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The Cocktail: The Influence of Spirits on the American Psyche

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The Cocktail: The Influence of Spirits On the American Psyche

Current Status:
In Season
Joseph Lanza
Pop Culture

We gave it a B+

Booze and boozers rarely come in for such high accolades, but Joseph Lanza, who has also written a book on the history of Muzak (I kid you not), has penned The Cocktail: The Influence of Spirits on the American Psyche, an unabashed love sonnet to gimlets, manhattans, and their equally intoxicating brethren. Lanza traces the history of the cocktail from George Washington to Mr. Jenkins, who on behalf of Tanqueray teaches Gen Xers how to accessorize with gin. With added testimony from folk like M.F.K. Fisher — who once wrote in The Atlantic Monthly that ”a well-made Martini or Gibson, correctly chilled and nicely served, has been more often my true friend than any two-legged creature” — this book, complete with a lengthy bibliography, will quench your thirst for knowledge of cocktail culture and its swizzle-stick, tiki room, rumba-band-filled world. B+