Hollywood and Booze – The Good Old Days

We have often poked fun at the modern hysteria surrounding the use of alcohol here at The Notes.

I can’t remember the last time I read or watched a news story involving booze which didn’t also include some overly simplistic moral subtext wagging a disapproving finger at our inability to be anything other than reckless, impulsive infants while under the influence. And while I’d love to write a screenplay which involves an adult, and comical, relationship with the bottle I can’t see the possibility of any modern television or film production doing so without feeling it also has to show the consequences. Consequences which, in our modern cultural climate, could only be portrayed as bad.

Which is why I’d have loved to have been writing in an era when booze was celebrated in the way it was in The Thin Man series. Great gags. Fabulous on-screen chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy. And, boy, did they sink a few…

Oxygenated Booze? This Dr says YES

As some of our regular readers may have noticed I have been somewhat tied up of late.

This may be the case for a while (and hopefully it is… a dream writing job has turned up and will, with any luck, keep me busy for at least six months) but I’m aiming to get back to regular posting as soon as I establish some sort of routine. I’ve always been a creature of habit and changing a regular routine for a new one often takes me a bit of time. What doesn’t change, however, is the urge to have a delicious beverage as the sun goes down.

So it was with some degree of excitement I noticed that Korean scientists have discovered a way of tweaking booze and lessening the dreaded morning after effects, without tampering with its strength.

We've all been there. On occasions I've also woken up wearing a similiar dress.

Drs Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong have studied the properties of oxygenated alcohol, a popular snifter in Korea, similiar to carbonated drinks elsewhere but using oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. When you drink alcohol, your body needs to oxidize it to water and carbon dioxide in order to process it. This occurs via hepatic oxidation, but the enzymes in your liver require oxygen to process the booze. It’s thought that by storing the oxygen in the alcohol itself, the system functions more quickly and efficiently.

In short, it means fewer and less savage hangovers without sacrificing all the fun of getting off with ugly people and cravings enormous kebabs at 3am.

If you can find it in your local shops, pick yourself up a bottle of O2 Linn. I love their blurb, for “Brain, Body, Beauty” indeed!

Boozing through the recession

The current recession has seen some marked changes in consumer behaviour. This has generally been a move towards austerity, so much so that a Continue reading

Recession: The Bitter Price We Pay

Some horrifying news has reached The Notes from Trinidad and Tobago where the firm that owns Angostura Bitters has been hit by a liquidity crisis. The factory that has produced the vital ingredient in Manhattans and Pink Gins since 1824, was forced to cease production in June and panic buying has meant shelves are rapidly emptying around the world.

Caution Sobriety Ahead

The chief executive of Angostura USA, the North American distributer, has said production will come back on line soon thanks to a re-financing deal but you can’t whip a bottle of bitters up overnight… this ancient brew takes time and supply could take up to a year to return to normal. The only solution is to race down to the local liquor store and hope you can nab a few bottles before the rest of the panickers get there.

Needless to say, I panicked last week and am currently sitting on a case of the stuff. Any offers?

Cult Corner – Scientology

Scientology has always defended its beliefs with an army of well paid lawyers and a rabid indignation if non-believers should attack the central pillars of their belief system. These central pillars, or secrets, were usually only accessible to the highest levels of the “church” and only then after adherents had invested large amounts of time and money on working their way towards becoming one of the exalted few to whom these revelations were made.

But has the internet begun to undermine Scientology? And, if so, how long will it last if the secrets, which were for so many years Continue reading

So where are you on the Booze-O-Meter?

Given we still seem to be in the vice-like grip of a medico-media assault on binge drinking (as documented by Duffster in Binge Drinking: Katherine Hepburn Style), I thought it may be instructive to look at Continue reading

Hey! Look what I found!

I'd rather drink hemlock

What a handy looking book!

I discovered it at Found in Mom’s Basement. A guide for the home bartender from the groovy folks at Playboy!

And it looks like it probably comes with handy tips to get yourself one of those cute bunny chicks dishing up the beverages too!

HANG ON…. WTF?!?!?!?!?



Cocktail Time – The Bloody Mary

There are nights when even the most seasoned drinker stumbles over a line drawn almost arbitrarily in the sand by some wicked God. Nights which, while they may end in sozzled affection for ones fellow passengers on this ship called Life, inevitably turn to vile morning and the grim prospect ahead.

Kingsley Amis - No stranger to the sherry bottle

Kingsley Amis - No stranger to the sherry bottle

Kingsley Amis was only too familiar with this feeling. A notorious drinker, he was also a serial Continue reading

Drunken Monkeys

I was going to sit here and compose a beautifully moving piece about Life, The Universe and Everything.

But then I thought, “Fuck it” and spent my time searching for Youtube clips of Drunken Monkeys…



Which raises a question…


Cocktail Time – The Daiquiri

The Daiquiri is one of the world’s great cocktails and forms the base from which an almost infinite range of varieties can spring. But there was a time when this colossus of the cocktail pantheon typified all that was wrong about the liquor industry.

Continue reading

Cocktail Time – The Manhattan

To the British, the cocktail has always been thought of as having American roots. A 1908 catalogue from Harrods, for example, featured two silver plated cocktail shakers advertised as being “for mixing American drinks”

The well-heeled English aristocracy would often holiday in New York and, presumably under the influence of these innovative concoctions, sometimes marry the inhabitants. Not that Lord Randolph Churchill required beer goggles to fall under the spell of Jennie Jerome. New money spoke volumes and Jennie was the daughter of Leonard Jerome –“The King of Wall Street” — and therefore qualified, in financial terms, as American aristocracy herself.

Continue reading

Cocktail Time – The Gibson

It seems like seldom does a day go by without discovering that, in the world outside, the Demon Booze is tearing the very fabric of society apart….

Violence! Sex! Teenagers out of control! And having sex and being violent!!!

This wasn’t what the world was like in a gentler age was it? No…. Continue reading