I spent my first afternoon in Rome laying in my narrow hostel bed, talking to the Australian boy I’d just met, who was laying in his matching bed across the room as torrential rain poured on the charming front garden for hours. We had one of those intense conversations you sometimes have when forced into proximity with an affable stranger – I told him about a breakup, he told me about why he decided to leave Australia for a year. (Because that’s what 20something Australians do, mostly, but there were other reasons.)
This is the first installment in a series about women and whiskey.
As soon as I enter the Nashville Whiskey Festival, I start looking for a way out. I'm already dehydrated and surly—my walk here ended up taking a half hour longer than I thought it would, and involved clambering under a highway, over train tracks, and through a neighborhood of barbed wire fences and flickering-light warehouses. All I want to do is sit down, chug some water, and plan out my next 10 drinks.
Instead, I enter a loud, narrow room, lined with tables on the perimeter. I find a palette of bottled water and snag one—they're tucked [...]
Summer is not a time to fuss. It is not the time to throw a party and spend the whole time sweating through your new sundress because you’re hand-muddling everyone’s organic mango mojitos.
Sangria is the perfect solution—it can be made ahead of time in large quantities and actually tastes better as it sits. No babysitting required! It’s also a good way to showcase seasonal fruit, which conveniently covers up any shortcomings of the cheap wine you bought to make it. I mean, don’t buy Franzia chillable red in a box, but there’s no reason to go crazy with something people will likely end up drinking out of plastic cups.[...]
In real life, in all but the fanciest boutiques, there is no booze available. At the mall the most you can hope for is an Auntie Anne’s pretzel wolfed down between depressing department stores and the Ann Taylor sale rack. Online, you can shop at several different stores at once with the beverage of your choice, and if you window shop and creep around for hours, no one’s the wiser. Here’s what to drink while you contribute to the demise of local businesses.
Usually, I’m kind of a snob about Pinot Noir and only like it if it’s French and semi-obscure, like Sancerre Rouge. But Pinot from Sonoma’s Russian River [...]
Spring may actually come to North America at some point, which means addressing what’s going on under all those sweaters and hats. I swear, once it hits 70 degrees I’m just going to run out of my house stark naked, public nudity laws be damned. Save money by doing some of this excavation and shellacking yourself, and then blow what you saved on delicious beverages. What could be better?
Is Something Burning? Nair, and its even scarier generic counterparts, call for a soothing accompaniment. Because who hasn’t ended up with a red mustache from wanting to read just a little longer in the bathtub, thus leaving it smeared [...]
After having an alcohol-induced stroke in middle age, Jane Bowles was sent to see a British neurologist, who patronisingly told her: "You're not coping, my dear Mrs Bowles. Go back to your pots and pans and try to cope."
This intense disregard for women, this inability to comprehend their talents or inner lives, was typical. Similar scenarios can be found in the lives of almost any 20th-century woman writer of note. Take Jean Stafford, who these days is more likely to be remembered for her marriage to Robert Lowell than for her Pulitzer prize-winning stories or her extraordinary, savage novel The Mountain Lion. This latter work was published in 1947, while [...]
Throughout human history we have wrestled with the great mysteries. “Who shot J.R.?” No one ever found out. “Where’s the beef?” Exactly. Where was the beef? No one knew. But arguably the greatest mystery of human existence has always been, “How do we get alcohol to taste better?” It’s fun to drink, but the taste can be all very acquired. They make vodka taste like supermodel kisses. And yet still somehow underneath you can always taste the bitterness of the alcohol. The stiffness of the drink. The more dangerous the drink the tastier it is. And now Hard Cider is having a moment. With beer sales flat, why not [...]