If history has proven one thing, it is that alcohol has stood — and shall we say surpassed — the test of time. A host of our most influential heroes and heroines not only enjoyed a few too many, but their intake often fueled their greatness… and sometimes their demise. So pour yourself a craft gin cocktail and join these fellow drinking artists in an ode to hooch and all its splendour.
“Drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things… nose painting, sleep and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and, unprovokes; it provokes the desire but takes away the performance.”
- Shakespeare, Macbeth
The Bard of Avon's poignant assessment of the effects of over-consumption, including booze-induced flaccidity.
“Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; the best of life is but intoxication.”
- Lord Byron, Don Juan
Byron’s satirical masterpiece rightfully lauds the worthy benefits that all men, including the regal kings of old, enjoy by getting themselves utterly shitfaced.
“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that’s the most horrible thing in the world.”
- Oscar Wilde
We highly doubt that Wilde saw things the way they really are when drinking. His favourite elixir was absinthe.
“When a man who is drinking neat gin starts talking about his mother he is past all argument.”
- C. S. Forester
The African Queen’s Cockney hero, Allnutt, portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the 1951 film, was fond of straight gin, which helped fight off the mosquitos on Ulanga River while simultaneously making him nostalgic.
“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda were as notorious drinkers as the characters in Scott’s books, preferring Gin Rickey’s to the mint juleps immortalized in the Great Gatsby.
“I like to have a martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table. After four I’m under my host.”
- Dorothy Parker
The American wisecracker, satirist and champion drinker liked her booze so much that the New York Distillery Company named a gin after her. Let’s just hope for her sake the host she fell under didn’t have Shakespeare’s erectile issue.
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
- Ernest Hemingway
Papa Hemingway wasn’t known for his sobriety. Considering his myriad adventures, his drunken boasts seem to have put him in many a precarious - and exhilarating - sober situations which of course drove him back to the bottle. It’s the circle of life (or maybe an oval if you’re too inebriated to walk straight)!
“I feel bad for people that don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.”
- Frank Sinatra
Sinatra and the Rat Pack sure didn’t waste much time converting all of those poor, sober souls. Once they were in Vegas, it was easy to push them off the wagon.
"I've gotten more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."
- Winston Churchill
The Russians nicknamed Churchill The British Bulldog. Maybe it's because he could drink them under the negotiation table despite they're being Russian, which is a synonym for "drunk" in some thesauri.
“To alcohol. The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”
- Homer Simpson
'nuff said. Now mix yourself another martini and start causing... and solving... more problems.