December 26, 2006


As a gin enthusiast, I was happy to receive a book from Larry Moore: Patrick Dillon’s 2004 publication called “Gin,” about gin in the 18th century, and especially in England. By the end of the 17th century, taxes on ale had become so high, that people were having to reluctantly abandon their drink of choice. With the appearance of cheap gin, London fell under the spell of “Madam Geneva.” Gin was the crack of the time, cheap, addictive, life ruining, and sometimes fatal. I read with disbelief that people were drinking it as they did ale, and dropping dead from alcohol poisoning. The Hogarth etching above shows the devastation this new drug had on London in the early 1700s.

My trainer, Teresina, has always been on my case about the dangers of gin. I have no idea why, seeing as how I subscribe to Dorothy Parker’s alleged maxim:

I like to have a martini
Two at the very most
After three I’m under the table
After four I’m under the host.

I even clipped the NY Times article claiming that a shaken martini is the highest in all anti-oxidants of all spirits––no, not as high as red wine, but still.

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