Hottie of the Week: Alessandro

There’s only one thing we like almost as much as drinking here at The Alcohol Enthusiast—hotties. So we decided to combine the two. Alessandro has been an Enthusiast since the tender age of 7 and his favorite cocktail is a Maker’s Manhattan.

And he sure looks sexy in a Speedo.

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The Drunkest I’ve Ever Been: The exciting conclusion of 2010


I work at the One Union recording studio. One year, our annual Christmas party was to be followed by a recording session at 2am. Turns out we were connecting to Cape Town, South Africa to record “Ninja” from Die Antwoord. It was noon there.

The fancy shmancy restaurant we go to for dinner every year is Jardiniere, by the opera house. They pour drinks with a heavy hand! We all had some whiskey at the office before the party, and once there I indulged in my usual drinking of the oldest and most expensive scotch they have available (it’s on the boss’ tab!) The dinner went well, was really fun, and Jesus those scotches were huge! We ate scallops, steak, risotto, holy shit, tons of buttery french shit piled up on top of all that booze. I drank like an asshole even though I knew I had an overnight session coming up.
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It’s for charity


There is one call to arms (and I am by no means implying there is ONLY one … but I am sure you will agree that this one has earned a particular gravitas over the years) that no Enthusiast can resist, regardless of their age, social standing, and even their level of comprehension of the greater cause. This reason for revelry, this justification for joviality—dare I say it, this Excuse for Enthusiasm (not that one needs an excuse)—has all but dragged people from their deathbeds.

So what is it? Only that inherent belief in the simple phrase: “it’s for charity.”

Sometimes there is the prerequisite of a small investment in the “charity of choice,” but sometimes there is not. All that is required of you is to show up, drink up and try not to throw up.

The traditional staging of these affairs opens with the arrival of a hoard of glamorous, young whipper-snappers, and a dappling of elegant, seasoned antiques at a venue quite unsuitable for those at either end of the age spectrum. This provokes a chorus of “oohs,” “aaahs,” and “wows” accompanied by a wave of theatrical expressions of surprise, wonderment and humble gratitude. Niceties over with, the focus turns to the proximity of the bar, and an enthusiastic urgency ensues. The hardened drinkers on the circuit hit the scotch, those tortured by an inner conflict between wanting to appear cultured while secretly wishing for an intravenous delivery system head for the gin mixers, and the floozies who skipped dinner giggle their way towards the champagne (or the closest thing on offer).

Some of these occasions even call for dancing in honor of charitable giving and this will inevitably be to a soundtrack of covers of the shockers your parents used to get their funk on to, and take place on a waxed wooden surface that is just aching to get its revenge on your stilettos; simultaneously offering you a view of the ceiling—while giving everyone else a view of your nether regions.

But dare you complain? No, it is for charity, and if that charity is asking you to party and imbibe, and party and imbibe … then a dedicated Enthusiast will follow that gospel.

As the evening wears on, however, and the open bar begins to claim it first victims; the illusion wears off, things disintegrate. Come home-time, the rag-bag crowd that stumbles out bears an uncanny resemblance to the crumpled, disheveled, sartorially oblivious exhibitionists seen ejected from an underage gathering on New Years.

This slithering descent from glittering superiority to infantile subservience can be blamed entirely on that simple phrase, “it’s for charity.”

I mean, if someone offers you a beverage in the name of Breast Cancer Research, who are you to turn down libations so loaded with altruism and generosity? If your very presence at the bar is going to lead to a breakthrough in genetic science, is it your decision as to how long to stay? Has vodka ever tasted better than when it is laced with pure, organic self-satisfaction?

And the best thing about benevolent drinking has to be the fact that no matter how late you show up to work the next day, how much like a distillery you may smell and how green a complexion you may have … a simple utterance of that invaluable phrase—the pained whisper of just four harmless little words, “it was for charity”—will instantly relieve you of any guilt, any remorse and any strenuous activities.


Bottles photo courtesy of  de la Ronde, flickr.
Bucket photo courtesy of tray, flickr.



A veteran Enthusiast

Not to get all sappy, but to say my grandfather has been an inspiration for me would be an understatement. A member of “The Greatest Generation,” this is a man who lived through the Depression, graduated from Stanford, fought as a Naval commander in the South Pacific, ran a successful newspaper business that stretched up and down Washington state and has rarely—if ever—missed a cocktail hour.

Unfortunately, as he served in the Navy, this was not my grandfather’s plane—but I am sure he’d approve.

Maybe I move in the wrong circles, but the tradition of cocktail hour seems to have gone the way of smoking indoors and showing your appreciation of a female colleague’s good work with a firm pat on her behind. Which is why I have always relished the visits to my mother’s parents house which invariably included mandatory 5:30 alcohol consumption. It effectively forces informal personal interaction and has the obvious added benefit of making dinner conversation all the easier an hour later. These were the times in college when I would, with increasingly flushed cheeks, explain the various classes I was taking and be told that I should really read the paper every morning; that it was a shame the young people didn’t keep up on worldly events any more. It was there, too, that I learned how to make the basic cocktails and was able to sample a much wider variety of booze brands than my humble income would allow. Needless to say, I loved it.

My grandfather recently celebrated his 95th birthday. We had a big party the night before with a variety of guests—friends and family, young and old—and booze was plentiful. My grandfather, aged though he may be, was still the ultimate host and in a proud display of his long time enthusiasm, got up after dinner wearing a kilt with drink in hand and made a wonderfully succinct and largely humorous toast, with personal quips and recollections about each of the many who were present. Later, the night’s revelries pushed on, even as the older half of the crowd made their exit. A small contingent of us made our way to a local club and danced while male go-go dancers gyrated onstage. Upon returning to the house, and after filling a cooler with beer, we all jumped in the heated outdoor pool and eventually—and quite enthusiastically—watched the sun come up. Did I mention this started out as a 95th birthday party?

The next evening we held his official birthday dinner, with cocktail hour taking place, this day, at the restaurant. And what, fellow Enthusiast, does a 95-year-old man with the last name McClelland order, pre-meal, after about 80-plus years of cocktail hours? The same thing he’s drank for as long as I’ve know him—scotch on the rocks. I’ll be damned if he hasn’t found the secret to eternal youth.


Cocktail Hour photo courtesy of Hawk914, flickr.