August 31, 2010
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Bernard DeVoto, a cocktail purist, is no fan of The Joy Of Cooking or other cookbook cocktail compendia.

These books are sold freely over the counter, even in these days of national peril. A perfectly nice woman might obey any of those instructions – and don’t forget for a moment that she might offer the result to you.

She is probably about twenty-seven, give or take a couple of years, and let’s do what we can for her. She has lived alone too long, she had a happy childhood, and nobody has ever told her that childhood’s sweet tooth is how she went wrong... She is a bright girl, though, and when a man takes her to a bar she suppresses her impulses and orders what he does or else says “Scotch on the rocks.” (The only innate fault of women as drinkers is that they think too highly of Scotch.) All her friends are civilized and so she always had decent cocktails in the home. The trouble comes when she decides to wipe the slate clean and have twenty people in to cocktails.