1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email

Stories & Parties

By

The culture surrounding cocktails and liquor as we know it today is built on the foundations of many years of history, traditions and innovations. This index is a tour of that cocktail culture, the past and present of drinks and distilled spirits, great books written about libations and the toasts, games and fun the drinking world has built for itself. You'll also find articles about the many mistakes made throughout this history and learn how to deal with hangovers and alcoholism.
  1. A Spirited History
  2. Distilling Today
  3. Entertaining: Parties & Occasions
  1. Cocktail Books & Bar Guides
  2. Toasts & Drinking Games
  3. Responsible Drinking

A Spirited History

Religion and medicine have employed alcoholic beverages for centuries but the stories do not stop there. The history surrounding distilled spirits is rich with interesting people and times and have often had an affect that reached far beyond the drinkers, bartenders and distillers. Although many pieces of these spirited histories are generally accepted as fact, there are also many disputed versions of events out there that can be hard to discern. Nonetheless, these historical happenings have shaped the drinking world of today and, if nothing else, make great bar talk.

Distilling Today

Master Distiller Harold Ferguson of Canadian Mist Whiskey - Photo Credit: Shannon Graham

The distilled spirits that we drink today are unique in some aspect from all of it's competitors and many have a culture or history all their own. The resurgence of the cocktail culture over the past couple decades has been fueled by the innovations of many of these spirits and the people behind the scenes. Yet, for all the differences there are many similarities. Bourbon families like the Beams and Samuels have carried their craft through generations just like the agave farmers and tequila distillers of Mexico. The industry is growing and the innovations keep coming, and at the same time, the past is being revived.

Entertaining: Parties & Occasions

Spirit Tasting Party Supplies - Photo Credit: Shannon Graham

Who doesn't love a good party? You can throw a party for almost any occasion or reason you can think of. Whether you're hosting an intimate, casual cocktail party for a few friends or planning a large St. Patrick's Day celebration or hosting a Super Bowl watching party, there's going to be a drink that fits perfect. Hosting is a challenge and takes a little (okay, a lot) of planning, but when you see the smiles on your guests faces as they sip one of your signature drinks, you'll realize it was all worth it.

Cocktail Books & Bar Guides

What To Drink With What You Eat - Photo Credit: Shannon Graham

There is no shortage of bartending guides and books written about "the art of drinking" and many of them are fantastic reading material. It's in these books that you'll find histories about many classic drinks, discover your new favorite cocktail and learn the tricks (or mistakes) made by others behind the bar. If you enjoy drinking and enjoy history, you'll enjoy many of these books.

Toasts & Drinking Games

You have a drink and a few friends, now it's time for a great toast. A long-time tradition, toasting is a bonding experience between everyone involved and can end up being quite memorable. That said, there are a few common mistakes in toasting that can be considered a serious faux pas. Then there are the jokes and drinking games that can always add to a party. Got a bar joke I can publish? Please share.

Responsible Drinking

Suffering from a Hangover - Photo Credit: Colleen Graham

Anyone who drinks knows that there are some serious side effects. A cocktail or two are perfectly fine when you're out with friends, but if you over indulge you'll find the consequences. As adults we are responsible for ourselves and it is especially important that we make responsible decisions when we drink alcohol, remember it is an intoxicating beverage. And, when you do have one too many there are many tried and true hangover cures waiting for you the next morning.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.