Quote: a rich and magical plenitude
“True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine with a rich and magical plenitude of overtones and rhymes and resolved dissonances and a contrapuntal succession of fleeting aftertastes.”
So writes Bernard DeVoto in The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto (Tin House Books, 2010). The original came out in 1948, about the same time DeVoto won a Pulitzer Prize for Across the Wide Missouri, and it is indeed a manifesto. DeVoto proclaims that there are only two cocktails: a slug of whiskey and a gin Martini. Anyone who orders a Manhattan, drinks rum or adds any bitters other than Angostura is simply dismissed. Is the book opinionated, chauvinistic and dated? Perhaps, especially if you’re a fan of Manhattans as I am. But it is also an erudite and richly written perspective on civilized drinking, and one that will undoubtedly have you reaching for your cocktail shaker.