Alcohol Professor: Sinning in Sydney

After more hours than I want to count neatly folded into the capsules that comprise coach service on most major American air carriers, I stepped into Sydney, Australia with only a single thought in my mind: I needed a drink.

Alcohol Professor: Duelling Counts

On Alcohol Professor, I’m looking at the Dueling Counts fighting over the creation of one of the best cocktails, the Negroni, and James Bond’s affection for the drink.

From the Martinez to the Vesper: The Mythology of Martinis

Like many of the most famous cocktails, the Martini is at its foundation and most widely accepted recipe, exceptionally simple: gin and vermouth, with an olive or twist of lemon peel for garnish. Nothing more. Stirred, actually, not shaken. And yet, as simple as that recipe is, few cocktails have as many variations and corruptions…

Gimlets with Fleming and Marlowe

The gimlet is one of the great, unsung heroes of the cocktail world. Simple, refreshing, easy to make — and favored by everyone from British sailors to private eye Philip Marlowe, It was during the great mid-century cocktail revival that young Ian Fleming came into his own as the gadabout and Bond vivant we know him…

Meet Me at the Savoy

The Savoy Hotel was the home away from headquarters for British Intelligence during the Second World War. It was a hospital during the Blitz. And it was one of the first places to introduce to Europe the cocktail and the concept of the “American bar”. London’s famous Savoy Hotel is first mentioned in the James…

Shaking Martinis with Nick and Nora

Few things set cocktail aficionados and James Bond enthusiasts against one another with more ferocity than 007’s shaken vodka martinis. But Bond wasn’t the first cinematic drinking icon to prefer his martinis shaken. In an episode of the television show The West Wing, President Josiah “Martin Sheen” Bartlet said “Shaken, not stirred, will get you…

Alexander the Great

The first drink James Bond has in Risico, while meeting with his contact Kristatos, is a Negroni. Risico prominently features one more cocktail, if in a somewhat dismissive fashion. Kristatos identifies himself to Bond at the Hotel Excelsior’s bar with a signal: an Alexander, which amuses 007. “Bond had been told to look for a…

The Least Offensive of the Musical Comedy Drinks

The Americano seems a fairly nondescript drink with which to kick off such a legendary drinking career as that of James Bond, though it’s doubtful that at the time he was writing Casino Royale Ian Fleming was thinking that the Americano would be examined as the drink that started an international phenomenon. Born May 28,…

Alcohol Professor: Bartender, There’s an Anchovy In My Drink

I spent the better part of a week in New Orleans, seeking out voodoo hotspots and attending Tales of the Cocktail. My latest Frolic Afield for Alcohol Professor is about one of the many (very good) seminars I attended during that week. Bartender, There’s an Anchovy In My Drink is a look at the Italian…

Alcohol Professor: American Hotel Bars

Over at my other home on Alcohol Professor, I’m spinning the tale of the rise and fall and rise of the American hotel bar and cocktail culture. Or rather, in Cocktail History: American Hotel Bars, I am writing about “Rediscovering the American Hotel Bar,” a Manhattan Cocktail Classic event in which Rene Hidalgo, head bartender…

Alcohol Professor: Toasting Santa’s Devil

A seasonal Frolic Afield on Alcohol Professor celebrating both Krampusnacht and Repeal Day! Toasting Santa’s Devil showcases two beers, one American and one Italian, and one very special Krampus cocktail that will help you toast the repeal of Prohibition and the arrival of Santa’s most devilish sidekick.

That Prince Among Shampoos

“His two battered suitcases came and he unpacked leisurely and then ordered from Room Service a bottle of the Taittinger Blanc de Blancs that he had made his traditional drink at Royale. When the bottle, in its frosted silver bucket, came, he drank a quarter of it rather fast and then went into the bathroom…