And a Bottle of Rum

A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails

By Wayne Curtis
(Three Rivers Press (CA), Paperback, 9780307338624, 299pp.)

Publication Date: June 5, 2007

List Price: $14.95*
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Description

One spirit, Ten cocktails, and Four Centuries of American History

And a Bottle of Rum tells the raucously entertaining story of America as seen through the bottom of a drinking glass. With a chapter for each of ten cocktails—from the grog sailors drank on the high seas in the 1700s to the mojitos of modern club hoppers—Wayne Curtis reveals that the homely spirit once distilled from the industrial waste of the exploding sugar trade has managed to infiltrate every stratum of New World society.

Curtis takes us from the taverns of the American colonies, where rum delivered both a cheap wallop and cash for the Revolution, to the plundering pirate ships off the coast of Central America, to the watering holes of pre-Castro Cuba, and to the kitsch-laden tiki bars of 1950s America. Here are sugar barons and their armies conquering the Caribbean, Paul Revere stopping for a nip during his famous ride, Prohibitionists marching against “demon rum,” Hemingway fattening his liver with Havana daiquiris, and today’s bartenders reviving old favorites like Planter’s Punch. In an age of microbrewed beer and single-malt whiskeys, rum—once the swill of the common man—has found its way into the tasting rooms of the most discriminating drinkers.

Awash with local color and wry humor, And a Bottle of Rum is an affectionate toast to this most American of liquors, a chameleon spirit that has been constantly reinvented over the centuries by tavern keepers, bootleggers, lounge lizards, and marketing gurus. Complete with cocktail recipes for would-be epicurean time-travelers, this is history at its most intoxicating.




About the Author
Wayne Curtis is the author of six novels, and many essays and short stories. He has contributed to such publications as the "Globe and Mail", the "National Post", the "Montreal Gazette, Fly Fisherman, Quill & Quire", and "Outdoor Canada". Winner of the David Adams Richards Award for short fiction, his stories have appeared in literary journals, been dramatized for CBC Radio, and filmed for CBC. He has been Writer-in-Residence at Berton House in Dawson City and Havana's prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Thomas University in Fredericton. A native of Blackville, New Brunswick, Wayne caught his first salmon at the age of 8. He is an avid fly fisherman and spends half of each year on the Miramichi River where he finds time to work as a guide as well as write.
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