Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Booze in the News: 2010 in Rehab, er, Review

Just when you thought another ill-conceived "weekly" feature had fizzled- like so many before it- into obscurity, here comes a ham-fisted, disorganized, and sloppily-produced retrospective of a ham-fisted, disorganized, and sloppily-produced "weekly" feature.

Below are some of my favorite stories from 2010 that celebrated the magical elixir that causes hangovers, thus causing a hungover blogger to resort to such yellow journalism:

Best packaging: with all due respect to Pabst Blue Ribbon applying the proverbial lipstick to the metaphorical pig (though PBR does drink about as well as what is squeegied from the floor of a pig sty) by repackaging and selling its swill for $40+ to unsuspecting Chinese, this one has to go BrewDog, and its "End of History" beer. While I wouldn't pay hundreds of dollars for a 55% ABV bottle of suds, the thought of a dining room centerpiece featuring a taxidermied weasel with a bottle lovingly crammed down its gullet is certainly making me reconsider my need for Italian stingray boots.

Best drunk celebrity quote: Because we don't know if Kanye West was drunk when pretty much anything came out of his mouth, this one goes to Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, who was arrested after being found wet and shirtless in downtown Indy at 5 AM on Oct. 20. When asked how much he had been drinking, McAfee quipped, "a lot, because I am drunk." Brilliant. However, the whole thing stinks of a bit of a frame-up to me. I must say I would've never suspected a guy named "Patrick McAfee" from West Virginia to be drinking.

Best use of booze in cooking: This is a tough one. Normally, the thought of taking a nice bottle of wine or some craft beer and subjecting to a culinary pursuit that will rob it of vitalizing alcohol is...disturbing. Yet, the notion of taking ANY food and deep-frying it offers 100% reassurance that the cuisine in question will be vastly improved. Okra? It sucks. Fried okra? Like manna from heaven. Remember how turkey was the bland "khaki slacks" of meats, and then some wild-eyed Cajun pumped it up with hot sauce and threw that gobbler into a pot of peanut oil? I'm getting flush just thinking about it. But what if some enterprising gent from Texas took booze...and deep-fried it? You would have deep-fried beer. Yes. DEEP. FRIED. BEER. And, because the cooking time is so short, the alcohol remains. I don't really care to know how this came to be, but it must taste like the tears of a baby angel. In fact, I have it on good authority that they serve this very dish in the mess halls of heaven. Hell? Same thing, but it's steamed and made with PBR.

Best blog post about Robert M. Parker, Jr.: I was very fortunate to connect with hundreds of weird and wonderful booze-lovers in 2010. To my delight, many of those folks had equally weird and wonderful booze-centric blogs to peruse. I've confirmed that Syrah and turkey are a terrible pairing. I realized that someone can actually make a pizza (of sorts) with that Chef Boyardee pizza kit. But, while I've been left in fits of laughter by many entertaining posts (admittedly, mostly Hosemaster posts), only one resulted in snot bubbles out the nose, slapping of bellies, and soiled pantaloons. Check out this (allegedly) fictional account of a night with RP from Nick at Lousy Grapes. Then go make yourself a Rhône Sangria Speedball before a cigarette run to Walgreen's.

Best Movie about drinking: Unfortunately, this year didn't feature a film with the chops of a Sideways. Nary a match for Leaving Las Vegas. And I'm still holding out for the sequel to 1983's Strange Brew. But this was still a pretty easy choice: 2010's best movie about drinking was definitely Eat, Pray, Love. Okay, so Eat, Pray, Love wasn't about drinking. However, it drove me to drink. Fine, I didn't even see it. But the excessive marketing trying to trick me into seeing it drove me to drink. But I guess I didn't need an excuse. Anyway, based solely on the title (as I'm way too cool* to know anyone who saw Eat, Pray, Love), I'm confident that it sucked. No, not quite as bad as this snippet on the "best movie about drinking", which has completely derailed, but that still leaves Eat, Pray, Love in the realm of "probably pretty awful".

Onto 2011. May it bring important booze innovation and continued Lohan-esque shenanigans for all our entertainment.

*denotes sarcasm

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