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Drinking

  • Almost anything can be preserved in alcohol, except health, happiness, and money.

  • Do not allow your children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.

  • ... when I spoke of having a drink, it was a euphemism for having a whole flock of them.

  • It's all right to drink like a fish — if you drink what a fish drinks.

  • Alcohol is a good preservative for everything but brains.

  • Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living.

  • Three highballs, and I think I'm St. Francis of Assisi.

    • Dorothy Parker,
    • "Just a Little One," The Collected Stories of Dorothy Parker ()

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  • ... I don't like to drink in front of the kids, and when they're not around, who needs it?


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  • He says he never drinks alone, but considers the goldfish somebody.

  • There seems to be a peculiar and particular tie between men who have been drunk together.

  • Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

  • All evening he had been drinking quietly, until now he had reached that condition of felicity when all solids appear transparent and all sounds approximate to sweet music.

  • I drank at every vine. / The last was like the first. / I came upon no wine / So wonderful as thirst.

  • Alcohol is an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind.

  • Someone is putting brandy in your bonbons, Grand Marnier in your breakfast jam, Kahlua in your ice cream, Scotch in your mustard and Wild Turkey in your cake. Americans may be drinking fewer alcoholic beverages, but they are certainly eating more of them than ever before. Wittingly or un.

    • Marian Burros,
    • "Alcohol, the Ultimate Additive," in The New York Times ()
  • Philip Toynbee had an unfortunate disposition to collapse under drink as though a sniper had picked him off.

  • The Irish sometimes make and keep a vow against whiskey; these vows are usually limited to a short time.

  • This startling assertion could not bring his majesty's veracity into question; for according to his definition, and to the received opinion at his court, 'No man could be called drunk, so long as he could lie upon the ground without holding onto it.'

  • ... anybody who drinks seriously is poor: so poor, poor, extra poor, me.

  • There is a brotherliness about a drinking person, which is coldly lacking in the straight and narrow enemies of drink; the difference between the two is more marked than nationality or belief: it is an opposite species altogether. It is against the unwritten laws of congeniality for them to mix. For me, a man who does not drink is distinctly indecent ...

  • To drink for pleasure may be a distraction, but to drink from misery is always a danger.

  • ... the reward for total abstinence from alcohol seems, illogically enough, to be the capacity for becoming intoxicated without it.

  • You know a little drink now and then never hurt nobody, but when you can't git started without asking the bottle, you in trouble.

  • When she reached the bar, she ordered the equivalent of a small safe to be dropped on her head.

  • Why is it that one has to drink? / Why is it that one's hosts should think / It queer these days if guests prefer / A respite? Doesn't it occur / To anyone that no offense / Is meant by harmless abstinence?

  • Alcoholic drinks introduce added friction into the machinery of body and mind; by their use the individual is handicapped in the race toward a higher and more perfect individuality, and what hinders one in this race hinders us all.

  • Alcoholic drinks make the fat fatter and the thin thinner, and both more feeble mentally.

  • [Georgia] did not invite them in, explaining that it was time for her to start her serious drinking, an activity that required privacy and concentration.

  • It is said that the offender never forgives. Certainly it is quite explicitly hard for the one in the wrong to do so. And it takes more spiritual asset than continued alcohol often leaves.

  • No longer is drinking an art with Americans; once they drank for the taste, but now they drink only for the effect. The more quick and fatal the liquor, the better they like it. They are either on the wagon or else.

  • ... men will have to resign themselves to the fact that the old-time saloon, for men only, will never again exist. Once a woman has felt a brass rail under her instep, there can be no more needlepoint footstools for her.

  • Alcohol may also persuade us that we have found the truth about life, a comforting experience rarely available in the sober hour.

  • Liquor is such a nice substitute for facing adult life.

  • Happiness is a fragile thing, and alcohol, as I know from the house I grew up in, is dangerous to it.

    • Marian Engel,
    • "Share and Share Alike," The Tattooed Woman ()
  • Ain't nobody as drinks but wants a heap o' t'others to keep 'em company. 'Pears like it's lonesome kind of work.

  • I have heard people say that they drink to forget their sorrows but the more I drink the more sorrows I collect --

  • ... it is only on posters and in advertisement pages that Americans have those chubby cheeks, expanding smiles, smooth looks, and faces flushed with well-being. In fact, almost all are at odds with themselves; drink offers a remedy for this inner malady of which boredom is the most usual sign: as drinking is accepted by society, it does not appear as a sign of their [Americans'] inability to adapt themselves; it is rather the adapted form of inadaptability.

