Skip to main content
Cover for Alcoholica Esoterica

Alcoholica Esoterica

A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History and Consumption of All Manner of Booze

Ian Lendler


List Price: 15.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Finally, there’s a book that’s almost as much fun as having a couple of drinks. Alcoholica Esoterica presents the history and culture of booze as told by a writer with a knack for distilling all the boring bits into the most interesting facts and hilarious tales. It’s almost like pulling up a stool next to the smartest and funniest guy in the bar. Divided into chapters covering the basic booze groups—including beer, wine, Champagne, whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, and tequila—Alcoholica Esoterica charts the origin and rise of each alcohol’s particular charms and influence. Other sections chronicle “Great Moments in Hic-story,” “Great Country Drinking Songs,” “10 Odd Laws,” and “Mt. Lushmore, Parts I–V.” Additionally, famous quotes on the joys and sorrows of liquor offer useful shots of advice and intoxicating whimsy.

Did you know...

  • that the word bar is short for barrier? Yes, that’s right—to keep the customers from getting at all the booze.

  • that Winston Churchill’s mother supposedly invented the Manhattan?

  • that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because the sailors on the Mayflower were running low on beer and were tired of sharing?

  • that you have a higher chance of being killed by a flying Champagne cork than by a poisonous spider?

  • that the Code of Hammurabi mandated that brewers of low-quality beer be drowned in it?

  • that beer was so popular with medieval priests and monks that in the thirteenth century they stopped baptizing babies with holy water and started using beer?

Penguin Books, 9780143035978, 288pp.

Publication Date: September 27, 2005

About the Author

Ian Lendler is the author of An Undone Fairy Tale and coauthor of Chelsea Clinton’s Freshman Notebook. The former humor editor for, in 2000 he co-founded the humor Web site, which was featured in Time Out New York, Gear Magazine, and on