Sometimes it can be overwhelming to have a Google News alert set up for every kind of booze we can think of. Yeah, we get all sorts of liquor-related updates, but we also get constant emails about things we couldn't care less about, like what the Gin Blossoms are up to and how many umbrella drinks were consumed last night on Taradise.
Sometimes, however, we get a nugget that we have to print. Apparently Anthony Hopkins used to drink so much tequila he ended up envisioning himself in some Charleton Heston movie. One time we drank so much gin we thought we could fight like Rocky. He's since given up the sauce, but all we can say is "Well played, Mr. Hopkins. Well played."
Sir Anthony Hopkins says he became badly addicted to alcohol, to the point of suffering severe hallucinations.
The Oscar winner has been clean and sober 30-years after battling alcoholism. During his darker period, in the early 1970s, Hopkins drink of choice was strong Mexican tequila, which he claims induced strange side-effects.
Hopkins says, "I was really sort of on a prolonged acid trip. I saw things and had peculiar quasi-religious experiences. I thought I was John The Baptist, and I would talk to the sea at Malibu and the sea would talk back to me. It was weird."
From All Headline News.
September 22, 2005
Our idols over at Modern Drunkard Magazine are at it again, and this time they've moved away from their monthly format into something more permanent. That's right, Frank Kelly Rich, the genius behind Modern Drunkard Magazine, has written a book that will touch you...or at least do shots with your inner wino.
Book Description of The Modern Drunkard from Amazon.com:
"Attempting to deconstruct America's joyless obsession with sobriety, The Modern Drunkard offers today's befuddled drinkers a comprehensive and instructive manual on how to drink-and how to do it well. Through articles, anecdotes, cartoons, and illustrations, Frank Kelly Rich campaigns to revive the lost art of tippling and taps a deep vein of boozy lore and legend through the ages, uncovering etiquette and expertise from some of history's greatest guzzlers."
Until recently our only exposure to the drunkard was through Modern Drunkard online, but we've just gotten our hands on the our first hard copy and it lives up to our every expectation. Plus, the title on the front cover got some funny glances while we read it on the bus, and there was more than enough booze and cheesecake in its pages to last a half-hour ride. Drunkards of the world unite, or as they say on the Drunkard site, "Say it Loud, Say it Plowed!"
We expect the same magic from the book when it's released on October 25. The book retails for $14.00, but you can get it at Amazon for closer to $11. Pre-order your copy of the The Modern Drunkardat Amazon.com.
September 19, 2005
If you ask us, it's never a bad thing when booze helps push the boundaries of art. Don't believe us? Just look at Jackson Pollock, Ernest Hemingway and now, Bong Vodka. Bong Vodka is the latest entry in the art-meets-booze world, a designer vodka from Holland that brings new meaning to the term "dutch treat."
Recently approved for sale in the US, the controversial liquor has won government approval and will be landing in Florida in November. Rumors are already flying about a blowout planned in Miami's South Beach to celebrate the arrival of the vodka in December, and there's also talk of a series of events that will include national acts as well as up-and-coming artists and musicians. You can expect to see the vodka get a wider release in selected states in January 2006.
We checked out their website, bongvodka.com which doesn't seem to be quite finished yet, but even without a site offering more information they stand out because of the bottling. It doesn't look like your typical hard liquor container, but it is evocative...let's just say, even if they don't capture their modern hipster market, every stoner in the land is going to want to get their hands on a bottle.
Plus, they have a great profile on MySpace that shows they're anything but a bunch of stuffed shirts. Check out the blurb:
"Hi, I'm a designer vodka envisioned by a group of contemporary artists to fuse together a new wave of progressive fashion and designer attitude with an age-old Dutch product of exceptional quality. My artisanal formula has been handed down through five generations of master distillers and produced through a 150-year manual process, rich with traditional standards and superior craftsmanship. I'm here to unite those various lifestyles together in spirit, by way of expressionism and appreciation for ultramodern music, art, and culture. Won't you join me?"
Plus, in the "Who I'd Like to Meet" section, they add, "I'm a silky smooth sophisticated artisan from Holland, seeking ultramodern hipsters with great taste... for cultural exchange." We're pretty sure we're not ultramodern hipsters here at Liquor Snob, but that makes us want to meet a bottle in the darkened corner of our favorite bar.
Check out the full Bong Vodka MySpace profile to become friends online, and don't forget to keep your eye peeled in your local liquor store so you can meet in person and do a little vodka tasting of your own.
September 10, 2005
It's been a long time coming, but Jim Beam has finally jumped on the bandwagon for new-fangled technology to get their message out to prospective customers - it's called "television." That's right, after 210 years in the distilling business, the company will start running ads on cable TV stations including CMT, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, FX, Fox Sports Network, OLN and Spike TV.
"... the new commercial is a television version of the print campaign for Jim Beam that BBDO Chicago introduced last year, carrying the theme "The stuff inside matters most." And Jim Beam Brands is paying to run the new spots, from a budget estimated at $8 million to $12 million.
Indeed, by next year television "will be the lead medium" for the brand, said Keith Neumann, marketing director for Jim Beam bourbon at Jim Beam Brands in Deerfield, Ill."
