What it is

Late-breaking telexes from the craft spirit front by Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails, columnist for Imbibe, and designated drinker for The Atlantic magazine.

  • And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
    And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
    by Wayne Curtis

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Twitter: @waynecurtis

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Entries in quotes (9)


Quote of the day: Never mind the Four Loko

"I think it's awesome, you can throw it on some Jell-O shots. It'd be fantastic."

— University of Central Florida student Bo Frisby, cited in this news account about Whipped Lightning, "the world's first alcoholic infused whipped cream."

The product web site notes that "whipped cream's not just for kids anymore, it's all about style & sophistication."  Available in nine flavors, including caramel pecan and strawberry colada.


Quote of the week: New Orleans, 1834

“In all the streets around, cafes and barrooms (it would be unjust to call them grogshops) were open and in the receipt of a full and noisy custom. Rum and gin, Monongahela, and Tom and Jerry here live in palaces. The genius of Intemperance — driven from many of her dirty altars in the streets, alleys & culs de sac of the northern cities — may well console herself with the taste, elegance and refinement of her shrines in New Orleans. The drinking room is large — the ceiling high, a handsome lamp or chandelier hangs from the midst — [and] a whole army of bottles, with contents of all color line the shelves in close array all around, and the counter with its marble slab, or mahogany board, [is] tricked off with shining brass work. Full decanters complete an arrangement for beastly gratification such as it is reserved for New Orleans to exhibit…”

— from the journals of John H.B. Latrobe, on his visit to New Orleans, November 1834. (Punctuation altered for clarity.) 


Quote of the week (funhouse mirror edition)

"Rum not usually appealed to the colonists' adore of rapid inebriation, though additionally brought the magnitude of standing as great as referred to the initial stairs toward informative independence."

— Wayne Curtis, apparently. Google Alerts recently alerted me to an article that had appeared about me and my book. I checked it out, of course. It's evidently an old A.P. story translated into another language (Russian?) and then back into English and posted online. Why? I don't know.

Bonus quote: excellent instructions for drink preparation: "Shake all the mixture in the bubbly beverage shaker with ice as great as aria in to the whirly glass. Add maraschino cherry as great as orange cut for garnish."

And if nothing else, the story has provided me with fine back-cover blurbs for a future edition:

"I'm unequivocally preoccupied by what he's done." — Minister of Rum Ed Hamilton

"I consider this comes along during the right time since people have been removing some-more meddlesome in rum." — Jeff "Beachbum" Berry.


Quote of the week: Alison Schneider

“Sometimes, you think two barrels are going to go together well, you think they’ll get along, but they’re like bachelors who have lived alone for twenty years, and when you move them in together, they pace circles around one another. They won’t blend.”

— Alison Schneider, winemaker and brandy blender at Jepson Vineyard in California, quoted in Max Watman’s forthcoming book, Chasing the White Dog. (Due out February 16.) 


Quote of the week: Jack Robertiello

“The outlook for someone coming into the vodka market with a luxury product featuring crystal and other flashy ingredients is not good. There are only so many saps in the world.”
— Jack Robertiello, quoted in "The Vodka Bubble Bursts," in the The Daily Beast.


Quote of the week: Harry Johnson

“Some bartenders find it diffitcult to keep insects out of the mixing bottles, although it is an easy matter if they take a small china or glass dish, pour some water into it, and place the bottle containing the syrup, cordial, etc. in the center of it, which thus prevents the insects from getting to the bottle.”

— Harry Johnson, in Bartenders' Manual (from Mud Puddle Books' 2008 facsimile printing of 1900 edition of 1882 guide).


Quote of the Week: Hal Boyle

“The cocktail party isn't a feature of modern living. It is a factor in modern dying. Anyone who has ever stood upright at a cocktail party (and who ever gets to sit down at one?) can never forget the sinking feeling in his arches, the popping out of new varicose veins, the slow numbness as of death creeping over him.... The Martini, the most dangerous instrument at any cocktail party, certainly has mowed down more people than the Gatling gun.”

— columnist Hal Boyle, 1955


Quote of the week: Hemingway

"'This is a good place,' he said.
"'There's a lot of liquor,' I agreed."

Jake Barnes, upon arriving at a bar in the first chapter of The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway.


Quote of the week: Audrey

“We need to get back to a point where things are fun again. We kind of got really heavy. And it’s good, the last couple years we’ve had all the kids out there, learning. But now that everybody gets it, there shouldn’t be any more paying homage to the bartender.”

— Pegu Club's Audrey Saunders, in a New York Times article about her new bar (The Tar Pit, opening in December in Los Angeles).