Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information as it Relates to the History and Consumption of All Manner of Booze

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Penguin Books, 2005 - Cooking - 264 pages
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Finally, there's a book that's almost as much fun as having a couple of drinks. Alcoholica Esoterica presents the history and culture of booze as told by a writer with a knack for distilling all the boring bits into the most interesting facts and hilarious tales. It's almost like pulling up a stool next to the smartest and funniest guy in the bar. Divided into chapters covering the basic booze groups--including beer, wine, Champagne, whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, and tequila--Alcoholica Esoterica charts the origin and rise of each alcohol's particular charms and influence. Other sections chronicle "Great Moments in Hic-story," "Great Country Drinking Songs," "10 Odd Laws," and "Mt. Lushmore, Parts I-V." Additionally, famous quotes on the joys and sorrows of liquor offer useful shots of advice and intoxicating whimsy.

Did you know...

  • that the word bar is short for barrier? Yes, that's right--to keep the customers from getting at all the booze.

  • that Winston Churchill's mother supposedly invented the Manhattan?

  • that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because the sailors on the Mayflower were running low on beer and were tired of sharing?

  • that you have a higher chance of being killed by a flying Champagne cork than by a poisonous spider?

  • that the Code of Hammurabi mandated that brewers of low-quality beer be drowned in it?

  • that beer was so popular with medieval priests and monks that in the thirteenth century they stopped baptizing babies with holy water and started using beer?

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Alcoholica Esoterica : A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History andConsumption of All Manner of Booze

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Lendler (An Undone Fairy Tale ) has distilled his favorite facts about alcoholic libations into a breezy and entertaining book that covers the basic alcoholic groups as well as assorted historical ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Ian Lendler is the author of An Undone Fairy Tale and coauthor of Chelsea Clinton's Freshman Notebook. The former humor editor for, in 2000 he co-founded the humor Web site, which was featured in Time Out New York, Gear Magazine, and on

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