May 11
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“Having long been annoyed by people who called knowingly for, say, ‘a Dewar’s and water’ instead of a scotch and water, I decided to ask a trusted barman what I got if I didn’t specify a brand or label. The answer was a confidential jerk of the thumb in the direction of a villainous-looking, tartan-shaded jug under the bar. The situation was even grimmer with gin and vodka and became abysmal with ‘white wine,’ a thing I still can’t bear to hear being ordered. If you don’t state a clear preference, then your drink is like a bad game of poker or a hasty drug transaction: It is whatever the dealer says it is. Please do try to bear this in mind.”

—Christopher Hitchens, introduction to Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis (New York: Bloomsbury, 2010).


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