Travel Journal

Forever Rome

New York is a gunmetal gray, a whaling gray, a steely slate studded with whispers of lemon taxis and butterscotch street lights. Paris, oh now Paris is blue, a kaleidoscope of cobalts from the bumpers of Citroens to lady’s scarves, from café chairs and Gauloises cigarettes to the headstones of Père Lachaise at twilight. There is periwinkle and azure around necks, patisseries, and inside entryways —

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The Sound of Cities

I’ve created playlists for each of the eleven cities I’ll be visiting on my global booze cruise. I may eventually create lists for every location in the book. Take a listen — and even shake a drink or two to the distinctive soundtrack of another metropolis.

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Not All Travel Books Are Guidebooks

The travel books I love read like novels. Not only do they have character and plotting, but there’s also that not-quite-identifiable central yearning that makes them a compelling read. Some passion to hurl the story forward. The narrator has to have problems — and not just logistical ones, but historical ones, metaphysical ones, personal ones. Just like a novel. This is why Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia ranks among the greatest travel books ever written. He goes on a quest to find the origin of a family heirloom, and he digs digs digs into everything he finds interesting along the way. It’s personal. And it’s vast. This is why William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns is a masterpiece, and one of the greatest love-letters ever written to a foreign city. It’s a mystery. It is haunting. He’s on a spiritual quest to find a past that is buried in secret spots. There’s adventure.

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The Man Who Drank Around the World

As he tells it — tongue-in-cheek — after making a fortune in the stock market, Esquire writer Charles H. Baker set out to travel around the world drinking cocktails. From Cayenne Wine in Trinidad to Absinthe Frappés in Cairo, Baker catalogued his travel libations in The Gentleman’s Companion: Being an Exotic Drinking Book, Or, Around the World With Jigger, Beaker and Flask (1939). The book is fascinating and funny — and a classic among cocktail books.

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Welcome. . . to a booze cruise around the world

My name is André Darlington. I’m always thirsty. In the past few years I’ve written three cocktail books with my sister and writing partner, Tenaya. Now I’m working on my fourth drinks book, due out in spring 2021. This time it’s a solo journey, and I’m voyaging around the world to explore the state of the cocktail. This page is where I’ll be getting under the skin of the world’s great cities and discovering its iconic watering holes. It’s here where I’ll record all the bad decisions, and hopefully a few great ones, too. If you like behind-the-scenes grit, research notes, maps and reading material, this is where to come.

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