“Men it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly and one by one.” ~ Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1852)
In the early 19th century Charles MacKay examined how groups of people could quite spontaneously develop a communal form of self-delusion, or even madness. If one were to sit at a bar over a period of hours and observe, from the early fluctuation of post work cocktail sippers to the rowdier crowds of late night, one might see a transformation as fantastic as that of Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. The later the hour grows, the more the madness sneaks into the crowd, like a contagion passed – usually in liquid form – from one person to another. It will start out innocently enough, and the first to succumb rarely expects to as they are in the safe confines of their group of friends. But that is how the madness works, by eluding us into believing there is strength in numbers. The truth is we would have been safer drinking on our own.
Beer Thirty. It’s less about a time on the clock than it is a state of mind. See my review of Lexington Beerworks coming soon!
I had really hoped that this would be the year. Along with every other University of Kentucky basketball fan, the feeling for the last six months was “We’re back”. But even more so than the much desired eighth championship banner, I wanted the Wildcats to clinch the title for a much more selfish reason. I had a bottle of bourbon I wanted to drink.
I’m probably one of the few members of my generation who got to know the world’s most widely known secret agent through literature rather than the movies. I still read Casino Royale every year, so I was thrilled when a decent adaption of the book was finally filmed and released in 2006. It was while watching the news one evening that I heard the anchor talking about the rush to book wedding dates for the “luckiest date of the century”, July 7th, 2007. Seven is lucky number in Chinese culture, and the three sevens in the date were attracting couples the world over to tie the knot the first week of July. It was as the date 07/07/2007 scrolled across the screen that it hit me, with every bit as much force as a lethal toe kit from Rosa Klebb’s KGB issued shoe. Oh seven, oh seven, double oh seven. It was, I thought, the perfect set-up for a dinner party. I knew then that I would be planning a dinner for that date and all of the food would be from or inspired by James Bond. It would be an evening, to put it frankly, of Martini’s, Girls and Guns. (more…)
I’m sitting here, shattered. Forced to acknowledge that something I once enjoyed has been taken from me. I have just finished watching an hour of what would have been, under different circumstances, semi-enjoyable television. My mind, however, shut down during the opening segment after I heard the words “And now the premier of ‘At The Table with Anthony Bourdain’, sponsored by Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey”. God, that really hurts. (more…)
One shouldn’t have to visit a rock and roll hotel in order to find a bartender that understands bourbon. That being said, you would be forgiven for expecting the wait-staff at the Hard Rock Hotel to have a firm grasp of the differences between bourbon, scotch and rotgut whiskey. Enough icons of music have stumbled onto or off of stages with either a bottle of Jim Beam or Jack Daniels in their hand to make whiskey the unofficial drink of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After all, the club was called the “Whiskey-a-Go-Go”, not the “Vodka-a-Go-Go”. Being a Kentucky native, it should come as no surprise to anyone that my main focus, object of affection, drink of choice and favorite ingredient in the kitchen happens to be bourbon. I have a reasonable fondness for Scotch and a new found respect for Japanese whisky, but I do not buy, purchase, drink, partake, enjoy or even tolerate that sugary foul tasting concoction known the world around as Tennessee Whiskey. If your reading this from Lynchburg, Tennessee all I can day is “I’m sorry”. God must not love you as much as he does me. (more…)