Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A.J. Liebling on vodka

The standard of perfection for vodka (no color, no taste, no smell) was expounded to me long ago by the then Estonian consul-general in New York, and it accounts perfectly for the drink’s rising popularity with those who like their alcohol in conjunction with the reassuring tastes of infancy--tomato juice, orange juice, chicken broth. It is the ideal intoxicant for the drinker who wants no reminder of how hurt Mother would be if she knew what he was doing.
From this article on the rise of vodka, with some other choice anti-vodka quotes as well (and a generous digression on the marketing of Absolut).


  1. Chicken broth? I'm going to out on a limb and state that even the best 12 Step program is going to be woefully inadequate for the anyone using vodka with chicken broth, no matter the serving container size or shape.


  2. Yah, I really hope he was making that up.

    Though actually, googling the two terms uncovers numerous recipes -- *food* recipes.

  3. I think this is a standard device for Liebling-- pushing something a little silly into ridiculousness. I often wonder how he cleared the New Yorker fact checkers at times.

    As you probably know, there are a number of recipes for bloody marys calling for beef broth (and even a separate name, a bloody bull, sometimes used for it).

    I just finished re-reading The Earl of Louisiana, reaffirming my affection for his writing.

  4. Yech. I did not know that. (I won't even drink a bloody mary.)