Mergers and acquisitions mania: not just for banks, oil companies, publishing, movie studios, airlines, cable, phone companies, retail chains and family restaurants anymore. For years, the booze industry has been quiety homogenizing, as hedge-fund-fueled megafauna gobbles up smaller firms and even huge rivals, leaving behind a landscape where your "Mexican" tequila, "Irish" whiskey, "Scotch," "Puerto Rican" rum, and other bar standbys are all owned by a "British" company that claims it makes all its profits in The Netherlands. Read the rest
69% of the alcohol sold in the UK is sold to "harmful," "hazardous" or "increasing risk" drinkers, accounting for more than 60% of the industry's revenues. The number of alcohol-related hospitalisations in the UK has doubled in the past ten years, to more than 1m/year. Read the rest
The company makes ignition interlock breathalyzers that are mandated by courts as a condition of driving after DUI convictions. Read the rest
The nascent science of hangovers -- launched in earnest in 2009 with the Alcohol Hangover Research Group -- has ruled out all the traditional culprits for your misery. A promising new culprit is inflammatory response to elevated levels of cytokines, molecules that transmit messages through the immune system. Read the rest
Jazz pioneer Charles Mingus (1922-1979) had a secret recipe for eggnog that by all accounts was delicious, and incredibly potent. He shared the recipe with biographer Janet Coleman who published it in her book Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs. Here's the brew below, followed by Mingus's "Moanin'."
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Charles Mingus's Egg Nog
* Separate one egg for one person. Each person gets an egg. * Two sugars for each egg, each person. * One shot of rum, one shot of brandy per person. * Put all the yolks into one big pan, with some milk. * That’s where the 151 proof rum goes. Put it in gradually or it’ll burn the eggs, * OK. The whites are separate and the cream is separate. * In another pot- depending on how many people- put in one shot of each, rum and brandy. (This is after you whip your whites and your cream.) * Pour it over the top of the milk and yolks. * One teaspoon of sugar. Brandy and rum. * Actually you mix it all together. * Yes, a lot of nutmeg. Fresh nutmeg. And stir it up. * You don’t need ice cream unless you’ve got people coming and you need to keep it cold. Vanilla ice cream. You can use eggnog. I use vanilla ice cream. * Right, taste for flavor. Bourbon? I use Jamaica Rum in there. Jamaican Rums. Or I’ll put rye in it. Scotch. It depends.
See, it depends on how drunk I get while I’m tasting it.
[Editor's note: science fiction novelist Spider Robinson forever influenced my liquor consumption habits with the rhapsodic praises for Bushmill's 1608 Irish whiskey that feature in so many of his books. I've bought rather a large number of bottles of the stuff. So when I got this email (with the subject "Unsolicited testimonial") from him in my inbox this morning, I did two things: ordered a bottle and asked if I could republish the email here here. Spider graciously permitted this. -Cory]
I’ve tried most high-end Irish whiskeys, and always kept coming back to Bushmills 1608. But I just switched loyalties.
I freely confess I was initially attracted by the name alone. I’d have bought my first bottle just to own the bottle, even if the contents had been undrinkable. But it’s not why I’m now already up to my sixth bottle—and at approximately CAN$65 per bottle! In my opinion, it tastes like what God drinks when He’s sitting at His typewriter. Whiskey—uisge baugh—means “water of Life.” This tastes to me a bit like the first tide pool that developed chemistry sophisticated enough to make its own alcohol. I just gave bottles to my siblings for Christmas, and I recommend the stuff unreservedly to you, my friends.
If your local Liquor Commission doesn’t stock it and is too stupid to order it for you, just Google up the online hootch-delivery service called Master Of Malt, and you’ll be drinking it less than a week later without paying shipping, plus they’ll happily sell you either 1 or 6 handsome tasting glasses for a reasonable extra sum. Read the rest
That baby in the snugli is no baby: it's a hollow baby doll fitted with a booze-filled rehydration bladder with an access-straw in the forehead, beneath its wooly cap. Read the rest
Shaken is a UK startup that sells subscriptions to "the best cocktails you've ever made." Every month, they send you a handsome box with several bottles of rare and delicious booze, small-batch bitters, and a cocktail recipe explaining the history, chemistry and practice of some classic or novel cocktail. Read the rest
From 1920 to 1933, the only way to drink whiskey in America was to get a doctor's prescription, which would be pasted on the bottle (max one bottle/person/week) -- much like the "medical marijuana" of today. Read the rest
The curved bottom of the cup peeks through your drink as the level drops down, moving the "moon" from full to a fingernail-paring sliver. Of course, it works better if you drink something cloudy and white -- it's designed some cloudy Korean rice-wines, but would also work with Pernod and water, I'm thinking. Read the rest
Says the uploader of this superb video, “I built my rabbit a cart and now he delivers me beer! This event marks the release of an epic accomplishment.” Read the rest
Munkstein's forthcoming, $70 Cthulhu mugs are billed as "official" which actually sounds kind of sinister, in that it implies that there's a nest of true Elder Gods cultists who are in a position to grant such a designation. Read the rest