  • Alcohol flings back, almost illimitably, the boundaries of humor so that we can find uproarious things which our poor sober friends miss altogether. It is necessary, if the joke is really good and really should be shared, to repeat it time and again until finally it penetrates those solemn skulls.

  • Whiskey and music, I reflected, especially when taken together, made time fly incredibly fast.

  • Soft drinks: The gooey, bubbly sea drowning our American children.

  • The fun, joy, and humor dry up in a relationship when one of the partners is swimming in gin. To my way of thinking, it is selfishness personified to see life through the bottom of a liquor bottle.

  • The wages of Gin is Debt.

    • Ethel Watts Mumford,
    • in Oliver Herford, Ethel Watts Mumford, and Addison Mizner, The Complete Cynic ()
  • Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

    • Ethel Watts Mumford,
    • in Oliver Herford, Ethel Watts Mumford, and Addison Mizner, The Complete Cynic ()
  • ... the sharp odor of gin hit me. Charlie was drowning his sorrows, and they apparently were dying hard.

  • If there was one thing life had taught her, it was never to become overly philosophical or to indulge in much deep thinking about something you were too damn drunk to pronounce.

  • Drink promises you everything, but gives nothing ...

    • Nancy Astor,
    • speech before the House of Commons, in Alice Stone Blackwell, The Woman Citizen ()
  • One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.

  • All along the line, physically, mentally, morally, alcohol is a weakening and deadening force ...

  • ... nobody ever brings anything small into a bar.

  • Drink seemed to intensify the expressions people wore: the sly face became crafty; the kindly, benign; the affectionate, amorous.

  • Drink was the most fearsome of deceivers ... for it promised one thing and came through with quite another.

    • Kay Boyle,
    • in Kay Boyle with Robert McAlmon, Being Geniuses Together ()
  • Prohibition is a hard sounding word, worthless as a rallying cry, hard as a locked door or going to bed without your supper.

  • I drank, like everybody else, for a while — until this structure that is my body began its rejection, its refusal to absorb physiologically the alcohol that I put into it. My body lacks certain faculties, certain vitally needed faculties that most people have, to burn off and throw off alcohol. This delicious chemical, this social amenity, this medicine that puts people at their ease because merely being together without it makes them uncomfortable, this medicine became my poison. The insidious, diabolical evil, the viciousness of my disease, is that the poison sets up its own craving for more of itself.

  • Nothing is so musical as the sound of pouring bourbon for the first drink on a Sunday morning. Not Bach or Schubert or any of those masters.

  • ... nobody ever stops drinking until the cost of drinking becomes higher than the cost of not drinking.

  • Like most women, I remember my first drink in tender minutiae.

  • In Eastern Europe, Mother Vodka has had a heavy task to fulfil for centuries. It is she who has had to patch all the holes, to warm the people when they were cold, to dry their tears when they were sad, to delude their stomachs when they were hungry ...

  • In Eastern Europe, vodka is theatre, cinema, concert, and circus; it serves as books for the illiterate, makes heroes of miserable cowards, is the great comforter that sweeps all trouble from our hearts. Is there anywhere in the world another ounce of happiness to be bought for a price so low?

  • That winter two things happened that made me see that the world, the flesh, and the devil were going to be more powerful influences in my life after all than the chapel bell. First, I tasted champagne; second, the theater.

  • I never drink gin. It makes me, by turns, bellicose, lachrymose and comatose.

  • [On alcohol:] Maybe it picks you up a little bit, but it sure lets you down in a hurry.

    • Betty Ford,
    • with Chris Chase, The Times of My Life ()
  • It was through reading that I discovered the crucial, even sacrosanct place the rituals of drinking held in the American imagination — the ingenious way alcohol seemed to lubricate everything from onerous chitchat to self-conscious sexual advances.

    • Daphne Merkin,
    • in Leah Odze Epstein and Caren Osten Gerszberg, eds., Drinking Diaries ()
  • I drank to drown my pain, but the damned pain learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good behavior!

    • Frida Kahlo,
    • 1938, in Martha Zamora, ed., The Letters of Frida Kahlo: Cartas Apasionadas ()
  • Now a double scotch is about the size of a small scotch before the war, and a single scotch is nothing more than a dirty glass.

