Who Is to Blame for the 7 and 7 Cocktail? An Interview with Adam McDowell, Author of Drinks: A User’s Guide

Source: Adam McDowell

The American Spectator’s Kevin Kosar badgers the Toronto writer Adam McDowell.  

Kevin Kosar: Congrats on the publication of Drinks: A User’s Guide (Tarcher, 2016). It’s a smart-looking book, and I enjoyed it. So how’s the weather in Minnesota?

Adam McDowell: It’s lovely, there are Canadian flags everywhere, people being very polite to each other.

Kosar: Wait…. you’re a Canadian? In Canada?

McDowell: Yes, born and raised in Toronto.

Kosar: Why?

McDowell: I’ve never had a doctor’s bill in my life. That’s explanation enough.

Kosar: As a Canadian, I trust you consume barbarous quantities of drinks like Yukon Jack, Canadian Club, Molson, and Moosehead, right?

McDowell: Ha! Yes, and Fireball, which few people realize is a Canadian product, which we’re proud of. Just like we’re proud of Justin Bieber. In all seriousness, I think Canadian drinking habits are different from U.S. ones. By and large, we drink less.… As much as there’s this image of Canadians as these macho drinkers, it’s actually a pretty moderate country in that way.

Kosar: Any bitters drinking going on up there?

McDowell: Oh, yes. You do get Bitters and ESB. The word bitter is thought by marketers to be a no-go. But it is here…. There’s a little bit more market for British porter, mild beer, that kind of thing. But it’s a small difference. Generally speaking, if you’re from the U.S. and you come to Canada, and you go shopping for beer, you’re going to have a similar experience.

Kosar: Is anyone making good wine up there? Continue reading “Who Is to Blame for the 7 and 7 Cocktail? An Interview with Adam McDowell, Author of Drinks: A User’s Guide”


The American Spectator Interviews Kevin Kosar About Moonshine: A Global History

….Kevin’s book is a trove of new information. Turns out, Hollywood portrays a limited view of the spirit that is a symbol of freedom worldwide. I spoke with Kevin about the book and here’s some of what we talked about.

I used to have a fantasy of setting up a moonshine still just to have my own source of booze, but the process is so complicated it seems like I need to be a chemist to do it. Why do people take the time to make Moonshine when it’s easier to make other forms of alcohol?

Kevin Kosar: Good question. Well, I guess I’d ask in response, why do folks bother to learn to fly fish and spend boku bucks on rods and equipment when they can go to a good market and buy perfectly good trout and salmon? It’s just the way people are — they like to mix their hands with nature’s bounty and produce something, whether it is knitting a scarf or wood-working one’s own furniture. Making spirits is challenging, but the rewards of getting it right are great. Seeing clean, fragrant liquor coming off the still after days of fermenting and toil is a joy.”

Read more at https://spectator.org/why-moonshine-kevin-kosar-explains/


Talking Whiskey and Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky On Late Night Live Radio (Australia)

Source: ForeignPolicy.com
Source: ForeignPolicy.com

On November 18, Kevin Kosar, author of Whiskey: A Global History, discussed Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky and whiskey with Phillip Adams on Late Night Live Radio.

The discussion was spurred by the publication of by “Straight Up,” by Afshin Molavi of Oxford Analytica and and the New America Foundation. The article was recently published in Foreign Policy journal, and currently may be read free of charge at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/09/03/straight_up_johnnie_walker_global_middle_class.

In “Straight Up,” Molavi, who also participated in the radio show, considered globalization through the lens of Johnnie Walker whisky.

You may listen to or download the broadcast at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/keep-walking3a-johnnie-walker/5099380.

AlcoholRevews.com’s postings on Johnnie Walker may be found at: http://alcoholreviews.com/tag/johnnie-walker/.


Interview with Richard Foss, Rum Historian

Source: RichardFoss.com

AlcoholReviews.com had the pleasure of sitting down with Richard Foss, author of Rum: A Global History (Reaktion, 2012). Naturally, we met in a bar, the classic Tune Inn on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Foss clearly enjoys tasting new rums, and he is learned in what rum is and how it has changed over the centuries.  But his real passion is the anthropological aspects of rum—in short, what do and did people think and feel about it?   How does and did it fit into their cultures?

His website, aptly named http://RumHistory.com, is a growing shrine to his rum discoveries. For example, Foss’s website carries a copy of the anti-rum tune, “Father’s a Drunkard, and Mother’s Dead.” (Such a happy ditty!)

Those who wish to learn more about Foss’s book can first listen to our interview, and learn more about the book here.

June 23, 2012 Update: We just completed reading this book and boy are we glad we did.

Rum: A Global History covers the who/what/when/where of rum with with wit and charm. The illustrations are terrific. We blew through this book in a few nights, and it easily earned a permanent place in our beverage book library.

Highly recommended for the rum lover or anyone with an interest in the history of drink.





Talking Whiskey On the Kojo Nnamdi Radio Show

Kojo Nnamdi. Source: TheKojoNnamdiShow.org

AlcoholReviews.com had the pelasure of sitting with Becky Harris, the distiller at Catoctin Creek, and Bill Thomas of the amazing whiskey bar, Jack Rose.  The mellifluous voiced and always delightful Kojo interviewed us about whiskey for an hour.  It was quite a conversation, and one caller told us that his grandmother made hot toddies with whiskey, Marmite, and cod liver oil.  You can listen to the full show it for free at: http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2011-12-07/whiskey-primer.