Really old booze. Or: What you find when you help your 94-year-old grandmother empty her liquor cabinet


My family has a bit of a morbid streak and likes to way over-prepare for people’s imminent deaths. My grandmother, for instance, is 94 years old and as fabulous as ever. She actually performed better than I did on a stress test at the cardiologist. Sorry, pride, you lose this round. Anyway, ever since she became the last living of six children a couple years ago, she’s been cleaning out her house so that we’ll have less stuff to throw away when she dies. Giving away jewelry, tossing old Christmas decorations—things of that sort. This last time my sister and I went home, we had the lovely task of cracking open the liquor cabinet.

Now this liquor cabinet probably hadn’t been opened since before I was born. Her husband used to be an alcoholic (a real one, not the enthusiast type), but gave it up some time in the late 70s if my calculations are correct. And my grandma, while she loves herself a glass of White Zinfandel, isn’t really the type to chug hard liquor on her own. There was a lot of dust and weird smells in that cabinet and, sadly, every single bottle—except for the pomegranate grenadine—was open. We took them all out, sniffed them, lost some brain cells and some lung function, and poured them down the drain. If you ever get the chance to take a whiff of 50-year-old rum that’s been chilling in a cabinet unsealed and half-drunk, OMG DON’T DO IT. Seriously. Read more »


Drinking at the office: How I added to our arsenal of imbibing


Zacapa tasting group shot

Cheers to drinking at work!

After a long hard day at work it’s nice to hit the bar for happy hour. But it’s even nicer, and more relaxing, to have the bar come to you!

That is the concept behind a new, 2013 initiative that I launched at my work, the San Francisco office of branding and design firm Landor. I call it Sip ‘n Learn™—and I think the name says it all.

It’s great to drop by the local bar with some co-workers and it’s nice to have occasional internal happy hours, but I wanted to offer a little more: a high-quality cocktail experience presented in a salon format. Read more »


Hide that hangover!

Josey & Loosey Goosey (& L.G.’s sister)

Ladies, while science (pffft…whatever, science) may say we can’t drink as much as men—apparently that sexy extra fat we carry makes our bodies metabolize booze at about half their rate—we as females have a distinct advantage in hiding our hangovers from the world’s judgiest-judgers: makeup.

Here, from guest Enthusiast Loosey Goosey (ed. note: NOT HER REAL NAME!!!) and your very own Josey (ed. note: me) are some tips to help you take advantage of the cosmetic tools at your disposal.

(Ed. note: Oh and men can totally wear makeup, too if they want. Something about gender!!! I’m being PC! I’m being PC!!!!)

hungover josey

Look how good I am at hiding my wretched hangovers! #notconvincing #reno

1. First thing’s first: Drink lots of water. Also coconut water. Trust us, your skin will be soooooo much less hideous when it’s (semi) rehydrated. Cause hungover you look like, 30 years older than you actually are (ed. note: no offense). Read more »


Cheap Shots with Dan: SF Trick or Treat

Fellow Enthusiast and real classy, real eloquent motherf***er Dan made our San Francisco Trick or Treat shot on the West coast edition of his hilarious web series, Cheap Shots with Dan. Check him out and see what he thinks of our super freaky Halloween shot.

Cheers Dan!


I’m not from around here: A Southerner in San Francisco


I’m not from around here. I come from a far off place. The extreme distance between my former home and my new home, San Francisco, is not just geographic in nature, but also in weather, personality, and societal norms. You see, I am from a far off land called South Carolina. You may know it for our politicians who either “walk the Appalachian Trail (Sanford),” call Obama a liar (Wilson), or are unabashed racists (Thermond… ok, all of them). You also may know it for our terrible school systems, our fantastic food, beautiful women, repulsive bigotry, top-notch beaches, rebel flags, and long history. If you can’t tell, I have a bit of a love hate relationship that ebbs and flows from that perfect Publix fried chicken and mashed sweat potatoes to annoying pastel Oxfords and gratuitous use of the pronoun “Bo.” Read more »


The best time I spilled a beer near Jay-Z


This story is about Jay-Z getting a drink. It is also about me getting the drink for him, even though at first I failed at that endeavor. I think Jay-Z may have enjoyed both of these things.

I’d just been hired at the swank downtown restaurant where Jay-Z is a regular, along with a cadre of other New York celebs. This is the kind of place where New York’s career servers plant themselves professionally, for years. I was assigned to shadow one of them, whose section included Jay-Z’s table. That day, this mostly meant running drinks.
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Appreciate your bartender: Dos and don’ts

It’s Bartender Appreciation Day! In honor of the gods and goddesses behind the stick, here are some “dos” and “don’ts” to help you be the best drunkard you can be—provided by our dear friend Haley, who tends bar in Portland, OR.



Thanks for appreciating all the ass kickin’, kissin’ and holes we deal with. Here’s some pointers to show you give a shit. Because saying “you work in the industry” doesn’t mean jack. Frankly, it can be a little insulting.

Your lovely bartender—off-duty

1. Pound on the bar to get my attention. I see you. I see the 50 other people standing around you, and the 4 that are immediately in front of me. Your lack of patience and common courtesy makes me want to make you wait longer.
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Homemade holiday gifts for drunks: Infused booze


It’s getting toward the end of the year, and if your 2011 New Year’s resolution was anything like mine—more day drinking—then you’re probably realizing right about now that your best intentions quietly slipped away sometime in … well, let’s face it, early January. Damn work.

But unlike with all your other failed resolutions, there’s still time for this one before the clock strikes 2012.

“But Leila,” I can almost hear you saying, “when will I find time for all this merrymaking? I have things to do! Presents to buy! Holiday parties to attend!”

First of all, quit your whining. Second, I have a solution to all of these problems and more, because you and I are getting ready to make infused liquor as holiday gifts for all your friends and (selected) family. Infused liquor is delicious, quick and easy and fun to make, and is appreciated both at holiday parties and as gifts. And you’re pretty much forced to taste it as it infuses! So let’s Martha Stewart it up and make some homemade gifts, shall we?
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Whiskey gingers at the end of the world: Part 1


It wasn’t my intention to begin my column about drinking in Antarctica while sitting at the bar at 8am on a Tuesday, but now that it’s happened, it seems like a very fitting start to these cold- and bourbon-fueled insights into alcohol enthusiasm at the end of the world. My name is Tessa and I’m a vagabond artist and voluntary canary down the coal mine currently working as a cook down at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. For the next fourish months, I’ll be working and drinking from my little home on the Ross Island Ice Shelf, and will be regaling you with tales of inebriation from the very, very deep South.
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The Drunkest I’ve Ever Been: Law prom

—Brittany McLawStudent

Like so many of us, my drunken moments are depressing if not downright concerning. Considering the fact that I do NOT need an intervention in my life right now (I’m on a roll here!) I will tell you about one of the moments that I can look back on now, and muster a hearty, belly-rolicking chuckle.

Let’s set the scene: It’s prom night. No, not high-school prom—my 22 year-old boyfriend, who didn’t have enough sense to avoid knocking a 17-year-old up, did have enough (or was it shame?) to refuse to take me to that one.

Fast-forward to my next prom going opportunity. Hastings. Law. School. Prom.  Also known as “Barristers Ball.” Open Bar. Top-Shelf Liquor. Marble Floors (in hindsight, a terrible and dangerous idea—in fact, I’m surprised none of the assholes I go to school with have sued over it yet).  And bless those bartenders, they didn’t cut anyone off—the whole night!  Imagine the most stressed-out group of students finally letting loose with unlimited Patron, Makers’, and Grey Goose.
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