My little Christmas cocktail party was all set – early December Saturday reserved, tons of alcohol procured, and a dozen homemade ingredients in the preparation process. But one winter morning I woke up with a horrible fever, and my holiday season was transformed into an fierce battle between my immune system and a hellspawn virus.… Read More Christmas Cocktails Came Late This Year
This week I’m reviewing Richard Elliott Friedman’s new history of the Exodus. While the mention of the Old Testament usually evokes strict moral codes and sober living, the document itself is choc-ful of booze-fueled fun/sin. For those too busy to read all 24 books, Wikipedia provides a great run down of alcohol’s role in scripture. So,… Read More Old Testament Cocktails
This week I’m reviewing Spain in Our Hearts, Adam Hochschild’s history of foreign volunteers in the Spanish Civil War. Hochschild’s description of the idyllic Spanish countryside, along with DC’s customary stifling heat, got me thinking about simple cocktails that both refresh and evoke visions of olive groves and green foothills. First up was the “Marianito” a simple three-part… Read More Spanish Anarchism and Cocktails
This week I’m reviewing Richard Snow’s riveting new history of the Battle of Hampton Roads, which got me in the mood to make up some old school naval cocktails. And you really can’t get more old school or naval than Grog, the first cocktail of the ocean seas! Grog, for those poor souls unitiated in Royal Navy/alcohol… Read More It’s a Grog Party!
This week I’m reviewing Michelle DeRusha’s biography of the marriage of Martin and Katharina Luther. Now, most of my knowledge of Lutherans comes from listening to A Prairie Home Companion where they are usually characterized as hard-working, quiet, and simple folk. Here’s Garrison Keillor: “And I don’t like to generalize about Lutherans, but one thing that’s true… Read More Reformation Cocktails
This week I’m reviewing Robert Gaudi’s book “African Kaiser,” a marvelous little history of German’s forgotten African colonies during World War I. I’ve dabbled a bit in Germanic cocktail-ology previously but never explored imbibing during the Wilhemine Period. Unfortunately for me and all of Europe, Kaiser Wilhelm II–the last and dumbest Kaiser–was a bit of a teetotaler… Read More How to Drink Like the Kaiser
This week I’m reviewing “The Silk Roads” by Peter Frankopan, which recasts world history as an Asian-centric story rather than the European saga we are raised with. As I write this and think of the scale and breadth of Frankopan’s book, I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t search the ends of the Earth (or the… Read More Cocktails at the Crossroads