  • What stops you killing yourself when you're intoxicated out of your mind is the thought that once you're dead you won't be able to drink any more.

  • Drinking isn't necessarily the same as wanting to die. But you can't drink without thinking you're killing yourself.

  • No other human being, no woman, no poem or music, book or painting can replace alcohol in its power to give man the illusion of real creation.

  • Alcohol doesn't console, it doesn't fill up anyone's psychological gaps, all it replaces is the lack of God.

  • I was sitting before my third or fourth Jellybean — which is anisette, grain alcohol, a lit match, and a small, wet explosion in the brain.

    • Louise Erdrich,
    • "Scales," in Rayna Green, ed., That's What She Said ()
  • ... the liquor sneaked up and grabbed her, got into her mind and talked to her, fooled her into thinking she was thinking for herself when really it was the whiskey thinking whiskey thoughts.

  • The worst thing about hangovers was that you didn't die from them.

  • I live in a social setting in which people are as deep in denial about drinking as they are into drinking.

    • Jacquelyn Mitchard,
    • in Leah Odze Epstein and Caren Osten Gerszberg, Drinking Diaries ()
  • During my drinking decades, I lived like a pig. My room was a hazardous pile of stilettos, tube tops, wine bottles, ashtrays, and old magazines. I valued nothing. Everything that came into my life was disposable: clothes, opportunities, people. My bedroom looked as if my insides had spilled out onto the floor.

  • I can't think of anything worse after a night of drinking than waking up next to someone and not being able to remember their name, or how you met, or why they're dead.

  • [On Champagne:] I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it unless I'm thirsty.

  • No power on earth or above the bottomless pit has such influence to terrorize and make cowards of men as the liquor power. Satan could not have fallen on a more potent instrument with which to thrall the world. Alcohol is king!

  • [Calling for a 'smashing' to protest drinking:] This appeal is made to the gentle, loving brave Christian women whose hearts are breaking with sympathy for the oppressed. ... Bring your hatchets.

  • A Pittsburgh factory is making me a lot of hatchets on which will be the words: 'Carry Nation's Loving Home Defenders. Smash the Saloon and build up the home.'

    • Carry Nation,
    • 1903, in Carleton Beals, Cyclone Carry: The Story of Carry Nation ()
  • Imbibing a big shot makes some people think they are one.

  • Paris seems to be all open-air cafés, and it is painful to see how many young men and, alas! women too, sit at the tables, drinking the body-wrecking, soul-destroying absinthe.

  • No matter what ailed you, a small glass of schnapps would take care of it at once. This particular remedy was so good my grandfather would frequently take the cure even before there was anything wrong with him.

  • Oh, my, the less I behave like Whistler's Mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after.

    • Tallulah Bankhead,
    • in Margaret Case Harriman, The Vicious Circle: The Story of the Algonquin Round Table ()
  • I have been tight as a tick! Fried as a mink! Stiff as a goat!

  • If you decide on having an alcoholic at your party, make sure it's a large gathering. This way, until the alcoholic begins removing their clothes or dangling the cat out the window, they can sort of blend in. An alcoholic at a small gathering is called an intervention.

  • ... a word to those of you who are trying to drown your sorrow. Please be aware that sorrow knows how to swim.

  • Do you know why more people don't sober up? Because they don't wear their livers on the outside. If everyone wore their liver on their forehead, say, it would be on full view and people would say, 'Heffens, Jock, that liver of yours is looking fair hobnailed,' and they would get shamed into doing something about it.

  • [On alcohol:] Total abstinence is an impossibility and ... it will not do to insist on it as a general practice ...

    • Queen Victoria,
    • to Prime Minister Gladstone (1894), in G.E. Buckle, ed., The Letters of Queen Victoria ()
  • Good liquor is not cheap. Cheap liquor is not good.

  • I guess that's the point of drinking, to take all the feelings and thoughts and morals away until you are just a body doing what a body will do.

  • During Prohibition, enterprising California grape growers kept themselves in business by selling “fruit bricks”—blocks of dried, compressed grapes that were packaged with wine-making yeast. A label warned purchasers not to dissolve the fruit brick in warm water and add the yeast packet, as this would result in fermentation and the creation of alcohol, which was illegal.