Christopher Hitchens on Alcohol

Perhaps the activity people most associate with Christopher Hitchens, outside of wit and rhetorical ability, was proclivity to drink alcohol constantly and in large doses. His “work lunches” were famous for beginning at noon and ending at 3 am. Speaking of lunch, he once said that he had the same thing for lunch everyday: “two glasses of red wine. Sometimes more. Never less.”

With that, we’ll get to every quote we could find, in print, of Christopher Hitchens on Alcohol. 

It’s a master-servant relationship. I’ll leave it to you which is which.

Christopher Hitchens

Washington Post, 2/12/99

I’ll be fifty-four in April, and everyone keeps asking how I do it. How I do what? I’m never completely sure what the questioner means. I hope they mean how do I manage to keep producing books, writing essays, making radio and television appearances at all hours, traveling all over the place with no sign of exhaustion, and a near-Godlike physique that is the envy of many of my juniors. Sometimes, though, I suppose they mean how do I do all this and still drink enough every day to kill or stun the average mule?

Christopher Hitchens

Vanity Fair, March 2003

I follow medical advice in only one respect, which is to make sure that I swallow the two shots of alcoholic medicine that doctors now agree is essential for the heart and arteries.

Christopher Hitchens

Mirror, 8/18/2003

Nobody who knows me thinks that I drink too little, and I could probably stand to imbibe less. It’s both an advantage and a disadvantage to have a tolerance for alcohol. But I sometimes wonder what those who don’t know me must think. The reputation now approaches legendary.

Christopher Hitchens

2003

It wasn’t all that easy to get a reputation for boozing when you worked in and around old Fleet Street, where the hardened hands would spill more just getting the stuff to their lips than most people imbibe in a week, but I managed it.

Christopher Hitchens

New York Twelve, 2010

The most lethal and fascistic of our current enemies-the purist murders of the Islamic jihad-despise our society for, among other things, its tolerance of alcohol. We should perhaps do more to earn this hatred and contempt, and less to emulate it.

Christopher Hitchens

Vanity Fair, March, 2003

An opened flask of alcohol is a mouth that can lead to heall as well as heaven.

Christopher Hitchens

Interviewed by Kingsley Amis, 2008

The plain fact is that it makes other people, and indeed life itself, a good deal less boring.

Christopher Hitchens

Bloomsbury, 2008

Having long been annoyed by people who called knowingly for, say ‘a Dewar’s and water’ instead of a scotch and water, I decided to ask a trust man barman what I got if I didn’t specify a brand or label. The answer was a confidential jerk of the thumb in the direction of a villainous-looking, tartan-shaded jug under the bar. The situation was even grimmer with gin and vodka and became abysmal with clear preference, then you drink is like a bad game of poker or a hasty drug transaction: It is whatever the dealer says it is. Please do try to bear this in mind.

Christopher Hitchens

Bloomsbury, 2008

Alcohol is a good friend but a bad master.

Christopher Hitchens

New Zealand Herald, 5/24/2008

Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing.

Christopher Hitchens

Hitch-22, 2010

Cheap booze is a false economy.

Christopher Hitchens

Hitch-22, 2010

Note that even though the subject of this article is deceased, we still reserve the right to make modifications and changes to the content if we discover that, in his vast appearances on various media outlets, we have ommitted more relevant quotes from the journalist and author about the subject. 

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