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Drinking: An Absurd Solution to the Absurdity of Life

“This is an absurdly complicated world,” writes Daniel Handler in the introduction to “The Hour,” Bernard DeVoto’s essential 1948 book on cocktails. “Drinking, like existence, is an endless muddle, one of the slipperiest boulders in life’s daunting stream — we cling to it for support but end up even wetter than when we started.”

DeVoto set out to provide some clarity to this situation, and we hope to as well.

Fermentation and distillation have been a part of human history, for both pleasure and survival, almost since we could walk upright. These processes proved, once upon a time, mankind’s divinity and drinking continues to be an essential part of life: for celebrating, consoling or just welcoming the end of the day. It’s at the center of many of our rituals — from the happy hour to the wedding toast. And yet, too often, drinks are merely consumed and not enjoyed. Sadly, most people are going about drinking all wrong.

Don’t mistake this for some form of snobbery: we believe that in every drinking life there is room for both Champagne and “the champagne of beer.” Not every night calls for First Growth Bordeaux. Sometimes Wild Turkey is just what a recipe (or a night) calls for. We hope to help you find the right wine, beer, spirit or cocktail for the right time; to understand where your beverage comes from, how it is made and how it should be served or prepared, so that hopefully, you can enjoy drinking even more.

And of course, we believe strongly that no table is set until the glasses have been filled.