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April 4: Better Boozing Through Carburetion


On this day in 1929, noted bon vivant Grant Mason taught a young Ernest Hemingway the art of “Carburetion,” which is a superior method of drinking cognac or any other spirit. First, you take a large mouthful of straight booze. Then you swish it around for 30 seconds. Then hold it and exhale through your nose, completely emptying your lungs. Finally, swallow the booze, open your mouth and quickly inhale as deeply as you can. “It enters your lungs in a fine mist,” Grant explained, “like a carburetor that gives the best mixture for burning in an engine.” Grant and Hemingway spent the next three days marching door-to-door with 36 cases of cognac in an attempt to get an entire suburb of Havana drunk via Carburetion. So, if wild-eyed missionaries reeking of cognac rap on your door, always invite them in. Theirs is the True Gospel.