‘Vodka’ in ‘Vanity Fair’

Over at vanityfair.com, Alex Beggs reports on the latest commercial tie-in to the James Bond series: In the upcoming Spectre, Bond will be drinking specifically Belvedere vodka in his shaken—not stirred—martinis. I spoke with Ms. Beggs last week and was thrilled to see my quotations throughout her column as well as a generous hyperlink to my book, Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America.

Vodka at the Phillips Collection

You would think it an unlikely pairing, but on December 4 at 7 p.m., I will be discussing Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America (Lyons Press) at the Phillips Collection. Thanks to the kindness of Phillips director Dorothy Kosinski, I will be discussing “Vodka and the Dreams of Reality” as part of the museum’s Phillips After 5 program. Yes, that is how versatile vodka can be! If you’re in the area, please come on by, but be sure to register.

Is Tito’s Handmade Vodka Really Handmade?

In the op-ed section of the October 20 Wall Street Journal, I’ve provided my brief take on the class action lawsuits alleging Tito’s Handmade Vodka is not handmade. On the one hand, during my reporting for the book, I ran across more than a few distillers who rolled their eyes at Tito’s use of the term “handmade” on the more than 1.2 million cases of vodka Tito’s sells each year. On the other hand, how would the plaintiffs define a handmade vodka? What aspects do they imagine involve hands—distillation takes place inside a still. In the current litigious environment, Tito’s may be better off reaching a settlement—two class action suits are the last thing Tito Beveridge needs. (Then again, Tito is a fighter. He’s gone round for round against the government—and survived.)

‘Vodka’ in the Windy City!

ise_logo2The next stop for Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America is Chicago on September 30 for the Independent Spirits Expo. Tickets are on sale, and the event will be held at the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue. Thanks to a local bookseller fittingly known as the Book Cellar (a bar and a bookstore in one—what more could you ask?), I will be signing books and talking about all things vodka from 5-9 p.m. Hope to see you there!

And stay tuned to the Geoff Pinkus Show on WCGO 1590 AM on Monday, September 29, at 6:25 EST, where I will be once again touting the book as well as the expo. Cheers!

‘Vodka’ in the Garden State

B&NsignThanks again to everyone who came to the Barnes & Noble book-signing event last Saturday in Brick, New Jersey (including Mayor John Ducey). The turnout was great—special props to friends and family who came from as far as Boston and Staten Island!

On December 4 I will be speaking about Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America at the Phillips Collection. Details to follow.

The ‘Vodka’ Circuit

VodkaLast month I was honored to be hosted by Americans for Tax Reform, where vodka was served generously in the form of cocktails like the Phil Mickelson (really the John Daly—vodka plus iced tea and lemonade—but since Daly has struggled with alcohol, no laughing matter, ATR went with Phil, who appropriately enough has complained about taxes). Host Grover Norquist pointed out the chunk of taxes that are incorporated into a bottle of booze. I pointed out a tax credit that promotes flavored vodka—and the need to repeal it.

Also in August, D.C. publicist extraordinaire Janet Donovan interviewed me (in her posh studio above Café Milano in Georgetown) for an online episode of Hollywood on the Potomac. It was refreshingly quirky and unconventional—I loved it.

Earlier this week I spoke to the Kirkpatrick Society at a luncheon at the American Enterprise Institute—special thanks to Mary Eberstadt for hosting me.

And on Saturday, September 6, I will be doing a book-signing at the Barnes and Noble in Brick, New Jersey. It’ll be very exciting to see family and old friends. I just hope they all buy the book!

‘Vodka’ on the Air (continued)

Last week I had the pleasure of going on The Derek Hunter Show on WBAL and Washington’s Drive at Five with Larry O’Connor on WMAL. Both hosts were gracious in promoting the book and on WMAL (beginning at the 30-minute mark) we took questions: One man said a shot of vodka is perfect before he goes on stage to sing. Another claimed rubbing vodka on skin areas affected by poison ivy is quite helpful. So the next time you go on a hike, don’t forget your Off! spray and a flask of Smirnoff!

Russian Vodka? What’s That?

If you’ve read my book, Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America (Lyons Press), you’ll know this country has Americanized the Russian spirit much as we Americanized certain Mexican and Italian foods. Smirnoff, after all, is manufactured in the United States. American Harvest comes from Idaho. The ever-popular Tito’s is from Texas. So if Russia ever threatens to withhold its vodka products in a trade war, we’ll be fine—unless you absolutely cannot do without, say, Russian Standard. I explained all this to Angela Johnson of the Wall Street Journal.

‘Vodka’ in the ‘Federalist’ and more

In the middle of a hectic two weeks doing media for Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America, I forgot to link to Neal Dewing’s extremely thoughtful and generous review of my book, plus a Q&A, in the Federalist. I am honestly quite certain it’s the nicest lengthy writeup of Vodka to date.

On July 27, I also had the pleasure of going to the studio for an hourlong show called Foodie and the Beast with David Nellis and his wife Nycci (of TheListAreYouOnIt.com) along with celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio (whose Aggio in Baltimore just received a rave “First Bite” review from the Washington Post‘s Tom Sietsema), Brabo’s Harper Curtis, and Will and Boris of Copperwood Tavern. Great food and refreshment on the set—what could be better?

Then it was up to Connecticut where I did a half-hour segment (using my in-laws’ landline) on The Jason Lewis Show (where I talked so long that I hit the fence!). The following night, July 29, I made my appearance at R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison. The book-talk was well-attended (35-40 guests) and everyone seemed to have a great time. A perk of being a visiting author to R.J. Julia: Pick a book, any book, on the house! So I chose the latest awesome edition of Club International.

Special thanks to Linda and Bob Dwyer for the room and board, food, and an outing to Dinosaur State Park!