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From the Washington Post Book Review
on November 4, 2005
"Alcoholica Esoterica offers the dish on every type of spirit in the liquor cabinet, from absinthe to vodka, and in "Mount Lushmore" assembles a Drunkards' Hall of Fame that enshrines Dean Martin, W.C. Fields, Dorothy Parker, Humphrey Bogart and Winston Churchill. The book's shape -- 4 by 8 inches -- makes it easy to remove from a back pocket while parked on a bar stool. But Lendler recognizes the danger: He warns readers they could turn into Cliff Clavin, the trivia-spouting mailman of TV's "Cheers." "I learned tons of interesting anecdotes and facts" while researching the book, Lendler writes. "I was the nightmare of every party."
His book is loaded with bar-bet-ready snippets of infotainment. Did you know, for instance, that folks back in the day boozed so often because water was fetid and alcohol killed the germs? Or that Johnny Appleseed was traipsing through the 18th-century wilderness planting apple trees to be "used for one reason and one reason only -- to make hard cider"? These tidbits are habit-forming. One is too many and a dozen aren't enough."