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I recently received a review copy of Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary by Paul Dickson. It is both a book and a Guinness World Record holder for the largest collection of synonyms for any term in the English language. Does anyone need a book with 2,231 synonyms for "drunk"? Absolutely not, but it's fun reading. I made note of the terms that made me laugh out loud but had to stop as there were too many. Between "A" and "D" I noted: above par, all in, badgered, baptised, beyond salvage, bricked, chateaued, colored, debacled, discumfuddled, dog-sucking drunk, dribbly, and drunkulent.... Read more →

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Book Week on Alcademics

All this week I'll be posting book reviews here on Alcademics, and at the end of the week I'll do a giveaway on the Alcademics A-Plus email list for one of five copies of either Kara Newman's Spice & Ice, Mr. Boston's Holiday Cocktails, or Whiskey and Philosophy. I pretty much read every cocktail, spirit, and drink book I can get my hands on. My just-drinks bookshelf is long overfull and I find myself trying to cram more stuff onto it all the time. I've now taken to decorating with cocktail books, putting them beneath plant pots, stacking them under... Read more →

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Over the history of cocktails, certain flavors have become trendy during particular years. First the cocktail was invented, then the "fancy" cocktail, then the "improved" cocktail. These variations added liqueurs like curacao, maraschino, and absinthe to the regular formula. In the early 1900's, grenadine was all the rage and suddenly you'd find a splash of it in all the drinks. A hundred years later, the same thing happens and I run around and try to document it. In 2007 and 2008, what cocktail menu didn't suddenly have three drinks with St. Germain on it? We're currently seeing a revival in... Read more →

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Within the spirits industry, there is a lot of toasting, often at the beginning and end of dinner, while thanking the hosts and chefs, when greeting visitors, before taking shots, before moving to another bar or restaurant and then after arriving there, when saying goodbye, between courses, etc. It can be a bit much, but worse than that is this the notion that you have to clink glasses with everyone in the room and look your fellow toasters in the eye. Sure, it's polite, but it's not always practical, especially when you're doing it 20 times in an evening with... Read more →

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The Drink Jinx is when you proclaim that you'll only come out for a drink or two but end up having one or two dozen. It's like the Murphy's Law of sobriety. For example: Last night I went to meet up with Joaquin Simo and Brian Miller of Death & Co. in New York, who are in town doing a corporate training gig. I told Joaquin, "I'll meet you at 5:30 when Heaven's Dog opens, but I can only stay for a drink or two." It turns out I had a few more than that. Erick Castro and Jennifer Calliao... Read more →

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Lost and Found

WhiskyFest on Friday night was a big event at which I felt like a big lame-o. I saw nearly everyone I had seen on Wednesday night in one or more of the four bars I visited in which I lost my camera. I contacted all the bars asking if they'd seen it, and all said no. The word was out: Camper can't keep track of his stuff. It was like riding the bus home at 9AM in last night's clothes. The walk of shame. But perhaps my public humiliation and expressions of deep regret shifted some karma in my favor,... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.