Quotations about   drink

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Then they laughed and made good cheer, and either drank to other freely, and they thought never drink that ever they drank to other was so sweet nor so good. But by that their drink was in their bodies, they loved either other so well that never their love departed, for weal neither for woe. And thus it happed the love first betwixt Sir Tristram and La Beale Isoud, the which love never departed the days of their life.

Thomas Malory (c. 1415-1471) English writer
Le Morte d’Arthur, Book 8, ch. 24 (1485)
    (Source)

Variant: "They both laughed and drank to each other; they had never tasted sweeter liquor in all their lives. And in that moment they fell so deeply in love that their hearts would never be divided. So the destiny of Tristram and Isolde was ordained." [ed. Ackroyd (2010)]
Added on 15-Dec-20 | Last updated 15-Dec-20
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To confirm still more your piety and gratitude to Divine Providence, reflect upon the situation which it has given to the elbow. You see in animals, who are intended to drink the waters that flow upon the earth, that if they have long legs, they have also a long neck, so that they can get at their drink without kneeling down. But man, who was destined to drink wine, is framed in a manner that he may rise the glass to his mouth. If the elbow had been placed nearer the hand, the part in advance would have been too short to bring the glass up to the mouth; and if it had been nearer the shoulder, that part would have been so long that when it attempted to carry the wine to the mouth it would have overshot the mark, and gone beyond the head; thus, either way, we should have been in the case of Tantalus. But from the actual situation of the elbow, we are enabled to drink at our ease, the glass going directly to the mouth. Let us, then, with glass in hand, adore this benevolent wisdom; — let us adore and drink!

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to the Abbé Morallet, Postscript (1779)
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Added on 12-Nov-20 | Last updated 12-Nov-20
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What a strange machine man is! You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out comes sighs, laughter, and dreams.

Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957) Greek writer and philosopher
Zorba the Greek, ch. 23 (1946)
Added on 9-Nov-20 | Last updated 9-Nov-20
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When a Man’s exhausted, wine will build his strength.

[Ἀνδρὶ δὲ κεκμηῶτι μένος μέγα οἶνος ἀέξει.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad, Book 6, l. 261 (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990), l. 310]

Alt. trans.
For to a man dismay’d
With careful spirits, or too much with labour overlaid,
Wine brings much rescue, strength'ning much the body and the mind.
[tr. Chapman (1611), ll. 274-76]

Then with a plenteous draught refresh thy soul,
And draw new spirits from the generous bowl.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

For wine is mighty to renew the strength
Of weary man.
[tr. Cowper (1791), ll. 318-19]

For to a wearied man wine greatly increases strength.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

For great the strength
Which gen'rous wine imparts to men who toil.
[tr. Derby (1864), ll. 306-07]

When a man is awearied wine greatly maketh his strength to wax.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

Wine gives a man fresh strength when he is wearied.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

When a man is spent with toil wine greatly maketh his strength to wax.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

In a tired man, wine will bring back his strength to its bigness.
[tr. Lattimore (1951)]

Wine will restore a man when he is weary as you are.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

When someone is fatigued, wine greatly increases his power.
[tr. Merrill (2007)]

Added on 30-Sep-20 | Last updated 24-Nov-20
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You ought to get out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini.

Mae West (1892-1980) American film actress
Every Day’s a Holiday (movie) [Larmadou Graves] (1937)

West both starred in the film (as the recipient of this line, Peaches O'Day) and wrote the screenplay. Often attributed to Robert Benchley, who used the line in a film a few years later, and claimed he got it from a joke book.
Added on 16-Feb-18 | Last updated 16-Feb-18
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The only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
(Attributed)

Referring to the dry martini cocktail.
Added on 10-Nov-17 | Last updated 10-Nov-17
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The word Martini is a nostalgic passport to another era — when automobiles had curves like Mae West, when women were eihter ladies or dames, when men wore hats, when a deal was done on a handshake, when boxing and polo were regular pastimes, when we lived for movies instead of MTV, and when jazz was going from hot to cool. It was a time when a relationship was called either a romance or an affair, when love over a pitcher of Martinis was bigger than both of us, sweetheart, and it wouldn’t matter if the Russians dropped the bomb as long as the gin was wet and the vermouth was dry. That as Martini Culture.

Barnaby Conrad III (b. 1952) American author, artist, editor
The Martini: An Illustrated History of an American Classic, “The Great Martini Revival” (1995)
    (Source)

Conrad reworked the passage in "Martini Madness" in Cigar Afficionado (Spring 1996):

The Martini is a cocktail distilled from the wink of a platinum blonde, the sweat of a polo horse, the blast of an ocean liner's horn, the Chrysler building at sunset, a lost Cole Porter tune, and the aftershave of quipping detectives in natty double-breasted suits. It's a nostalgic passport to another era -- when automobiles had curves like Mae West, when women were either ladies or dames, when men were gentlemen or cads, and when a "relationship" was true romance or a steamy affair. Films were called movies then, the music was going from le jazz hot in Paris to nightclub cool in Vegas, and when a deal was done on a handshake, the wise guy who welched soon had a date with a snub-nosed thirty-eight. Love might have ended in a world war, but a kiss was still a kiss, a smile was still a smile, and until they dropped the atomic bomb there was no need to worry, schweetheart, as long as the vermouth was dry and the gin was wet. That was Martini Culture.
Added on 2-Sep-17 | Last updated 7-May-18
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A good martini, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman … or a bad woman, depending on how much happiness you can stand.

