Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History and Consumption of All Manner of Booze
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Finally, there's a book that's almost as much fun as having a couple of drinks. Alcoholica Esoterica presents the history and culture of booze as told by a writer with a knack for distilling all the boring bits into the most interesting facts and hilarious tales. It's almost like pulling up a stool next to the smartest and funniest guy in the bar. Divided into chapters covering the basic booze groups—including beer, wine, Champagne, whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, and tequila—Alcoholica Esoterica charts the origin and rise of each alcohol's particular charms and influence. Other sections chronicle "Great Moments in Hic-story," "Great Country Drinking Songs," "10 Odd Laws," and "Mt. Lushmore, Parts I–V." Additionally, famous quotes on the joys and sorrows of liquor offer useful shots of advice and intoxicating whimsy.
Did you know...
that the word bar is short for barrier? Yes, that's right—to keep the customers from getting at all the booze.
that Winston Churchill's mother supposedly invented the Manhattan?
that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because the sailors on the Mayflower were running low on beer and were tired of sharing?
that you have a higher chance of being killed by a flying Champagne cork than by a poisonous spider?
that the Code of Hammurabi mandated that brewers of low-quality beer be drowned in it?
that beer was so popular with medieval priests and monks that in the thirteenth century they stopped baptizing babies with holy water and started using beer?
bookstore and pick up a serious tome by a wine expert (which I’m also not). But if you want to learn that the sailors on the Mayflower forced the Pilgrims out onto Plymouth Rock because they didn’t want to sail any farther and risk running out of beer on the return trip to England (true story), then this is definitely the book you should be reading. This is also the book to read if you want to find out that, statistically speaking, you have a higher chance of being killed by a flying champagne
created, it’s a far cry from its glory days as the liquor that helped forge a new nation. USELESS INFO The Snakebite Cure with Bite In the nineteenth century, the recommended cure for a snakebite was two pints of 100-proof bourbon. If the bite didn’t kill you, the cure sure would. Whiskey Killer The deadliest cat ever recorded was “Towser,” the house tabby for the Glenturret Distillery. With the barrel-aging rooms as his killing fields (and some obviously bored distillers keeping
taverns for a cheaper drink were described as drinking “scot free.” WHY “The thirstiness of mankind is something supernatural. We are forever drinking on one excuse or another. . . . We drink the Queen, and the Army, and the ladies, and everybody else that is drinkable; and, I believe, if the supply ran short, we should drink our mothers-in-law. . . . By the way, we never eat anybody’s health, always drink it. Why should we not stand up now and then and eat a tart to somebody’s success?”
scurvy, unwashed, illiterate men as company and the empty ocean horizon for a view. It’s no wonder that after battening down all the hatches and trimming all the sails, there wasn’t a hell of a lot for a crew to do but contemplate buggery and the bottle. An entire culture sprang up around drinking, with a code of conduct and a language all its own, some of which has even worked its way into our everyday English language. THE OFFICERS British naval officers—the ultimate artisans of the
America’s first order of Freemasons. Conspiracy nuts, start your engines. . . . AMERICAN PROHIBITION “Young men start takin’ nips and totin’ flasks to be smart and show they’re regular fellas. They often show up behind bars or in the gutter without friends or a future. . . . [As for women], often they end up as social outcasts, unmarried mothers, gangster molls, and pistol-packin’ mamas.” —REVEREND SAM MORRIS, THE VOICE OF TEMPERANCE, FROM HIS FAMOUS RADIO SERMON “THE RAVAGES OF RUM”