Can you imagine that, sinking so much money into a new and untested medium like TV? I mean, the darned thing was only invented 80 years ago...
Read the full article Jim Beam Discovers the Power of TV at nytimes.com.
September 8, 2005
I know just about everyone is still reeling over the destruction and chaos happening in New Orleans right now, and it might not be readily apparent what you can do to help. We encourage everyone to give generously to the charity of your choice, but even if you can't donate you still have a chance to help. Help out with relief efforts and raise a toast to the brave people of Louisiana, picking themselves up after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, at the same time with a charity cocktail hour.
On Monday, September 12, the Museum of American Cocktail and Southern Comfort are sponsoring a fund-raising cocktail hour to try to help you. From 5-7 PM in bars all around the country, you can buy Big Easty-inspired cocktails for $10 apiece, and the proceeds will be donated to help relief efforts. Participating cities and states include: Aspen, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Please go to the Museum of American Cocktail's site for a full list of participating restaurants and to learn more about the Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour.
Not that I have anything against the American scientific community, but I think it's time they start taking their cue from their counterparts across the Pond. It seems that European scientists, specifically a Belgian team, are turning their gaze to something that really has an impact on us all - the nutritional content of beer. A team at the Meurice Institute in Brussels has spent the last three years analyzing the nutritional quality of speciality and microbrewed beers. So far, they have found that many refermented and specialty beers contain Folate, a B vitamin that helps people rebuild cells and help avoid diseases like cancer and anemia. One scientist on the team stated that they wanted to "rehabilitate beer as a daily beverage to be consumed in moderation," just as wine is. We'll keep you posted as we do beer research of our own.
Read more in Scientists analyse nutrition in beer at BeverageDaily.com.
September 7, 2005
That juggernaut called "science" isn't always a popular thing, especially since scientists haven't even gotten around to inventing personal jet packs yet, but one thing I can say for scientists is that they seem to like their booze. Studies are constantly being revealed touting the good effects of liquor, and most of them specify a certain type that is especially good. A recent study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston reveals that drinking alcohol three to four times a week can be good for your heart, a higher number than in other studies I've read. The study contains a lot of terms and scientific gobbledygook I don't understand, but the long and short seems to be that the "researchers safely concluded that there is a causal inverse relation between alcohol consumption and heart attack." Between that and news that booze builds brain cells
, I should be the model of good health.
Read the full article, entitled "Toast Your Health - Alcohol Helps Heart Health
" at HeartZine.
September 4, 2005
Believe it or not, a recent Gallup poll shows that more people claim to favor wine over beer when they're looking for a drink. While this may seem very surprising at first glance, beer drinkers probably don't have to worry much about their liquor store's coolers being ripped out in favor of wine racks. As usual, of course, what the numbers mean completely depends on where you get your information.
If you listen to wine people, you can take the news at face value:
According to the recent poll, some 63% of American adults say they drink alcohol. According to news reports, 39% of those prefer wine while 36% opt for beer.
This is an amazing turnaround from the situation in 1992, when beer was the choice of 47% of drinkers and 27% chose wine. Further, beer consumption is down among young adults, ages 21-to-29, but still holds about half of that group's loyalty. Among those over 50, the poll showed wine a clear leader.
There is a split in the demographic by gender, with women opting for a glass of wine and men for a pint of beer -- but it is a bias that is decreasing as more men take up wine.
"There has been virtually no change in preference for liquor among men and women, but the percentage naming beer has declined since 1992/1994 by 12 points among men, and by 6 points among women," Gallup said.
Read the full article at winesandvines.com
Beer people have a slightly different take, however. They agree that the data shows an upswing in people claiming to like wine, but point out that "on the flip side, consumers spent $82 billion on beer in 2004, $49 billion on distilled spirits and $23 billion on wine."
Learn more at Realbeer.com
Oregon won't begin harvesting its wine grapes for at another month, but all signs point to a supply that is far less than the rising demand. Blame whomever you want, whether it's Mother Nature for being stingy with the grapes, or the producers of Sideways for reminding everyone how great wine is. Whatever it is, industry types are saying that it's "an industrywide phenomenon and you're going to see upward price pressures as a result." Might be time to stock up on your Oregon wines before the mad stampede for the liquor store...
Full Story: Wine inventories low and demand is up in Oregon
Here's another interesting battle in the whiskey war, because they're making it with a new ingredient. Whiskey is typically made of fermented grains like barley, corn, and rye, but a small distillery is making a splash by trying something new. According to a story at the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal
Heaven Hill Distilleries is going against the grain with a new addition to the popular and highly profitable small-batch whiskey category.
Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey, the company said, is the first on the modern market distilled primarily from wheat -- a selling point the company hopes will create a buzz among connoisseurs who are willing to pay the $40-a-bottle price.
Winter wheat makes up 51 percent of Bernheim's grain recipe, with 39 percent corn and 10 percent malted barley.
The story goes on to say that the creation "is not as sweet as bourbon...and has a tang usually associated with scotch or rye whiskey." I like the sweetness of bourbon, but I'm always up to try something new. I'll keep you posted if I can get my hands on a bottle.