By The League of Extraordinary Drinkers
Truer Title: Drink Like a Smug Hipster
The book starts out well enough— raising a hue and cry against sugary drinks designed to disguise the taste of liquor—then it’s straight downhill from there.
Twenty pages in and two ideas begin to emerge: First, The League of Extraordinary Drinkers’ idea of an adult is a pretentious hipster. Their snotty assertion that adults don’t drink crappy macrobeers is elitist bullshit. Go down to your local VFW on a Friday night and see what the real fucking adults are drinking: crap beer and well liquor.
Second, the authors decided at some point they were writing a Young Adult novel. The “humor,” the patois, the dumbed-down dialog all speak to the notion that they’re addressing a gang of half-formed imbeciles. For example, did you know rum is the Shia Labeouf of liquors? Why so? Because college kids drink rum on Spring Break, that’s why.
And that’s just the tip of this idiotic iceberg. In the opening chapter, the Daiquiri and Pina Colada, among many others, are called out as examples of those “truly absurd” college-kid drinks that should be disdained and avoided. Then, a few goddamn pages later, there’s the freaking Daiquiri and Pina Colada in the section of drinks that adults should drink. It’s plain The League needs to have a meeting and get their silly fucking rules straight.
Then, after all that halfwittery, they do what every other shitty drinking book does—a chapter on drinkware (where it’s recommended that you drink a bourbon rocks out of a shot glass), followed by the same goddamn collection of cocktail recipes you’ll find in every other goddamn drink book.
Also? If you’re going to tight-ass it around calling yourself a “sustainable global citizen” or whatever the fuck in every chapter, you don’t get to throw around stereotypes, not even the two that society still allows, namely poor Appalachian whites and the Jersey Shore/Hamptons “douchebags.” (There used to be three, but the feminists put the kibosh on the Dumb Blonde jokes.)
The only reason anyone should buy this book is as a gift for a drinking buddy who needs fucking with. Then, if you’re lucky, he’ll just glance at the title, say, “Ho-ho, ya got me, buddy, I’ll getcha back,” then throw it in the bin. Just hope he doesn’t take a look at what’s inside because then he just might take a swing at you. Or worse, he’ll read the book and take it to heart, and then you’ll have to beat the hell out of him, for his own good.
I’m not the least bit surprised no one wanted to put their actual name on this fucking travesty because in a truly righteous world the authors would be chased down Bourbon Street by a pack of wild dogs.
The last page of the book, which I should have read first, tells me all I need to know about The League: “Some of our members drank too much over the years and decided booze no longer fits in life’s plan.”
And yet these washed-up fucks still think they can tell the rest of us how to drink. In-fucking-credible.
By Chris Santella
Truer Title: Arbitrary Bucket List for Dilettantes
The 50 Places weren’t doggedly sought out by the author, but are instead offered up by 50 other people, many of whom are bare-faced shills for special interests. For example, the Governor of Colorado offers up Denver, and Sam Koch, CEO of the Boston Beer Company? Why, he recommends a tour of the fucking Boston Beer Company. The guy who runs the Telluride Beer Festival? Telluride! Half the goddamn write-ups read like press releases from the geographically nearest tourist board.
Other recommendations seem entirely arbitrary. For example, Island Park, ID is put forth because some lady likes to fly fish there. So naturally it should be one of the Top 50 Fucking Places to Drink Beer Before You Die. I mean, why the fuck not? Some random broad fly fishes there!
Finishing the book, I come away with two strong feelings: 1) the author’s idea of “drinking” doesn’t extend beyond two craft beers, three if he’s feeling batshit crazy, and 2) he wanted to write 50 Places to Show Off Your New Patagonia Jacket Before You Die but his agent told him trading that jacket for beer would make it more saleable.
All that said—if you have a subscription to The New Yorker and three beers is your limit, then this book might be right up your alley.
- It turns out Mr. Santella has cranked out a whole slew of books about places to go do things before you die, including Fifty Places to Fly Fish, Play Golf, Sail, Camp, Dive, Hike, Paddle, etc. I’m going to assume the paddling involves a canoe. ↑