decade that preceded it, which experienced its nadir in the hideous appletini. But in the tail end of apple season, with plenty of good cider available, I wanted to renew the apple "martini" (I succumb to the troubling but widespread practice of categorizing mixed drinks by glass) and unlock its long-betrayed potential. While bourbon may spring to mind as the obvious way to achieve this, I realized that, in fact, brandy was the key here, and I had a chance to resist the bourbon hegemony that has crowded out brandy from [...]
"We were just doing global research with field strategists in understanding the role of beer in Saturday night around the world vs. other drinks. In studying beer, we started to discover that young adults cherish their smartphones and iPhones so much that they don't want to lose them if they have an epic night out. Now they take what they call their 'drunk phone,' a cheap low-end phone, so now they are carrying two phones because they don't want to lose their smartphone."
Part of a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.
When a British businessman died of alcohol poisoning in a Chongqing hotel earlier this year, it seemed completely unremarkable to anyone who had worked in China. Boozing—heavily and to great personal detriment—is such a common practice in China that an old China Hand could easily have had a run-in with counterfeit, contaminated alcohol. Or he just overdid it.
Of course, that was no run-of-the-mill British businessman and it wasn't alcohol that poisoned him. But it was probably the commonality of "baijiu culture" accidents that led his assassins to choose [...]
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Cheap liquor is designed to get you wasted. You can take your time with a nice whisky, and enjoy it as you would with an expensive bottle of wine, but cheap liquor's only purpose is to be cheap. There is no complexity in cheap alcohol—at least, not the kind you desire—and because of its nature, you will force it down quickly and wait for it to impair you to an equally degraded state of relaxation. Perhaps it will make you long for the days of Drynuary.
"England is a nation of secret boozers, with more than a third of the population drinking unhealthy quantities of alcohol, new research has suggested."
Another glass ceiling has been shattered by women, as "binge drinking" is no longer just something most men do all the time. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one-in-four college ladies and one-in-eight of all gals over 18 are dangerous binge drinkers, consuming up to … four alcoholic beverages per "binge." Four drinks is binge drinking, now?
These wild drunkards are going crazy with the four drinks up to … three times a month, according to the CDC. Well good gracious, that's almost having drinks on a single night of every weekend, as long as you don't drink at all on the fourth weekend. Further research may [...]
"There is no issue with the toe. The risk of freezing on the way to the bar or being attacked by a pack of wolves would be higher." —Yes, it's the cocktail "garnished with a preserved human toe."
"[Musicologist Alisun Pawley] found that pub-goers most enjoyed crooning high-energy songs sung by male vocalists with high chest voices and fewer warbles (these qualities describe something known as an anthemic vocal performance). All the popular songs spent at least four weeks on the UK music charts. Crowds that engaged in sing-a-longs were normally younger and the later it was, the more likely it was they would sing. 'The later on in the evening, the more people sang along and we largely relate that to alcohol,' she says."
Much like the philosopher’s stone or the Holy Grail, the perfect hangover cure has been the subject of endless inquiries by some of history’s greatest minds, and has proved just as elusive. Those who do possess it are often fictional or demigods, or both: who can forget the mystery drink concocted by P.G. Wodehouse’s inimitable Jeeves on his first day reporting to work for Bertie (this was itself a variation on the oft-touted prairie oyster)? Kingsley Amis made a long study of hangovers and their cures, much of which can be found in Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis, and in which he notes that [...]
One of the more noteworthy qualities of the martini, the quality that sets it apart from all the other drinks mixed at your local watering hole, is the disproportionate effect it's had in inspiring witticisms. Dorothy Parker, as usual, leads the way, with this bit of light poetry: "I like to have a martini/Two at the very most/Three, I'm under the table/Four, I'm under the host." James Thurber added, "One martini is all right, two is too many, and three is not enough." Winston Churchill has a good one (maybe apocryphally) attributed to him, too: "Martinis are like breasts: One is not enough and three is too many." Sure, whiskey [...]
"Researchers report in the journal Tobacco Control that nicotine gum and nicotine patches designed to help smokers quit aren’t any more effective than going cold turkey when it comes to keeping smokers off cigarettes for longer than a few months," but they are very nice to have if you're going to be trapped on a plane for more than a few hours. In related news, a British government committee has suggested that "abstaining from alcohol at least twice a week would help people's health," which, whatever, I'm not a scientist so what do I know, but the fact is abstaining from alcohol even once a week results [...]
A good friend of mine insists that having a nice meal while you're traveling is considered sightseeing. Since I've had the privileges of accompanying him at nice meals in places like Moscow, Prague and Budapest, I tend to agree: food's as important an entry point to any new place as art or architecture. As a corollary, though, I'd submit that another essential part of experiencing a foreign culture is getting drunk on the local hooch. Now, I don't want to come off all Anthony Bourdain-y here—hey, look at me! I travel! I drink!—especially since Bourdain is a huge wimp for claiming that hakarl was "the single worst, most disgusting [...]
"There’s never been a better time to make hard liquor in this town—or a better time to be a locavore boozehound."
"Research shows that alcohol makes us think we are more attractive than we really are. Even the mere expectation of being tipsy is enough to boost ego. However, the effects are purely in the mind of the drinker. Sadly for them, others do not find them any more appealing."
"University of Pittsburgh researchers used facial expression and speech behavior to find that moderate levels of social drinking can enhance positive emotions, improve social bonding and relieve negative emotions. Psychologist Dr. Michael A. Sayette and colleagues found that moderate doses of alcohol have a powerful effect on both male and female social drinkers when they are in a group. The negative emotional association with alcohol involved social drinkers consuming alcohol in isolation rather than in groups."
"How does ethanol make one person friendly and another belligerent? The answer, say researchers, could lie in a person's ability to envision the future consequences of his or her actions. In other words: prudent people may be less likely to become angry or violent when they're drunk."