Sunday, December 04, 2005

I wish I had some clever words to introduce these reviews of Mondo Cocktail with, but frankly, all the best witticisms this weekend seem to have been used up by Nick Pashley and Jessica Warner.

Inspired choices for reviewers! Pashley wrote Notes on a Beermat: On Drinking and Why it's Necessary a few years ago - an extremely funny book that, now that I think about it, was probably a major influence in my decision to write about cocktails - and, Jessica Warner wrote the groundbreaking Craze: Gin and Debauchery in the Age of Reason in 2002.

Pashley wrote: This handsome little hardcover book (with numerous appropriate illustrations) should come shrink-wrapped with a cocktail shaker, because only the clinically dead could read Mondo Cocktail and not want to mix a stiff drink. Even a beer guy.

And then, there's Warner: Caution: This book is recommended for ironic readers only. Some people might be shocked to read that the best cure for a hangover is a "Bloody Mary with two shots of vodka," that people who have neither the time nor money to drink Grand Marnier in the morning are to be pitied, that the abolition of drive-through bars is a minor tragedy bespeaking a lack of political will on the part of lushes. There is, of course, an element of ├ępater le bourgeois in all this -- reason enough to give the book to the born-again Christians in your life.