Tipsy in Madras: A Complete Guide to 80s Preppy Drinking, Including Proper Attire, Cocktails for Every Occasion, the Best Beer, the Rig

Matt Walker, Author, Marissa Walsh, Author Perigee Books $14.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-399-52985-6
What defines a preppy cocktail? Archaism (the drink must have existed pre-80s), character (nothing cheap or easy), understatement (nothing with an umbrella) and, of course, Anglicanism (if it's exotic, it ain't preppy). Beginning with an insightful essay on the demise of preppy culture in the early 1990s, this book goes on to chronicle the how-tos of drinking for the Lacoste set. Walker and Walsh, who make clear that they attended prep school, not boarding school, serve up a funny critique of preppy society and the beverages that accompany it. Recipes for concocting the usual drinks--Bloody Marys, Gin and Tonics, Cape Codders, Gimlets, Manhattans--are here, as well as suggestions for stocking the bar (preps, the authors say, favor Dewar's over Chivas Regal), summertime drinking (go ahead and pour yourself a Seabreeze, but for goodness sakes steer clear of the Sex on the Beach) and brunch (""a.k.a. socially sanctioned daytime drinking""). Although the book concerns an elitist lifestyle, its tone is never snobby and it can actually be quite amusing (""unless you want to give dear Bitsy a concussion with a jet-propelled stray cork, here's how to open a champagne bottle with safety and aplomb""). Useless sidebars (such as a list of essential summer reading--including Salinger, Fitzgerald and Updike, among other familiar choices) are the only lackluster element to this snappy guide to getting drunk Blair Warner style.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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