Jack Bettridge

Jack Bettridge
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How The Nanny State Is Destroying My Brain

Posted: May 25, 2009 11:08am ET

Before the legislatures of New York (where I work) and Connecticut (where I live) decided without consulting me that it was a good idea to limit the public venues in which I could smoke to almost none, I brought cigars everywhere. I would no sooner have left the house for a get-together without a handful of smokes than I would watch “Deal or No Deal” on TV without being strapped to a chair with my head propped up and my eyes pinned open.

Brews For All Seasons

Posted: May 18, 2009 1:20pm ET
I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but this month hasn’t been very May like in the New York area. Rain, cloudy skies and temps that haven’t quite hit that ideal point where you don’t worry about whether you have a jacket or not. Perhaps that’s why I’ve allowed a six-pack of Summer Ale from Samuel Adams to linger in my beer fridge.

Derby Day Picks

Posted: May 1, 2009 4:39pm ET
I always get a lot of calls during Derby Week asking for my picks, and this year among my top contenders is a controversial choice: Colorado. 

No, Colorado is not a thoroughbred raised in the Rocky Mountains, nor the British Ascot champion of the same name—after all, he raced in the 1920s. In fact, I'm not talking about a horse at all. (Face it. No one in his right mind has any faith in my handicapping ability, anyway.)

Family Matters

Posted: Apr 9, 2009 2:17pm ET
If in a vacation one is looking for the chance to reconnect with family, this one at Beaches resort in Turks and Caicos showed high promise. Beaches is a version of the couples resort Sandals with the little ones in mind: plenty of kid-friendly activities, pools, eight water slides, X-Box gaming rooms, classes in how to become a scratch deejay and, of course, the beaches.

A Shot of Smoke

Posted: Feb 23, 2009 2:56pm ET
The drink bone is connected to the smoke bone is a sentiment that I am fond of saying, but sadly in the age of the nanny state getting the two key skeletal elements of this adage together is becoming harder and harder. Either you find one of the few remaining bars with a license that allows smoking or you walk your drink outside while you smoke.

Drink Up! Prohibition Is (Mostly) Over

Posted: Dec 5, 2008 5:02pm ET
Let’s all raise our glasses to the end of Prohibition and a return to good cheer.

Seventy-five years ago today, Prohibition, the so-called Noble Experiment, was ushered out with the 21st Amendment of the Constitution, which repealed the 18th Amendment. The original change, also called the Volstead Act, had ruled the land for almost 14 years, making alcoholic beverages illegal and generally creating national calamity. On December 5, 1933, came the culmination of the country's return to its senses. A state convention in Utah ratified the 21st Amendment, making it the 36th state to do so and clearing the bar of the needed 75 percent of states.

No Cruise Ship for Cigar Men

Posted: Dec 1, 2008 4:10pm ET
Just returned from a Caribbean cruise refreshed, but slightly disappointed. The Solstice, newest addition to the Celebrity cruise ship fleet on which I sailed, was magnificent in all respects but one: it was almost bereft of smoking venues. 

Digging Deep

Posted: Nov 17, 2008 10:08am ET
Almost everyone is feeling the pinch right now, but as the holidays come on it is important to keep in context that having to settle for VSOP instead of going for the XO Cognac isn't really roughing it. One out of eight people in America is struggling with the reality of hunger—and that doesn't mean they skipped lunch—they actually aren't sure where their next meal may come from. Hunger is a pervasive problem, affecting millions and not limited to certain areas, social groups or neighborhoods.

Shine on Harvest Moon

Posted: Oct 30, 2008 4:17pm ET
Two bottles of moonshine just landed on my desk.

Well, not technically moonshine, but it's labeled as such. The 'shine in question is Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon and Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, and it does have the seal of approval from Mr. Johnson, himself a certified and convicted moonshiner, as well as a legendary NASCAR driver.

Pairing Scotch With Dinner

Posted: Oct 6, 2008 11:25am ET
A seven-course meal is elegant. A different wine with every course would be a luxury. But pairing each dish with a single-malt Scotch, well that’s downright decadent.

Maybe so, but that was the plan Thursday night when I and about a dozen others were hosted by Evan Cattanach, master distiller emeritus of the Classic Malts Selection, at the New York Palace Hotel. Instead of matching wines with the meal, Evan took it upon himself to pair each exquisite course with a different new release from the whisky collection.

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