A Chorus of Booze

Kingsley_amisIn New Humanist, Toby Saul on Kingsley Amis’ defense of alcohol.

You can often hear alcohol being compared (unflatteringly) with other drugs. Usually along the lines of “Why do we kill ourselves and other people with legal alcohol, when we should be killing ourselves and other people with legal coke, MDMA, glue, whatever?” One answer might be that no other intoxicant has ever come close to gathering about itself such a weight and variety of cultural endeavour. Nor has any other drug succeeded in inspiring so many inventive and variegated ways to be mixed and presented to the enthusiast. Not even hashish, with its umpteen strains and baroque rituals, pipes and paraphernalia and assorted tat, has ever come within a whisker of evolving a similar deep-rooted cultural patrimony.

Amis proves this point with a bracingly comprehensive list of cocktails, though some will be of more practical use than others. There are handy recipes for imperishable classics such the Dry Martini, the Bloody Mary and the Old Fashioned, but why not get back to your Anglo-Saxon roots (if you possess them) with Cock Ale?