Worlds Collide: Too much restraint for a true thriller hero

Excerpted from "Drinking for Thrills," a piece by Gavin Lyall, found in The Compleat Imbiber, No. 7 (1964).  Lyall had just received a letter from his American publisher telling him that the hero in his manuscript had "an awesome whisky capacity." His response:

"As the average reader can easily imagine I leapt to the defense of my hero's thirst, pointing out that a careful count showed that he had drunk no more than 17 Scotches (two of them loaded with knock-out drops), 6 schnappses, 6 glasses of liqueur, a bottle of hock and a beer.  And no more than nine of those Scotches had been taken on the day when he was about to pilot his own aeroplane off on a Dangerous Mission.  Why, (I wrote) if anything, I feared that he had shown too much restraint for a true thriller hero." 

Stolen from Gary Regan's Ardent Spirits.


Allow me to introduce myself

If you read the short bio I wrote for my TypePad Profile page, you will find:

David J. Montgomery is a professional book critic and amateur cocktailian. An emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, his work has also appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. A former professor of history, he currently lives in Northern Virginia with his family.

That gives you a good idea of the basics. I've been a book critic for the past decade or so, writing about books (mostly mysteries and thrillers) and authors for most of the country's major newspapers. I still review books, although not as often as I once did. (The newspaper book review business has gone from a slow flow to a mere trickle.)

Before that I taught American History at the college level, which is why I dubbed myself Professor Cocktail. I realize it's a little pretentious, but all the other good website domain names were taken.

More recently, I have become increasingly interested in the art and craft of the cocktail. There has been a renaissance over the past decade in appreciation for fine spirits and the ways in which they can be combined. I was peripherally aware of this movement, but I have since plunged headlong into the study of it, and one of the results is this website.

I will be writing about all manner of topics related to alcohol, cocktails, and spirits; anything, really, that catches my eye (or, more likely, palate) from the world of liquor and mixology. I'll be discussing cocktail recipes, spirit reviews, bartending books, and the like. I also have tentative plans to attempt to earn my title of Professor Cocktail with some more historically-oriented discussions of the role spirits have played in the development of American History.

I hope you will join me for the journey. It should be a fun one!