My nightstand these days is littered with books about foreign policy and the sociology of war on account of some policy papers I've been commissioned to write, and see how you went to sleep just there when I was talking about it? Yeah, well we're getting our book review on this week at The Collective, and I realized the only way you can sit through a review of any of those books is if: a) You are a geek like me. Or b) You are completelytrolleyed . And then I thought: Dude, of course; review a book about liquor! Which works out well because I've been practicing liquor anyway!
There is a little talked about secret at the Collective called: I am not particularly well-versed in the ways of alcohol. It's never been an issue, really, until I got a super huge crush on every-liberal's girlfriend, Rachel Maddow. See, because one time she told New York Magazine that if she could have any job in the world, she'd try to find a way to professionally bully people about what they drink. She's kind of the go-to drink mixer among the media liberal elite.
So, just in case I ever have to try to impress Rachel Maddow, I bought Bartending for Dummies. Don't be embarrassed for me; I own shelves of those For Dummies books. (The yoga and guitar ones work; the one about training Beagles does not.)
The thing I like about For Dummies is that it assumes you won't be insulted if it takes you by the hand and explains stuff like you are an actual moron. I mean, you obviously don't care if people treat you like an idiot, right? You bought a bright yellow book basically admitting as much.
It's like: "This is what a wine glass. Wine goes in here." Plus, it has all these tables about how much whatever you should buy to serve however many people, and charts about what liquors mix well together. Also, there's trivia so you can impress your friends with how smart you are about rum, and a tip that's like, "And when you share these fun facts pretend you learned them in Jamaica, instead of in a book for imbeciles."
Bartending for Dummies gets five stars from me because it's a good teacher, plus also it serves as a reminder that there has been mass failure of American economic institutions before, and the whole country got through it with booze.