Cachaça—It’s What’s for Happy Hour

September 21, 2015

Since the publication of Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America, I’ve been fortunate to receive the occasional sample of liquor. But a recent miscommunication led to my acquiring an entire case of Cachaça 51—that clear spirit fermented from sugar cane (as opposed to molasses, which leads to rum). It was only proper […]

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Will Jon Taffer Rescue America?

August 27, 2015

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with business entrepreneur Jon Taffer, host of Bar Rescue on Spike. He had just spoken at the Defending the American Dream Summit in Columbus, Ohio. It was his first political event and probably not his last considering how much he enjoyed it. You can find my […]

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Guilders and Schillings and Francs, Oh My!

July 24, 2015

The continuing economic crisis in Greece brought to mind my backpacking days in Europe: Traveling around with a college buddy, hitting 11 cities in one month, most of it a blur. There was the antisemitic innkeeper with the Jewish husband in Amsterdam, the drunken captain at a Fasching (as opposed to fascist) party in Trier, […]

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As I Lay Dying

July 7, 2015

Well, I wasn’t quite dying. It could’ve gone either way. Lucky for me, I recovered (am still recovering) from my Strep A infection/cellulitis, following a mosquito bite late last May. Taking the advice of a friend battling cancer, I compartmentalized, focusing on the next immediate step, whether it be lab results, bringing my temperature down […]

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You Are What You Eat

June 2, 2015

Having recently been hospitalized, I took note of what foods I found appealing—and what my body could handle (digestively). Those first few days it was a fruit cup, Italian ice, and mostly Jell-O. Eventually I was attracted to complex carbs and was able to get down an English muffin with orange marmalade. Then came cereal […]

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New York State of Mind

May 18, 2015

Two things jumped out at me while watching last night’s series finale of Mad Men: One, we are finally told when the episode is set. In Joan’s apartment-makeshift-office, we see the calendar stating in large print, “November 1970.” When Pete Campbell tells Peggy she could be the first female creative director by 1980, she is […]

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Office Space

May 5, 2015

Was it just me, or did the empty offices of the now-definct SC&P remind you of the final days inside Hitler’s bunker? Still, all you need are an organ, a bottle of sweet vermouth, and a pair of rollerskates, and you’ve got yourself a party! It took some convincing to get Peggy into the spirit […]

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About That Letter

April 23, 2015

And suddenly it’s April. Where’d the time go? How is Vodka doing? And who am I talking to? Vodka is doing just fine, and on August 8, I will be moderating a panel, History of the Cocktail: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, at the National Archives. I’ll provide updates as the date approaches. But […]

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Car Talk

February 17, 2015

Over at the Weekly Standard, I’ve got a column concerning auto illiteracy. How many of us have studied arcane subjects that, while admirable in a life-of-the-mind sort of way, have little use when you’re, say, stuck on the side of the road with smoke billowing from beneath your car hood? Along with those AP courses, […]

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Meanwhile, at WFB…

January 29, 2015

Aside from promoting Vodka, I’ve started writing occasional columns at the Washington Free Beacon. These include reviews of John Jobling’s U2: The Definitive Biography, Frances Larson’s Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found, Russell James’s “gripping” Angels, and essays celebrating the return of foie gras to California and National Meat Month. Do check […]

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