George Burns (1896-1996) American comedian
Dr. Burns’ Prescription for Happiness, “Nine Definitions of Happiness” (1984)
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Added on 26-Aug-17 | Last updated 26-Aug-17
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Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Proverbs 20:1 [KJV]

Alt. trans.:
  • "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise." [NRSV]
  • "Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise." [NIV]
  • "Wine is a luxurious thing, and drunkenness riotous: whosoever is delighted therewith shall not be wise." [DRA]
Added on 31-May-17 | Last updated 31-May-17
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“I hope that you did not give him anything, Mr Sanderson!”

“Of course I did, ma’am.”

“But he would only spend it on drink! You know what the working classes are!”

“Indeed, ma’am, and why should he not spend it on drink? Would you deprive the poor, whose lives are bad and miserable and comfortless enough, of the solace of a little relief from grinding poverty? A sordid, sodden relief perhaps, but would you be so heartless as to deny the poor even that pleasure in which all of us indulge at your generous expense?”

Kerry Greenwood (b. 1954) Australian author and lawyer
Cocaine Blues (1989)
    (Source)
Added on 25-May-17 | Last updated 25-May-17
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While I’m having these grim thoughts, I notice that my martini glass is nearly empty. It’s not a terribly endearing drink — it tastes like something that got hosed off a runway, then diluted with antifreeze — but it does what it says on the label.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Jennifer Morgue (2006)
Added on 17-Jan-17 | Last updated 17-Jan-17
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LEFITT: Well, that didn’t work either.
BORAAN: It most certainly did not.
LEFITT: So, your next idea?
BORAAN: A drink, of course. Maize-oishka and water. Six parts water.
LEFITT: That seems rather weak.
BORAAN: Well, but one hundred parts oishka, do you see?
LEFITT: Ah. Yes, it is all clear to me now.

— Miersen, Six Parts Water, Day Two, Act I, Scene 5

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Jhegaala, epigram (2008)
Added on 23-Sep-16 | Last updated 23-Sep-16
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Every major industrialized nation has A BEER (you can’t be a Real Country unless you have A BEER and an airline — it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need A BEER).

Frank Zappa (1940-1993) American singer-songwriter
The Real Frank Zappa Book, ch. 12 “America Drinks & Goes Marching” (1989)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Feb-15 | Last updated 20-Feb-15
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Take a drink because you pity yourself, and then the drink pities you and has a drink, and then two good drinks get together and that calls for drinks all around. No; he’d have one drink, maybe a little bigger than usual, before he went to bed.

H. Beam Piper (1904-1964) American author
Little Fuzzy (1962)
Added on 17-Apr-14 | Last updated 17-Apr-14
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The Americans are a good-natured people, kindly, helpful to one another, disposed to take a charitable view even of wrongdoers […] Even a mob lynching a horse thief in the West has consideration for the criminal, and will give him a good drink of whiskey before he is strung up.

James Bryce (1838-1922) British politician, diplomat, jurist, historian
The American Commonwealth (1888)
Added on 26-Feb-14 | Last updated 26-Feb-14
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There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (21 Mar 1776)

In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
Added on 7-Feb-14 | Last updated 7-Feb-14
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Laugh whenever you can. Keeps you from killing yourself when things are bad. That and vodka.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Changes, ch. 33 [Sanya] (2010)
Added on 28-Jan-14 | Last updated 28-Jan-14
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There’s no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty, and then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
(Attributed)

Quoted in James M. Webb and A. Wigfall Green, William Faulkner of Oxford (1965). See also Wright and Chandler.
Added on 8-Aug-13 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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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 (1893-1967) American writer
(Spurious)

Variants:
  • "I'd love to have a martini, / Two at the very most. / With three I'm under the table, / With four I'm under my host."
  • "I like to have a Martini / But only two at the most, / After three I'm under the table, / After four I'm under my host."
Frequently attributed to Parker (the main quatrain quoted is in The Collected Dorothy Parker), but originally an anonymous gag in found in the University of Virginia Harlequin (1959): "I wish I could drink like a lady. / 'Two or three,' at the most. / But two, and I'm under the table -- / And three, I'm under the host."

The confusion apparently comes from Bennett Cerf, Try and Stop Me (1944), where he related an anecdote in which Parker commented about a cocktail party, more straightforwardly, "Enjoyed it? One more drink and I'd have been under the host!" See here for more discussion.
Added on 21-Jun-13 | Last updated 13-Apr-20
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I believe in the gospel of Good Living. You can not make any god happy by fasting. Let us have good food, and let us have it well cooked — and it is a thousand times better to know how to cook than it is to understand any theology in the world.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do to Be Saved?” Sec. 11 (1880)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Aug-09 | Last updated 22-May-17
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I hadn’t any heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
My Man Jeeves (1919)
Added on 30-Apr-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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PORTER: It provokes and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance: therefore much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him: it sets him on, and it takes him off.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Macbeth Act 2, sc. 3, l. 32 (1605)
Added on 22-Dec-08 | Last updated 26-Mar-15
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Drink! for you know not whence you came nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

Omar Khayyám (1048-1123) Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer
Rubáiyát, 74 [tr. FitzGerald, 4th ed. (1879)]
Added on 19-Aug-07 | Last updated 31-Jul-17
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