I came across an unusual article in the purpose of researching Shrubs. It ended up having no bearing whatsoever on the final manuscript, but I was fascinated enough by the piece that I OCR’d it, and cleaned up the inevitable typos.
Here, from the December 26, 1893, issue of the New York Sun, is an article about the various drinking establishments of Lower Manhattan, from the Battery up to about 28th Street. Be aware, some of the ethnic attitudes expressed in this piece are very much of their time. You’ll also note peculiarities of style and spelling; those are all in the original.
I seem to have forgotten to mention it here, but Carrie Allen of the Washington Post called me up recently to discuss the past, present, and future of shrubs. We talked a bit about the book (she enjoys it! neener neener, she’s seen it and you haven’t!) and discussed why shrubs are good to drink, either as a non-boozy treat or as a boozy one.
The conversation was fun, and her piece, which ran last week, captures my voice well, so I’m really delighted with it. Check it out here!
From Shanken News Daily, a look at the rise of rye whiskey.
Rye Whiskey Rising Fast, Spurred By Dynamic On-Trade Cocktail Culture
The U.S. whisk(e)y renaissance and vibrant cocktail culture have created ideal timing for rye whiskey’s serious return to the marketplace. The category, which never really recovered from Prohibition (1920-1933) and was relegated to near-oblivion as other whisk(e)y categories filled the void, is now back on track and making headway with support from some of the biggest U.S. whiskey producers.
[Link to full article.]
I don’t normally post about this sort of thing, but Campari just announced that Uma Thurman is its calendar star this year. I know it’s not a universal opinion, but I think Uma’s great in nearly everything I’ve seen, and I also think she’s stunning. Campari’s released a few behind-the-scenes shots, and here’s one you might like:
Whatever you might think of Edward Snowden, you can keep to yourself; this is a booze blog, after all. But in reading a recent New York Times story about his flight from Hong Kong, I found a funny tidbit.
You see, when a group of lawyers arrived to advise Snowden in Hong Kong, he asked them to stash their phones in the refrigerator. According to Adam Harvey, a designer specializing in countersurveillance, it seems that the materials in the fridge walls serve as a Faraday cage, a space that can disrupt radio communication.
For the drinker with something to hide, however, there’s a better solution:
Another household object that functions similarly, Mr. Harvey has learned through his research into cellphone data transmission, is a stainless steel martini shaker.
“It’s a perfect Faraday cage – it will block all radio signals unless you decide you need to pour yourself a martini,” he said. Although this sounds like a plot point in a James Bond movie, Mr. Harvey has actually done extensive tests on the shaker in the process of developing a surveillance-blocking cellphone case called the OFF Pocket.
Now that’s cool. Most of serious cocktail geeks probably have four of those damn, otherwise-useless things cluttering our barware. At least they’re useful for something.
Peat, the fuel that adds smoke to scotch, is a non-renewable resource. But what are the odds of its running out? Slate takes a look.
I must say that I was stunned into submission to learn that Parker Beam, the beloved and long-serving master distiller for Heaven Hill, has been diagnosed with ALS. It is a jarringly sober moment; solemn would not be an overstatement.
More here from Allen Katz.